New resource details opportunities for states and districts to develop and expand access to quality early childhood education through ESSA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the First Five Years Fund (FFYF) released a new resource, What Early Learning in ESSA Can Look like for States and Districts, which details new opportunities to develop and expand access to quality early childhood education through the recently-passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This new resource identifies opportunities throughout the law for states and districts to invest in early learning, provides initial recommendations for what this allowable use of funding can look like, and highlights additional supplementary resources. As state and local leaders begin implementing the new law, this tool showcases what early learning through ESSA can look like in practice.

“Education begins long before children enter kindergarten,” said FFYF executive director Kris Perry. “This year, Congress included historic support for early childhood education in ESSA, making clear that early learning should be a top priority in our nation’s schools. It is our hope that advocates, states, and districts use this tool to strengthen and expand access to high quality early learning opportunities across the country to give more students chance to succeed.”

The full resource can be viewed here:

This is the latest of FFYF’s ESSA resources, which arm early childhood advocates and policymakers with a summary and analysis overview of ESSAa comparison of ESSA with its predecessors, a breakdown of Preschool Development Grants, and more.

In recent years, Congress has consistently supported quality early childhood education and development in a bipartisan way, with momentum continuing to grow steadily. In addition to the early learning provisions within ESSA, Congress added nearly $1 billion in new federal investments for early childhood education through the Omnibus spending bill, and also extended funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program through fiscal year 2017, providing $800 million for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

The First Five Years Fund helps America achieve better results in education, health and economic productivity through investments in quality early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children. FFYF provides knowledge, data, and advocacy – persuading federal policymakers to make investments in the first five years of a child’s life that create greater returns for all.