Washington, D.C. – In response to President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kris Perry, Executive Director of the First Five Years Fund (FFYF), released the following statement:

“As Secretary of Health and Human Services, Rep. Price will have the chance to help ensure we continue supporting our nation’s greatest resource – its children. Each year, the lives of millions of American children are made better through programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. From home visits supported by the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, to Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, to Head Start and the Preschool Development Grants Program, children from low-income families are given opportunities that put them on a path toward success in school and life. We look forward to continuing our work with the Department and hope to build on the success of these and other programs.”

Across the political spectrum, policymakers acknowledge the importance of investing in our children’s earliest years. And looking beyond the election, this bipartisan support provides a significant opportunity to support early childhood solutions that benefit children in the most need. Building upon progress made over the last several years, we must work with lawmakers of both parties and the Trump Administration to increase access to high-quality early learning and care.

To help kick-start a solution-driven conversation on early childhood education, FFYF recently released its “Early Childhood Education Policy Framework.” This framework provides ideas and opportunities for how the Trump Administration and incoming Congress can create a well-financed continuum of high-quality early learning and care for children from birth through age five by improving existing programs, addressing concerns of quality and cost, and building better partnerships between the federal government, states, and local communities.

“Rep. Price, Betsy Devos – Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education – and the rest of the Trump Administration have an opportunity to accomplish great things on behalf of America’s children and working families,” continued Kris Perry. “FFYF is ready and willing to work with the next White House, federal agencies and Congress to ensure more kids have access to high-quality early childhood programs that have the potential to change the course of their lives.”

What’s more, FFYF’s latest bipartisan national poll that found 90 percent of voters agree Congress and the next president should work together to make high-quality early childhood education more accessible and affordable to low- and middle-income families. Unfortunately, we also found that access to care is significantly lacking – only 24 percent of voters from the same poll said programs available to low- and middle-income families are high-quality and affordable.

About the First Five Years Fund: 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. http://www.ffyf.org