We all applauded earlier this month when the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a funding bill with historic levels of support for quality, birth-to-five early learning programs. Now it’s the House of Representatives turn, and things are likely to get a little less cheery.

When the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies subcommittee marks up their appropriations bill Thursday morning, they’re going to be starting with 26 percent less funding to allocate than the Senate. If the subcommittee supports even flat funding for the early learning programs we care about, we can all declare a significant victory.

Of course, few expect the House or Senate bills to wend their way through the “normal” appropriations process; we’re looking at another late fall situation where leadership from both parties will negotiate a final funding package. But the early learning numbers supported by each chamber still matter very much, since they will serve as key markers during these final funding talks.

That’s why it’s so important to keep up the early learning momentum as members of Congress head back to their home districts for the August recess: we need as many legislative voices as we can muster coming back to DC knowing that voters at home care about investments in early learning. We have a fresh slate of resources to help you at www.growamericastronger.org/resources. For the next two weeks, we’re featuring graphics, tools, and templates that make the case for early learning’s high return on investment. Every two weeks, we’ll have a new theme and new resources—so visit often!