Big things are happening and there is momentum throughout the country to make quality early childhood a top priority. Cities and states are working to expand access to preschool, pre-K and support for families of children from birth to age five.
Red states, blue states and communities on all points of the political spectrum are moving forward to make investments in our future. Here are just a few examples of what’s been happening at the state and local level:
- New York City is embarking on a large-scale expansion of pre-K, spearheaded by Mayor Bill de Blasio and with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo. The City seeks to enroll as many as 53,000 pre-K students this fall – more than double the current enrollment.
- California’s state budget includes $264 million for child development and early learning – the largest expansion of early childhood funding in more than 10 years. This investment funds more than 13,000 new slots in preschool and high-quality child care.
- Previously one of eleven states that do not offer publicly-funded preschool, Indiana has launched a new pre-K pilot program in five counties for children of low-income families.
- The City of Columbus, Ohio is expanding its half-day pre-K program to a full day with a $3.5 million investment backed by Democratic Mayor Michael Coleman and Republican Governor John Kasich.
- On August 5th 2014, the first Preschool Nation Summit will take place in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver the keynote to early childhood educators, advocates, parents and community leaders gathered to strategize and share resources to advance early learning opportunities for all kids.
In a few days, U.S. Senators and Members of Congress will head back to their states and districts for the August congressional recess. Now is the time to build on the momentum that’s been generated here at home and tell our federal elected officials that they need to take action to expand and improve our nation’s early childhood programs.
Remember, you can follow the latest developments in YOUR state with our State Tracker at growamericastronger.org, powered by FFYF and our partners.