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Policy Priority

Every Student Succeeds Act


The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the nation’s K-12  education law prioritizing equal access to education, was reauthorized by Congress at the end of 2015 as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

While the bill was designed for K-12 education, lawmakers recognized the importance of early childhood education to ensure children are prepared for kindergarten and beyond, and incorporated early learning across the law for the first time. ESSA established the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) program, the first time the law dedicated a specific funding stream to improve  child care and early learning.

Current Funding Level: Under Title 1, ESSA is funded at $18.39 billion for FY2023, an increase of $1 billion above FY2022. Under Title 2, ESSA is funded at $2.19 billion for FY2023, an increase of $20 million above FY2022.


Two young girls sitting on the ground playing with building blocks and dinosaurs.

Title I Funding Can Play a Critical Role in Supporting Early Learning

February 4, 2021

During his campaign, President Biden announced he would triple Title I funding, which, in addition to his broader proposal to expand access to high-quality child care and early childhood education …


Early Learning in State ESSA Plans: How States Are Using the Law

March 7, 2018

STATES ARE PRIORITIZING EARLY LEARNING The latest addition to FFYF’s ESSA toolkit of resources, Early Learning in State ESSA Plans: Implementation Snapshot provides an early look at where states are leveraging ESSA …


Analysis: Early Learning Provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act

February 4, 2016

In December 2015, Congress approved, and President Obama signed, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, P.L. 114-95) to replace the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This latest update …



Congress Set to Send Home Visiting Bill Honoring Rep. Walorski to President’s Desk

December 20, 2022

Today, Congress announced that the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 will be included in the final year-end FY2023 omnibus spending package. The bill to …

Photo of Christy Felling

FFYF Names Christy Felling as Director of Communications and Marketing

December 5, 2022

The First Five Years Fund (FFYF), the leading bipartisan early learning  advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., announced today that Christy Felling has been named the organization’s Director of Communications and …

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