In recent years, increased political demand, paired with the major focus and investments from leaders at the state and local level, have created opportunities for bipartisan advancements on early childhood education at the federal level. FFYF’s work to prime the political and policy landscape has helped create new champions on Capitol Hill and develop innovative opportunities for progress.
A DECADE OF PROGRESS
Over the past ten years, federal early learning programs have achieved steady, significant progress in increased funding and bipartisan support from Congress and the White House. These gains would not have been possible without the strong leadership of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who were willing to put political affiliation aside and work together on policies and programs that are proven to support the education and development of children from birth through age five – particularly those from low-income families. Learn more.
STATE & LOCAL DEMAND
States across the nation are leading the way to ensure more children—especially those from low-income families—have access to high-quality early learning and care from birth through age five. And much of the progress at the state and local level has been made possible through strong partnerships with the federal government aimed at expanding access, increasing quality, and more. The First Five Years Fund has developed a series of state profiles to provide a glimpse of the early childhood education opportunities that exist in various states, including those made possible with federal funding. Learn why federal support and partnerships are critical, especially at a time when state are doing such great work on behalf of our youngest learners. Learn more.
FFYF’s renowned national and state polling is the gold standard for voter sentiment on early childhood education in America. Six years of state and national polling have shown a steady increase in support for greater investments in quality early learning and care opportunities, while also establishing a clear set of principles that voters want their lawmakers to follow as they develop policy solutions for working families. Learn more.
BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL CHAMPIONS
Over the course of the past several years, Congress has generated a supportive track record on early learning. Members on both sides of the aisle have worked together to significantly increase funding, while also enacting reforms to existing early childhood programs that elevate quality and leverage state and local leadership. First Five Years Fund commends Congress on their continued efforts to ensure our youngest learners have access to a continuum of high-quality early learning from the very start. We’ve created a resource detailing much the bipartisan progress that has occurred in recent years on early childhood education. Learn more.
At the beginning of the 116th Congress, FFYF developed a set of legislative priorities for Congress that included key areas through which lawmakers might advance early childhood programs and initiatives. Included in that agenda was a recommendation for Members to not only double down in their support for existing programs like CCDBG, Head Start and Preschool Development Grants, but also develop new and innovative solutions to the problems faced by American families. To date, Republicans and Democrats alike have introduced dozens of bills, big and small, that would strengthen and expand early learning opportunities.
FFYF has developed a tracker for the early childhood legislation introduced in the 116th Congress. Inclusion of legislation in the tracker does not represent an FFYF endorsement of the policy changes proposed. Learn more.