Today, legislation was reintroduced in Congress aimed at helping children start school with the knowledge and resources necessary for success.
The Strong Start for America’s Children Act 2015 was introduced in the House by Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Richard Hanna (R-NY) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in the Senate. The bill would create new federal partnerships with states and communities to help improve and expand high-quality, full-day preschool programs.
Over the last few years, states and communities have taken a strong leadership role in early childhood education, increasing investments and expanding access to early learning opportunities. Across the country, both Republican and Democratic elected officials have made early education programs a key priority. They have made great progress, but they cannot do it alone.
The Strong Start for America’s Children act will help link state and local initiatives with new federal resources. Because a variety of early education settings are necessary to meet the unique needs of a wide range of families, the bill allows Head Start programs, schools and community-based child care to apply for funds that will expand access to their early learning programs. States will also have the flexibility to use these new funds for quality improvements and for programs that serve infants and toddlers.
In today’s sharply divided political climate, there are few issues where Americans truly see eye-to-eye — regardless of party affiliation. Expanding high-quality early childhood education is one of those issues. Our law enforcement community, business leaders, brain scientists and economists all agree that early learning is one of the strongest investments we can make as a society. And voters have expressed their overwhelming, bipartisan support for increased federal action.
The Strong Start for America’s Children Act is a critical investment that would provide short-term and long-term economic benefits for states and communities across the nation. We strongly urge Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to come together to pass this important legislation.