Every parent wants their child to have opportunities for lifelong success – and that starts with getting kids off to a strong start. All of our nation’s students deserve a chance to compete on a level playing field, but too many children – especially those from disadvantaged communities – start kindergarten already behind.
We know expanding high-quality early learning opportunities is simply one of the best investments we can make as a country, and President Obama has proposed to dramatically increase access to high-quality preschool and expand early learning and support services for infants, toddlers and families.
Today, the White House released state-by-state fact sheets, outlining what states could expect to receive in federal funding to expand these early learning initiatives in their states.
The President’s proposal builds upon the strong work already done by states across the country. Governors from states as diverse as Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Vermont, and West Virginia all called for expanded access to preschool to more 4-year-olds. These state leaders – regardless of party affiliation – recognize that early learning helps prepare young children for educational success, provides crucial support for families, and ultimately strengthens our nation’s economy.
The White House fact sheets explain how the President’s plan will:
- provide high-quality preschool for all 4 year olds,
- invest in high-quality infant and toddler early learning and development and
- expand effective parent and family supports.
These investments – financed through a mixture of federal funding and a partnership with states – will help close America’s school readiness gap and ensure that children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
The benefits of investing in early education are well-documented. Research has shown that high-quality early learning programs and services improve young children’s health, social-emotional, and cognitive outcomes; enhance school readiness; and help close the school readiness gaps that exist between children with high needs and their peers.
President Obama understands that the stubborn opportunity gap that confronts far too many American children and limits their life chances often begins before they even enter school kindergarten.
Together these investments can continue to close achievement gaps, provide life transforming opportunities for children, and strengthen and build a thriving middle class.
Cameron French is the deputy press secretary at the U.S. Department of Education
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