Let Us Hear From You! “Start Strong” Federal ECE Legislation

Let us hear from you regarding recent federal early childhood legislation that is being considered!

In November 2013, Senator Harkin (Iowa) along with Representatives George Miller (California) and Richard Hanna (New York) introduced legislation focused on early care and education – “Start Strong for America’s Children.” This bipartisan-sponsored legislation will accelerate the existing commitment of federal, state and local programs for young children’s early development and learning from birth to kindergarten.

The three main components of the legislation are:
•Grants to states to expand high-quality preschool, building on their current state-funded preschool delivery system (there are also grants for states that do not yet invest in or need to raise the quality of their standards for preschool);
•Grants to create Early Head Start/child care partnerships to improve the quality of and expand access to high-quality child care for infants and toddlers; and
•A call for the expansion of the voluntary home visiting program for infants and toddlers.

NAEYC is particularly pleased to see the emphasis on:
•Using high-quality, research-based and developmentally appropriate standards and assessments in all settings (and avoiding inappropriate use of testing); Building on the use of existing state systems to deliver preschool programs in high-quality child care, Head Start, and school settings;
•Ensuring that programs engage families and support children’s comprehensive needs;
•Attracting and retaining teachers by helping them to gain the specialized knowledge required and earn degrees in early childhood education, including improved compensation;
•Improving and expanding access to infant and toddler care in Early Head Start/child care partnerships; and
•Strengthening families by providing access to voluntary home visiting in the critical infant and toddler years.

We want to hear from you!
Post comments of thoughts, perspectives, questions, and concerns about this important legislation that is being considered at the national level or link to our survey to share your comments: