Brendan Daly 646.520.7203 (M)
Washington, D.C. (April 16, 2015) — Save the Children Action Network today applauded the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) for including investments in early learning as part of the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The bipartisan Early Learning Alignment and Improvement Grants Amendment (ELAIG) would create a competitive grant program to provide funding for states that propose to improve coordination, quality and access for early childhood education. States would apply for three-year grants and provide matching funds to support "sustainable improvements and better coordination" of their early learning and care systems.
"Every child deserves a strong start to life, and we can ensure all American kids have an equal opportunity to succeed by improving and expanding access to high-quality preschool," said Mark Shriver, president of Save the Children Action Network. "I want to thank Ranking Member Patty Murray and Republican cosponsor Senator Johnny Isakson for making early learning a top priority in education reform.
"Today's vote to include early childhood education as part of ESEA shows the broad bipartisan support for expanding access and quality to high-quality early learning," Shriver said. "When we prioritize early childhood education, more children get ahead in life, and that's good for families, our communities and our country's future workforce."
Now that the Murray-Isakson early childhood education amendment has been approved by the HELP Committee, it will be considered as part of the overall Every Child Achieves Act, which the full Senate is expected to vote on soon.
In February, Save the Children Action Network joined a coalition of more than 40 organizations, known as the Grow America Stronger Coalition, in releasing recommendations to Congressional leaders on the need to incorporate strong early childhood education provisions in ESEA. The letter details the considerable research that links high-quality early learning programs to boosting health, education and economic outcomes for children and families. It also calls for the creation of a dedicated funding stream for early childhood education for low-and-moderate income families.
Founded by Save the Children in 2014, Save the Children Action Network is a new organization dedicated to mobilizing Americans around a commitment that cannot wait — investing in early childhood now. Established to expand Save the Children's capacity to transform young lives, Save the Children Action Network engages our government, businesses, partner organizations and supporters to take bold action and to hold our elected leaders accountable for the youngest, and too often forgotten, global citizens — our children.