Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Expand Access to Early Childhood Education
Today, the House will consider the Improving Head Start Act (H.R. 1429), bipartisan legislation to reform and strengthen the federal early childhood education program, Head Start. During our debate, the House will consider an amendment to expand access to early childhood education services for students as part of an eight-state demonstration project, in which eligible states could coordinate federal Head Start programs with their own early childhood education programs. The Price amendment to H.R. 1429 would provide an important opportunity for states with proven and effective systems of early childhood education to leverage their experience and improve the school readiness of children in their state.
For years, experts have been calling for a seamless system of early childhood education that integrates the existing patchwork of programs that includes Head Start, federal and state pre-kindergarten programs, and child care services. The lack of coordination of early childhood programs has resulted in overlapping programs and duplication of services, under enrollment and gaps in services, missed opportunities to raise the overall quality of childhood experiences, and fewer slots to serve the needs of working families. In short, it means too few children are being served by early childhood education programs.
The Price amendment to H.R. 1429 would give eight states the opportunity to improve coordination of services and operate programs more efficiently, thereby increasing their ability to serve more children. Moreover, the experiences of these states will provide valuable information about how states with advanced early childhood education systems are able to innovate and improve results for children. In other words, this demonstration project would benefit not only the eight states participating in it; it also will bolster early childhood programs nationwide, providing them better information on best practices and overall coordination. And most of all, it would benefit countless students who would gain access to early childhood education that they may not otherwise have received.
Later today, we urge you to vote YES on the Price amendment to H.R. 1429. For more information on this amendment or the Improving Head Start Act, please contact Kris Skrzycki in Rep. Price’s office at x5-4501 or the Education and Labor Committee Republican staff at x5-6558.
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)
Education and Labor Committee