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National PTA Applauds Bi-Partisan Legislation to Expand Access to High-Quality Early Learning Programs

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Heidi May, Media Relations Manager

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 15, 2013) — This week, the Strong Start for America’s Children Act of 2013 was introduced in the House and Senate as a means to ensure that every child has access to high-quality early education.

“The education of our nation’s children must begin long before they enter school as research shows that providing effective, targeted supports and interventions to children and parents starting at birth will better prepare them for academic and career success,” said Otha Thornton, National PTA President. “National PTA applauds this bi-partisan legislation and encourages the House and Senate to take swift action to move forward the issue of early childhood education to expand access to high-quality programs for all children.”

The Strong Start for America’s Children Act, introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Representatives George Miller (D-Calif.) and Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), would increase access to and quality of programs for children from birth to kindergarten. The legislation consists of four measures that would:

  • Accelerate states’ efforts to provide high-quality preschool to low and moderate income families;
  • Increase the quality of infant and toddler care in center-based and family child care settings;
  • Support quality improvements in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG); and
  • Encourage continued support for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.

National PTA supports federal and state incentives for high-quality child care and preschool programs for children from birth to age five. These programs should be affordable and accessible; developmentally appropriate; coordinated at all levels (federal, state and local); and characterized by high standards for teaching, training, health and safety. National PTA also encourages the inclusion of a strong family engagement component in all early childhood programs.

National PTA is committed to working with Congress to strengthen programs that further the success of our nation’s earliest learners. For more information about the Strong Start for America’s Children Act of 2013, click here.

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.