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National PTA Applauds Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to and Quality of Early Learning Programs

Media Contact

Heidi May Wilson, Media Relations Manager

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (May 20, 2015) — Yesterday, the Strong Start for America’s Children Act was reintroduced in the House and Senate as a means to ensure that every child has access to high-quality early education. The act was first introduced in both the House and the Senate in 2013.

“To be competitive in the global economy, we must begin educating our children long before they enter kindergarten. Research clearly shows that providing effective, targeted supports and interventions to children and parents starting at birth leads to increased long-term academic and career success,” said Otha Thornton, president of National PTA.

“National PTA has supported early childhood education since its inception, and it remains a top priority of the association to ensure every child has access to early learning opportunities. National PTA commends Representatives Richard Hanna (R-NY) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) for their bipartisan leadership and commitment to the importance of high-quality programs for all children.”

The Strong Start for America’s Children Act of 2015 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.

The bill would also require applicants for the Child Care and Development Block Grants to coordinate their efforts with Head Start’s Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework to carry out meaningful family engagement.

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 remains committed to working with Congress to strengthen programs that further the success of our nation’s earliest learners.

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.