ARLINGTON, VA -- President Obama acknowledged the importance of early learning and called for “high-quality preschool” for every 4-year-old child in America in his first State of the Union address since his re-election in November.
“Every dollar we invest in high-quality early childhood education can save more than seven dollars later on, by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime,” President Obama said before a packed House chamber.
Child Care Aware® of America supports the President’s call for preschool throughout the states and commends his focus on our nation’s youngest children.
“The President very clearly called for initiatives that strengthen families and promote stronger communities,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America.
“His focus on early learning is encouraging. There is a direct connection between a child’s school readiness and the settings a child is in before starting school,” said Fraga.
Today, Head Start serves nearly 1 million children. State preschool programs serve about 1.3 million. Nearly 11 million children under age 5 are in some type of child care arrangement every week.
“We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress on a comprehensive approach to early learning that begins at birth and crosses America’s diverse array of early childhood settings, including child care,” said Fraga. “It’s time for a national conversation about school readiness that begins with a birth through age five strategy.”
About Child Care Aware® of America
Child Care Aware®of America (formerly NACCRRA the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies), is the nation’s leading voice for child care. We work with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies nationwide to help ensure that all families in the United States have access to quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, offer comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertake groundbreaking research and advocate child care policies that improve the lives of children and families. To learn more about Child Care Aware® of America and how you can join us in ensuring access to quality child care for all families, visit www.usa.childcareaware.org.