This morning, I received another email from Patricia Cole at the Policy Center at ZERO TO THREE. According to Cole, the Rally4Babies effort, calling, emailing, and tweeting the President and Members of Congress about the importance of investing in early learning for our nation’s youngest citizens has ended in victory!
Cole goes on in her email to thank the bipartisan leadership of Senator Tom Harkin and Representatives George Miller and Richard Hanna, for introducing the Strong Start for America’s Children Act this morning on Capitol Hill. She explains that in addition to the new federal-state partnership for Pre-K, this Act would also help ensure that more babies have good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences by:
- Giving Early Head Start programs – whose benefits to early development have been proven by rigorous research – the ability to reach more eligible children through innovative partnerships with child care programs to improve quality.
- Allowing states to use 15% of their Pre-K funding to provide high-quality child care settings for infants and toddlers to help prevent the learning gap and ensure they are on-track when they get to Pre-K.
- Endorsing the expansion of evidence-based home visiting programs that have been shown to have a range of positive impacts on parenting and early development.
More from Cole:
While we need to celebrate this important step in early learning, we also need to remember that many services that help supply the ingredients that babies need to thrive – like developmental support through Early Head Start and stable and adequate housing – were cut by the sequester (across the board cuts) of FY 2013 funds. Right now the Congressional Budget Committees are negotiating how to address the sequester cuts as well as the possibility of new investments in measures such as early learning to help secure future economic prosperity.
There’s still a lot of work to be done! Here’s what you can do to help:
1. Spread the word. Increase public awareness about the Strong Start for America’s Children Act by spreading the word amongst your friends, family, and colleagues. To help, we created this handy digital media toolkit for you to use, containing talking points, email and blog post templates, and sample social media messages.
You can also use this infographic to help visualize the message.
2. Urge your Members of Congress to support a budget agreement that rolls back the sequester and includes significant new investments in early learning AND to signal their support for the youngest learners by cosponsoring the Strong Start for America’s Children Act. Click here to email your Members of Congress now!
Thanks so much for being a Big Voice for Little Kids®. Let’s rally on for babies!