Rep. Wasserman Schultz Hosts Special Order Urging Support for Young Children, Working Familes, and Early Childhood Educators
Today, to mark the start of The Week of the Young Child, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20) anchored a Special Order Hour on the floor of the House of Representatives focusing on two important federal programs: the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Head Start. These programs provide resources to support young children, working families, and early childhood educators.
Investments in quality early childhood education pay off for children, parents, and communities. High quality early childhood education programs boost children's cognitive and social development, improve school readiness and achievement, and produce better behavior in children. Additionally, quality child care and Head Start promote increased employment among parents, less time missed from work, higher incomes, and reduced job turnover. Further, broader economic benefits for communities include an expanded tax base, increased worker productivity, job growth in the child care sector, and increased regional economic activity.
Families and businesses rely on child care, and federal funding helps programs provide a safe and nurturing environment for young children. In the United States, almost 12 million children under age five are in some type of regular child care arrangement every week. Yet federal funding for child care and early childhood education continues to lose ground after seven years of flat funding.
Resources for these federal programs have been dwindling. Flat funding of CCDBG and near flat funding of Head Start over the past decade has caused hundreds of thousands of children to lose child care assistance, and fewer children today attend Head Start than in 2002.
Transcript of hearing can be found at:http://www.house.gov/list/press/fl20_schultz/YoungChildSpecialOrder.html