U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-Queens) and Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced legislation today that would improve the quality of early childhood education in America.
The measure, entitled the Early Childhood Education Professional Improvement Act, would strengthen our nation's preschool workforce by creating a federal grant program for states to prepare, develop and support early childhood educators. As educators gain knowledge and skills through targeted professional development and support, the quality of early education in America will improve dramatically.
"Further strengthening our country's preschool workforce is essential to providing our kids with a solid foundation for success and the first rate childhood education they deserve," said Meng. "It is also a critical step toward the realization of high quality Pre-K for all American children. Only by investing in our kids can we ensure the future prosperity of America, and guarantee that it remains the strongest and most productive nation in the world. I urge Congress to pass this critical measure."
"High-quality preschool is the most effective way to ensure that all children have a chance to succeed in school and in life," said Polis. "I am proud to support this bill, which invests in our nation's early childhood educators so that we can build a strong future for our children."
"It is a given that high-quality early childhood education is crucial to building a strong foundation for children's growth and development," said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). "Sadly, inadequate preparation and low pay for early childhood educators lead to constant turnover and an unstable environment for kids. Rep. Meng's bill is taking on this problem with much-needed legislation to provide grants to states to improve credentials, compensation and professional development for early education teachers."
"The knowledge and skills of early childhood educators is key to quality experiences in programs for young children," said Rhian Evans Allvin, Executive Director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). "We are very pleased that this bill focuses on the specialized knowledge of preschool educators and importantly, provides them with the improved compensation that recognizes and values the importance of them as professionals."