December 15, 2013 (San Diego) – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced legislation to expand access to Pre-K education. The EARLY Act (Expanded Access to Real Learning for our Young Act) would establish a competitive grant program where states could receive federal funding to make Pre-K education available to families with a combined income of up to 400% of the federal poverty line.
“The argument for universal Pre-K is not just a lofty moral imperative – it’s also good science and economics,” said Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “Kids who receive high-quality early education are more likely to achieve success in both school and life. The research shows they’re more likely to graduate high school, earn higher pay, and live more productive lives.”
Today, only 69 percent of 4-year-old American children are enrolled in early childhood education programs. That troubling statistic places the United States near the bottom (26th) in terms of access to prekindergarten among our advanced country peers. In our modern global economy, that means many American children start behind when they can least afford to.
By extending access to families at 400% of poverty, this legislation would include middle-class families. With so much at stake, it’s essential to make early education available for all children – not just some.
The EARLY Act has been endorsed by the National Centers for Families Learning and the National Association of Elementary School Principals.