“Educators need Atif Qarni in Washington to advocate on our behalf. Investing in teacher training through Title 2 funds can help schools improve the overall quality of education as well as creating a highly trained workforce better equipped to meet the diverse needs of our students.”
Improving access to childcare and early education is the start of any education plan. The field of childhood brain science reveals that crucial cognitive, health, and socio-emotional development takes place long before the age of 5-- kids are learning all the time. Active participation in nurturing and developmentally-appropriate early care programs yields substantial short-term and long-term benefits.
From an economic standpoint, the current lack of affordable, high-quality early care and education options pose a significant challenge for families. This gap leaves parents with limited choices, forcing them to make difficult decisions such as sacrificing further education or job training, or even causing one parent to exit the workforce entirely.
In Congress, I will champion extensive investments in child care and early education.
The Child Care Stabilization Act: The nation is currently facing a dire child care crisis, which I hear about firsthand from parents on a daily basis. The expiration of critical COVID-era funding has thrown the sector back into turmoil. Without further financial support, more than 70,000 child care programs are at risk of closing their doors, affecting the lives of 3.2 million children and 232,000 workers. To address this pressing issue, I would support the proposed Child Care Stabilization Act to allocate $16 billion annually for five years to sustain the Grant Program. This funding will ensure the continuity of high-quality child care services for working families, providing them with the support they need.
Pass Universal Pre-K: Universal pre-kindergarten is big investment with an even bigger return. A strong basis for lifelong learning-- we must offer early education to all children. I am committed to championing a comprehensive and inclusive plan--no lotteries, no first-come-first-serve, no convoluted processes to access this vital opportunity.