Early Learning Challenge Fund Legislation Is Introduced
Jul 15, 2009
On July 15, Rep. George Miller, Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, introduced legislation that includes a proposal for an Early Leaning Challenge Fund to increase the number of low-income children in high-quality early education settings. The Fund is included in the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, part of the congressional budget reconciliation process to reform the student loan program.
The legislation invests $1 billion a year for 8 years for competitive grants to challenge states to work toward comprehensive, high quality early education systems for children from birth to age 5. States can use these funds to improve quality across early childhood settings through various approaches. States will be challenged to create early education systems that include the following:
- Early learning standards reform
- Evidence-based program quality standards
- Enhanced program review and monitoring of program quality
- Comprehensive professional development
- Coordinated system for facilitating screenings for disability, health, and mental health needs
- Improved support to parents
- Process for assessing children's school readiness
- Use data to improve child outcomes
Read a summary of the Early Learning Challenge Fund.
We look forward to working with Congress to improve the quality of care for all children and ensuring that more vulnerable children have access to high-quality settings.