We're thrilled to share that we signed on as a supporter of Sen. Franken's Early Childhood Care and Education Workforce Improvement Act. We don't often weigh in on federal-level bills, but Sen. Franken's act is such a natural fit given our/Minnesota's work on Race to the Top, expanding Parent Aware and increasing access to high-qaulity pre-K for low-income kids (via the MinneMinds campaign). It also presents a meaningful opportunity to further strengthen early education outcomes for Minnesota kids.
The senator's office distributed the following news release, which includes more information on the act:
For Immediate Release:
November 8, 2013
Sen. Franken Unveils Legislation to Improve Early Childhood Education
Two Bills Would Improve Childcare Workforce and Increase Parents’ Access to Critical Education Programs; Senator’s Legislation Supports Significant Return on Investment
WASHINGTON, D.C. [11/08/13]—U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced two bills to improve early childhood education by increasing parent engagement and enhancing the quality of the workforce working with children. Research shows that access to high-quality education at an early age is not only critical to improving the long-term success of children, but also boasts a significant return on investment, producing benefits of up to $7 for every $1 spent.
Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. Sen. Franken is committed to making sure that parents have access to the education classes and family engagement programs they need to facilitate early learning and development and to help children thrive. His Parent Education and Family Engagement in Early Education Act would create a competitive grant program to support these education classes and other forms of parent engagement.
Well-trained educators and caregivers are also key to achieving the high-quality instruction and care that kids need to succeed. Sen. Franken’s Early Childhood Care and Education Workforce Improvement Act would help states develop or expand their efforts to provide more opportunities for training, education, and professional development to better improve the quality of their early education workforce.
"Every child in Minnesota deserves the opportunity to achieve the critical growth that comes with high-quality early childhood education, and I’m committed to making that happen," said Sen. Franken. "My legislation will help families participate in their children’s education and development and it will ensure that those teaching and caring for our children are the best they can be."
Read more about Sen. Franken’s Parent Education and Family Engagement in Early Education Act here and his Early Childhood Care and Education Workforce Improvement Act here.