Making a case that early education is vital for both personal and national prosperity, President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced a package of more than $1 billion in federal and private funding to expand preschool and other early childhood programs across the United States.

“The essential promise of America is that where you started should not and will not determine how far you can go,” Obama said in announcing the initiative at a daylong summit on early childhood education at the White House. “We’re here today because it’s never too early in a child’s life to deliver on that promise.”

The federal investment includes $250 million in grants for 18 states to create or expand preschool programs, plus an additional $500 million that will allow more than 40 states to expand Early Head Start programs for infants and young children.

California was not among the 18 states that received preschool grants from the U.S. Department of Education, but more than two dozen California organizations are among the preliminary grantees for the Early Head Start grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. State Superintendent of Instruction Tom Torlakson also announced on Wednesday that $4.4 million in federal funds will be used to “enhance child development services” for 260 high-need infants and toddlers living in nine rural Northern California counties.

The federal efforts are expected to expand early education offerings to an additional 63,000 children nationwide, the White House said. Obama has made expanding early childhood education a focus of his administration, calling in his 2013 State of the Union address to expand preschool access to every 4-year-old. The president pointed toward research suggesting that children who attend preschool are more likely to graduate from high school and have higher earning potential over their lifetime, among other benefits.

The president also announced that private funders are giving more than $330 million toward efforts to expand early childhood programs across the nation as part of a new federal campaign called Invest in Us. That campaign calls on businesses and private donors to support and promote early childhood programs.

One of the private funders, The Walt Disney Co., is providing $55 million for books and apps for young readers, Obama said.

Obama’s announcement came a day after Congress unveiled its spending plan for the coming year, which includes a $75 million increase for the Child Care Development Block Grant program, Education Week reported.

Efforts to expand access to quality early education programs are growing across the nation and California, with advocates noting the current programs don’t have enough room and money to serve all the children who qualify and would benefit.

In California, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, has introduced a bill to expand the state’s preschool program to all eligible 4-year-olds, according to an article in The Hechinger Report. McCarty’s Assembly Bill 47 comes on the heels of a similar legislative effort earlier this year by former state Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, to expand public preschool programs, but that bill met resistance over its estimated $2.5 billion cost.

Instead, the state budgeted $273 million for early education, the largest investment in the programs in more than a decade. The state will be able to offer 7,500 full-day preschool slots this year and an additional 4,000 next year, with additional slots in coming years. The plan will eventually cover half of California’s 4-year-olds.

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  1. Dave Francis 3 years ago3 years ago

    ONLY THE BOMBARDMENT OF CONGRESS BY AMERICANS CAN STOP THIS 1 TRILLION DOLLAR BILL FULL OF PORK FOR SPECIAL INTEREST AND A FREE RIDE FOR OBAMAS ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION. ALL WORKERS WILL SUFFER, BUT MORE SO BLACK AMERICANS AND LEGAL MINORITY PEOPLE. Can you even imagine a Republican Member of Congress voting for a standalone bill to give your Social Security money to an illegal alien invader? The American people in the midterm elections overwhelmingly voted … Read More

    ONLY THE BOMBARDMENT OF CONGRESS BY AMERICANS CAN STOP THIS 1 TRILLION DOLLAR BILL FULL OF PORK FOR SPECIAL INTEREST AND A FREE RIDE FOR OBAMAS ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION. ALL WORKERS WILL SUFFER, BUT MORE SO BLACK AMERICANS AND LEGAL MINORITY PEOPLE. Can you even imagine a Republican Member of Congress voting for a standalone bill to give your Social Security money to an illegal alien invader?

    The American people in the midterm elections overwhelmingly voted in a Republican House and Senate, trusting them to honor there oath of allegiance to the Constitution and to follow the Rule of Law. Senator Rand Paul has joined with anti-amnesty, anti-illegal alien leaders Jeff Sessions R-AL and Ted Cruz R-TX, Steve king R-IA who are opposed to the spending bill that includes funding for Obama’s unconstitutional attempt to award amnesty to 5 million illegal aliens, said Senator Paul on a radio broadcast, “I’ll vote no to any kind of 2,000-page bill that I’m given at the last minute that we don’t have time to read. It’s an abomination, nobody should support a Congress that stuffs all the spending into one bill, nobody reads it, there are no reforms, no amendments, and it really is probably why Congress has about a 10% approval rate because this is not doing our job,”

    New Majority leader John Boehner, leader of the Republican establishment is a wimp, or a stealthy strategist; as rest of the Lilly-livered Republicans, but not the Tea Party, conforming like dogs with their tails between their legs in passing $1,000.000.000.000 travesty. A bill, to fund our thinning military—and even Obamacare, and the executive order not to deport the 5 million illegal aliens. It’s obvious to every American taxpayer that the GOP establishments have an agenda to bring in more criminal illegal aliens and investing in more illegal aliens for lobbyist’s sponsors All the while Democrat antagonist like Reid, Pelosi, Holder and Feinstein have in their own minds, new illegal aliens will be able to vote—even those who are illegal.

    All of the lies, deceits, scandals and atrocities—Obama should be forced to face the music. We’ve been lied to repeatedly, had our Constitutional rights violated at every turn, been subjected to the whims of Imperial watchdogs and viewed our country and our liberties be torn to shreds.

    Justice demands to be served. Any other president would be impeached but Congress has refused to do so. His actions have been covert but methodical and utterly diabolical. No one noticed at first. Then one day we realized this sick, Socialistic man had systematically destroyed something so critical to America—our lives, our safety, our freedom—it ripped through us like a bloody razor.

  2. Dave Francis 3 years ago3 years ago

    How long have the families of those murdered in cold blood in Benghazi waited? People, our military is now unrecognizable as its been systematically downsized. And yet only the Tea Party has the guts to speak out. Even worse is the illegal alien invasion—criminals by any other name and to be awarded by His majesty. Because of foreign overrunning our county an agency of the government reported, illegal aliens have more jobs than Americans. Because … Read More

    How long have the families of those murdered in cold blood in Benghazi waited? People, our military is now unrecognizable as its been systematically downsized. And yet only the Tea Party has the guts to speak out. Even worse is the illegal alien invasion—criminals by any other name and to be awarded by His majesty. Because of foreign overrunning our county an agency of the government reported, illegal aliens have more jobs than Americans. Because of Obama and past presidents we have a broken health care system, a broken military and a broken educational system and a wide open border. Large open swathes of nothing but a few strands of eroding barbed wire.

    THINK, how long have the good citizens of our country waited for the IRS to be brought to justice…for Lois Lerner and her cronies to be sent to prison?

    REMEMBER, how long have we waited for a Congress that would hold our Constitution sacred? Protect our right to bear arms and protect our freedom of speech…to guarantee a fair, just and uncorrupted voting process, which has been undermined by organizations as ACORN—pressed on by Ex-Us Attorney General Holder. ?

    TO REPEAT yet again Obama’s actions have added 7 Trillion dollars, as part of the national deficit of 18 trillion and he will cram even more billions to the deficit by pandering to illegal aliens. You should INVESTIGATE why the border is a unstable confusion and the, towns, property owners and local sheriffs, under resourced and undermanned are in a constant risk to their lives battling drug cartels, human traffickers, other criminals. Murderers, rapists and other heinous felons are slipping past the border patrol and unknowns from the Middle East. Documentary video’s that hard working taxpayer needs to watch ‘The Border States of America’ https://www.teapartypatriots.org/theborderstates/ and also view They Come to America and then an additionally the latest version that explores the human and financial costs of unlawful immigration at http://media.wrko.com/a/73998492/they-come-to-america-ii.htm/

    USE these contact phone Numbers and Mailing Addresses of Members of Congress at: http://www.contactingthecongress.org. The TEA PARTY is urged to pick-up the phone (the toll free number is 1- 866-220-0044) and join other conservatives who are committed to melt the phone lines on Capitol Hill with this simple message: If you fund it, you own it. Vote “NO” on the CR – Omnibus spending plan and no to amnesty.

    Give this to everybody.