Hello everyone,Thank you all for continuing to share your child care and early learning questions, thoughts, concerns, hopes, needs, and fears. I've seen a few questions come through lately about the state of ECE programs and the outlines of the proposed federal investments, so in case folks haven't been tracking elsewhere, I wanted to post just a few things here on Hello!First, please know that with the support of Affiliates, advocates, and educators across the country, NAEYC has been relentlessly engaged with key Congressional offices, advocating to ensure that the proposed $450 billion investment in early childhood education remains a top priority in the Build Back Better reconciliation bill. Though it's too much to cover fully in this post, I am happy to answer questions anytime about specific elements in the bill; you can also check out this FAQ resource that we worked on with friends at the First Five Years Fund. As you review, however, remember that there are still lots of negotiations underway; it's a difficult process to get to agreement, and there may be changes in both funding and policies.This also means it's an incredibly meaningful moment to make sure your elected officials – state and federal – continue to hear from their constituents about the importance of prioritizing investments that lower costs for families, increase pay for early childhood educators, and provide simultaneous support for mixed-delivery, high-quality child care and prek (and yes, to answer at least one question, the preK program is structured to be mixed-delivery and support centers and family child care who are or could be providing preschool).
We know there may be trade-offs and challenges – but we also know that it's been 50 years since child care has had this kind of attention and opportunity. In just one example of the spotlight, President Biden and Vice President Harris both visited child care centers last week - shout out to our friends in NJ (including the President of NJAEYC) and CT (including Commissioner Beth Bye, a former child care provider herself!) who were able to welcome them and share information about the importance of child care and early learning!We also know that policymakers could visit amazing programs in each and every community (and they do!) and we thank you all for everything you're doing, as always. Please make sure you take action with the alert, and then share the link with your colleagues and families in your programs to help us flood offices with the voices of people holding their elected officials accountable for providing support to children, families, and early childhood educators. We'll continue to keep you posted here, via NAEYC Notes, at our upcoming Annual Conference, and through your Affiliates, as the federal process moves forward.In the meantime, don't hesitate to reach out with questions, and we hope you all continue to stay safe and well,Lauren