More than 300 advocates from the National Association for the Education of Young Children met Nov. 20 with members of the United States Senate to urge them to end damaging cuts to children’s programs and to make sound investments in early childhood education, including the Strong Start for America’s Children legislation.
Administrator Alisha Melesky and preschool teacher Amy Burhop from Child’s Play by the Bay in Lewes were part of the advocacy group. They met with members of Delaware Sen. Tom Carper's and Sen. Christopher Coons' staff to advocate quality education for all young children in Delaware.
While meeting on the Hill, Child’s Play teachers advocated for accessibility of high-quality early childhood programs for all children in the First State. Quality early learning programs lay the foundation for school readiness and academic success.
Exceptional accessible child care is essential for Delaware families who work, and for children to be ready for school. Federal funds now reach only one in six eligible children to help pay for child care. Head Start funds serve less than half of the eligible preschoolers, and Early Head Start funds only 4 percent of the eligible infants and toddlers.
The budget decisions should result in helping more children attend a safe, reliable place to learn; allow stable employment for working parents; and support an important U.S. workforce.