President Obama and Members of Congress,
Thank you for all you do to highlight the challenges families face like finding and affording high quality early care and education experiences.
From the moment a child is born, we have less than 2000 days until they enter school. We can't afford to waste any days without launching the National Early Learning Initiative. The first years of a child’s life are critical for building the foundation needed for success later in school and in life. However, in many states child care costs more than college, and with our patchwork system of child care and preschool, finding high quality child care that matches the work schedules of parents becomes almost impossible. We are ready to build a better future for young children and families. It's time to make sure that the National Early Learning Initiative--including plans for universal preschool, access to high quality affordable child care, and increased support for parents--becomes reality. Sincerely,
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I just took two seconds to sign on to an open letter addressed to President Obama and members of Congress. Why? I think the time has come for affordable, high quality preschool and child care. Feel the same? Sign on to the letter! http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Early_Learning_Initiative/?source=taf There's a lot more detail in the email below from MomsRising. Thanks! Friend ************Forwarded Email Below*************** A few weeks ago, all U.S. children under the age of five grew to amazing heights. Ok, so babies didn't physically grow to ten feet tall (thank goodness, think of the diapers!), but all young children were raised up to the national stage when President Obama announced his plan for preschool and high quality child care for infants and toddlers. The high cost of child care (which now costs more than college costs in many states) is something that has historically been discussed only around kitchen tables, never by a President at a press conference. *Sign on to our open letter to President Obama, as well as to national leaders, thanking them for bringing this critical issue into the spotlight--and also urging them to keep the National Early Learning Initiative moving forward quickly because children and families can't wait! http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Early_Learning_Initiative/?source=taf Your voice is needed now. We don't want this moment to fade away without any tangible outcomes: Together we can seize this moment! As parents across the nation like you sign on to this letter, we can show President Obama and national leaders that families all across the country are ready to build a better future for young children and families. Let's make sure that the plans proposed two weeks ago--including plans for universal preschool, access to high quality affordable child care, and increased support for parents--become reality. Why do we need the National Early Learning Initiative? The first years of a child’s life are critical for building the foundation needed for success later in school and in life. Research shows that it's in the first years of life that the brain undergoes it's biggest growth. According to neuroscientists at Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child, "Early experiences determine whether a child’s brain architecture will provide a strong or weak foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health."  Unfortunately, making sure children get the comforting educational environment they need is tough in today's world. In 2013, the vast majority (over 70%) of mothers in the United States need to work to make ends meet--yet access to quality, affordable childcare is all too often nearly impossible to find.  Parents need safe, enriching places for their children to be while they work. However, in many states child care costs more than college, and with our patchwork system of child care and preschool, finding high quality child care that matches work schedules becomes almost impossible. From the moment a child is born, we have less than 2000 days until they enter school. We can't afford to waste any days trying to get the National Early Learning Initiative launched! *Sign on to our letter supporting the National Early Learning Initiative here: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Early_Learning_Initiative/?source=taf What is the National Early Learning Initiative? It's a comprehensive plan that tackles some of the biggest hurdles families with young children face, including: Finding and affording a quality preschool. The National Early Learning Initiative provides high-quality preschool for every child by developing a new partnership between the federal and state governments to provide low and moderate income four-year-old children with high-quality preschool while also expanding these programs to reach additional children from middle-class families. Finding and affording high quality child care. To expand high-quality, affordable early learning opportunities in the years before preschool, the National Early Learning Initiative calls for a significant investment in a new Early Head Start-Child Care partnership that expands the availability of Early Head Start and child care providers that can meet the highest standards of quality for infants and toddlers, serving children from birth through age three.  Finding answers to health and development questions. Voluntary home visiting programs enable nurses, social workers, and other professionals to connect families directly to services and educational support that will improve a child’s health, development, and ability to learn. The National Early Learning Initiative will expand these important programs to reach additional families in need in all 50 states. Don't forget to tell President Obama and national leaders that you support the National Early Learning Initiative--and want to see it move forward quickly! http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Early_Learning_Initiative/?source=taf *Ask two or three friends to sign on too. We are going to need a lot of people to stand up for our country's littlest residents! Together we are a powerful voice for young families, --Sarah, Claire, Kristin and the entire MomsRising.org team P.S. Huge thanks to the National Women's Law Center for all the work they do for early learning.  "Obama touts plan for universal preschool," Washington Post, February 14, 2013 http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-02-14/politics/37092427_1_childhood-education-quality-preschool-program-preschool-providers  "Parents and the High Cost of Child Care," 2012, ChildCare Aware http://www.naccrra.org/sites/default/files/default_site_pages/2012/cost_report_2012_final_081012_0.pdf  "Early Experiences Matter," Zero to Three, National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families http://www.zerotothree.org/public-policy/policy-toolkit/2089953186.pdf  "A Science-Based Framework for Early Childhood Policy," Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University http://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/reports_and_working_papers/policy_framework/  "Between 1975 and 2009, the labor force rate of mothers with children under age eighteen increased from 47.4 percent to 71.6 percent. Mothers today also return to work much sooner after the birth of a child than did mothers half a century ago. "Changing Families, Changing Workplaces," The Future of Children, Fall 2011 http://futureofchildren.org/futureofchildren/publications/docs/21_02_02.pdf  "Parents and the High Cost of Child Care," 2012, ChildCare Aware http://www.naccrra.org/sites/default/files/default_site_pages/2012/cost_report_2012_final_081012_0.pdf [7-9] "Fact Sheet President Obama’s Plan for Early Education for all Americans," The White House, Feb 13 2013 http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/13/fact-sheet-president-obama-s-plan-early-education-all-americans
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