Strong Start for America's Children Act is a good start on a long-articulated goal

Center Focus

Strong Start for America's Children Act is a good start on a long-articulated goal


The Child and Family Policy Center applauds the work of Sen. Tom Harkin on the Strong Start for America’s Children Act. It is an important starting point for federal action to address one of society’s greatest responsibilities: ensuring the healthy development of the next generation.

This legislation is a first step in articulating the federal government’s role in achieving the First National Education Goal, established nearly 25 years ago by President George H.W. Bush and the nation’s governors, led by then-Gov. Bill Clinton, that all children start school ready to learn.

Since that time, we have learned a great deal more about the critical importance of the first five years of life in children’s development and the positive returns on investment produced by high-quality early-childhood programs. Now, Congress needs to flesh out the specific federal investments through bipartisan actions. Neither party owns this agenda.

Congress would do well to look at states like Iowa, where we have pursued bipartisan efforts to establish and expand a wide range of services for young children. These include Early Childhood Iowa, preventive child-health services, home-visiting and family-support programs that strengthen families in being their child’s first teacher, and early-literacy strategies to assure that every child reads proficiently by the end of third grade.


11/14/2013 10:07 AM |Add a comment
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