ECE Policy & Advocacy: Why It Matters

Did you know that in addition to directly serving children, Jumpstart also advocates for policies that support children and early childhood education? It’s true! For nearly 25 years, Jumpstart has been known best for the work you do with your partner children: helping to build their social-emotional, language, and literacy skills. But for every child that you and your team reaches, there are thousands of other children who do not have high-quality early education provided by well-trained and motivated teachers. We are working to change that. Jumpstart’s Policy & Government Relations department advocates at the national, state, and local levels for policies that support your work with Jumpstart’s children and families. In future newsletters, we’ll tell you more about how. In this issue, we’ll explain the why.

It’s all about the kids (and you)!

Every child has the potential to reach his or her dreams. Education is the key to unlock that potential. Access to education is, however, not equitable. One in five children in the United States lives in poverty.

 

Children living in poverty may hear 10 million words before age 3 compared to 33 million words for children living in high-income households. This is a significant word gap.

 

 

Disadvantaged children can start kindergarten more than 18 months behind their peers, and children who struggle to read by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. In light of all of this, is the American Dream truly within reach of all of our children? We can—and must—do better.

Access to education is a challenge not only for young children, but also for you and others seeking higher education degrees. Look at the skyrocketing cost of college relative to median incomes.

 

It’s critical that programs like Federal Work Study, Pell Grants, and Stafford loans remain available and are expanded so that all students can afford a college degree.

Do you think ALL children should have high-quality early education? Should early educators receive just as much pay as other teachers? Do you think college should be affordable for all students? We think so too! Check out Jumpstart’s Policy Principles and we look forward to sharing more information with you this year about what Jumpstart does to advocate for these policy changes as well as what you can do!

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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