In the last Corps Member newsletter, we described the why behind Jumpstart’s policy advocacy efforts. In short, we believe that all children have potential and deserve policies that foster their pursuit of the American Dream. In this edition, we share with you the what—the four core policy principles that drive our policy agenda in order to best serve our young children, early educators, college students, and national service members.
What Jumpstart Stands For: Our Four Core Principles
1. Accessible high-quality early childhood education
Early education works. Science has proved that high-quality preschool has a significant impact on children’s literacy, math, and social-emotional learning, and has lasting benefits, including increased high school graduation rates and lifetime earnings, and reduced crime and teen pregnancy. In addition to the life-changing programming that our Corps members bring to 12,500 children each year, Jumpstart advocates for investment by federal, state, and local governments in evidence-based early education programs that will deliver on the promise of opportunity to all young learners.
2. A professional, stable, and well-compensated early education workforce
It is proven that success in school depends on the quality of the educators. Yet, there is a crisis in the early education workforce. Nationwide, wages for early educators are often unacceptably low. In addition, certification and accreditation standards vary greatly state-to-state and city-to-city. In order for you to enter the early education field with the best opportunities for high-paying wages and advancement opportunities, and for the preschool teachers in Jumpstart classrooms to receive these opportunities, Jumpstart advocates for certification, professional development, and compensation policies that will help establish a professionalized and stable field of early childhood educators.
3. Affordable higher education that incorporates valuable workforce training opportunities
At Jumpstart, we prepare and inspire the next generation of early educators, public servants, and parents. However, college students—especially students from low-income families and first-generation college students—face significant obstacles, including expensive tuition and a confusing and inadequate federal student grant and loan process. Our college-student Corps members deserve a higher education system that works for you. Jumpstart advocates for a more affordable and accessible higher education system that allows all college students to reach their goals, and a range of programs that promote service, workforce training, and loan forgiveness to encourage the next generation of early educators and support college completion.
4. A commitment to national service
As a proud member of the AmeriCorps and Senior Corps national service network and the national service movement, Jumpstart has seen first-hand the enormous impact that national service has on you and the communities you serve. Volunteerism promotes valuable workforce skill development for participants while providing cost-effective programming to countless children, seniors, veterans, and communities. In order for all of you to continue to have the best possible experience, Jumpstart advocates for continued government investment in national service, including AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and local initiatives.