Boston, Mass. — This is an extraordinary moment for early education in our nation.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Build Back Better Act, but we need your help to ensure it becomes law. The bill includes $390 billion to establish universal preschool and make birth through five child care affordable for all families. This bill would give a major boost to the children, families, educators, providers, and higher education programs with whom Jumpstart partners every day.
Under the plan, families earning under 75% of state median income would access high-quality programs for free and no family would pay more than 7% of their income on care. The bill also ensures that all early educators and staff are paid a living wage comparable to elementary school teachers with similar credentials and experience. The bill would require lead teachers to obtain a relevant degree within six years of passage of the bill (with an exception for current experienced educators). All of these developments would make Jumpstart’s work to train the future early education workforce even more critical in the years ahead.
Jumpstart has specifically been advocating in Congress to ensure the bill prioritizes high-quality programming for children and raises wages for early educators. The provisions of the bill are strong in both of these regards and we support passage of the bill.
The bill now makes its way to the Senate, and we need you to help ensure it passes with the child care and universal pre-K funding intact. Email or call your Senators to confirm their support for the Build Back Better Act and their commitment to ensuring the funding for early care and learning isn’t lost as negotiations continue. Your support and contacting your Senator will ensure early educators finally receive the pay they deserve, families will be able to afford early care, and young children will be given a better opportunity for educational success by having access to high-quality early learning.
ABOUT JUMPSTART FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart advances equitable learning outcomes for young children in underserved communities by recruiting and supporting caring adults to deliver high-quality programming to children and drive systems change through teaching, advocacy, and leadership. Jumpstart is also a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Over its 26 years’ experience leveraging the power of caring adults to close the opportunity gap for young children in this way, Jumpstart has engaged 58,000 college students to transform the lives of 133,000 children. Learn more at jstart.org and follow us on Twitter at @Jumpstartkids.