Jumpstart’s Federal Policy Priorities


Jumpstart is a national nonprofit focused on transforming the early care and education system. Because a child’s early years have lifelong impacts on their future learning, development, and success, we firmly believe that the most effective way to unlock the potential of every child and improve economic outcomes in underserved communities is to ensure that impactful early education, taught by qualified, well-compensated, and effective educators, is available to all.

Jumpstart works with an unwavering commitment to advancing equity through a multipronged approach. Using a research-based curriculum designed to build children’s language, literacy, and social-emotional skills, our program provides individualized support to children and helps college students and aspiring educators build professional skills and qualifications. We do this while operating within an inequitable system that must change, which is why we advocate for policies on a local and national level that benefit young children and the early care and education workforce.

Our Federal Policy Priorities on Equitable Access to Early Care and Education; Early Care and Education Workforce; and Equity & Justice follow:


Policy Priorities

  • Increased funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Head Start to expand accessto high-quality early education and child care for more families.
  • Affordability and access strategies like those outlined in Senator Warren’s Child Care for Every Community Act that create a pathway to universal ECE through sustained federal investment.
  • Incorporating the following principles in the Federal definition of high-quality care:
    • Prohibition of harsh discipline practices;
    • Positive relationships among all within the early education community;
    • School-family partnerships;
    • Health and nutrition component tied to community programming and services;
    • School commitment to assessments and continuous improvements;
    • Safe, well-resourced environment where learning materials are readily available;
    • Developmentally and culturally appropriate programming; and
    • Internal school policies that are child-serving and promote equitable policies for students, families, and educators alike.
  • Increased funding for the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) program to ensure that every parent pursuing post secondary education has access to the child care they need.
  • Ensuring all families on military bases have access to child care services for their youngest learners.


Policy Priorities

Jumpstart advocates in favor of policies that increase the compensation of child care workers to wages commensurate with those of public-school educators with similar credentials and experience. Jumpstart also advocates for policies that provide a career pathway with opportunities for advancement and professional development including:

  • Federal Work Study Community Service Set-Aside Proposal: Jumpstart supports an increase in the community service set-aside for the Federal Work Study (FWS) program from 7%-24% as annual appropriations levels increase. This supports access to career oriented experiences and opportunities in early care and education, helping to address child care staffing shortages and introduce more students to the profession.
  • Legislation that would create a loan assistance program devoted to professionals in early education, such as Jumpstart’s proposal in Rep. Katherine Clark’s (D-MA) Child Care is Infrastructure Act.
  • The Federal government defining and supporting a thriving wage for early childhood educators, including a focus on early ed pay parity as outlined in the Child Care for Every Community Act.
  • High-quality professional development opportunities for early educators.


Policy Priorities

  • Legislation that promotes a “whole child” approach to teaching and learning, including protections against inequitable discipline in ECE, and increased investment in mental health support for families and educators.
  • Opposition to legislative advancements targeting or banning discussions of identity, race, gender, sexual and romantic orientation etc. in children’s books, curriculum or in school environments.
  • Legislation that increases equity and reduces disparities for children, especially those from marginalized backgrounds.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about our policy priorities, please contact Kate Warren-Barnes at kate.warren-barnes@jstart.org.

View or download Jumpstart’s Federal Policy Priorities as a PDF:


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

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