February 02, 2015

Kaine Discusses Importance Of Pre-K At Caroline County School

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine visited Lewis & Clark Elementary School in Ruther Glen to speak with school administrators about the impact of early childhood education on Caroline County school children. During the discussion with educators and administrators, Kaine learned about the success of the Pre-K program at Lewis & Clark Elementary, as well as the high demand for more preschool classes to serve children who have been wait-listed or turned away because of limited space.

“Investment in high-quality early childhood education pays dividends, not only for the rest of the child’s educational career, but also for adult success,” said Kaine. “The Pre-K program here in Caroline County is a very vibrant and successful one but I heard the message loud and clear – from the principals but also from the Caroline County staff – that we need more resources to reach more children. Schools are turning students away because they lack the resources to accept them into their programs.”

Kaine also discussed his work in the Senate to expand access to Pre-K in Virginia and throughout the country. 

“What we can best do at the federal level is provide resources to expand high-quality Pre-K. That’s why I co-sponsored the Providing Resources Early for Kids [PRE-K] Act, a bill that was introduced last week in the Senate to provide grants for states to either begin new Pre-K programs or upgrade existing programs. Existing programs can use more funds for professional training for their teachers and for spaces to serve more kids.”

Following the meeting with administrators, Kaine visited two preschool classrooms and read to the students.

Kaine has been a long-time champion of access to high-quality early learning programs. Last year, Kaine successfully urged the U.S. Department of Education to give Virginia a $17.5 million grant that will expand the Virginia Preschool Initiative. As Governor, he championed early childhood education by increasing Pre-K enrollment by 40 percent in the Commonwealth.