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Kaine Introduces Legislation To Expand Quality Preschool Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine introduced the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, legislation that would expand quality preschool programs. The Strong Start for America's Children Act is a 10-year innovative federal-state partnership to expand and improve early learning opportunities for children from birth to age five.

“Quality preschool programs benefit students and the nation as a whole,” said Kaine. “By expanding access to early childhood education, we can prepare more students for a lifetime of learning, ensure that children enter the classroom ready to learn and reduce the achievement gap.”

Kaine introduced an earlier version of the Strong Start for America’s Children Act in the previous Congress. Earlier this year, he introduced the Providing Resources Early for Kids (PRE-K) Act to help states develop their own early childhood education programs. As Governor of Virginia, Kaine worked to strengthen Pre-K programs across Virginia and increased enrollment by 40 percent.

Joining Kaine in introducing the Strong Start for America’s Children Act are Senators Patty Murray, Bob Casey, Mazie Hirono, Al Franken, Ed Markey, Brian Schatz, Tom Udall, Barbara Mikulski, Chris Murphy, Dick Durbin, Chris Coons, Martin Heinrich, Sheldon Whitehouse, Tammy Baldwin, Maria Cantwell, Kirsten Gillibrand, Ron Wyden, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren.

Congressmen Bobby Scott and Richard Hanna have introduced companion legislation to the Strong Start for America’s Children Act in the House.

The following organizations have expressed their support for the Strong Start for America's Children Act: Alliance for Children and Families, America’s Edge, American Federation of School Administrators, AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, American Federation of Teachers, Association of American Publishers, BUILD Initiative, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Champions for America’s Future, Child Care Aware, Child Care Law Center, Children’s Defense Fund, CLASP, Coalition on Human Needs, Common Sense Kids Action, Council for Exceptional Children, Democrats for Education Reform, Easter Seals, The EVERY Child Matters Education Fund, Fair Share, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, First Five Years Fund, First Focus Campaign for Children, Generations United, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) USA, International Reading Association, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., The Leadership Conference, Learning Disabilities Association of America, LISC, Literate Nation, Mission: Readiness, Moms Rising, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association for Family Child Care, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, National Association for Music Education, National Black Child Development Institute, National Center for Families Learning, National Center for Learning Disabilities, National Children’s Facilities Network, National Council of Jewish Women, National Education Association, National Head Start Association, National PTA, National Title 1 Association, National Urban League, National Women’s Law Center, Nemours, NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, 9 to 5, Parents as Teachers, RESULTS, Save the Children, Scholastic, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Shepherding the Next Generation, Stand for Children, Teaching Strategies, United Way, Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families.

Read more about the Strong Start for America’s Children Act.