“Early education is one of the best investments we can make—not just in a child’s future but in our country,” President Barack Obama said at Wednesday’s White House Summit on Early Education. The president’s words are backed by studies showing how children who have access to high-quality, early education fare better economically and socially than peers who don’t. The president’s words are further backed by more than $1 billion promised for new federal and private-sector investments in early childhood education announced at the summit.
The need for these investments? Fewer than three in ten 4-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program.
The president announced $750 million in new federal grants awarded to states to develop and expand pre-K programs. In addition, he announced $330 million in new commitments to early childhood education from the private sector through the initiative Invest in US. Corporate, philanthropic, and nonprofit partners include The Walt Disney Company, the LEGO Foundation, Susan A. Buffett and Partners, and The Kresge Foundation. Learn more about all these investments by reading the White House fact sheet.
In addition, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced that 18 states had been awarded Preschool Development Grants totaling more than $226 million. With the help of these grants, more than 33,000 additional children will be served in high-quality preschool programs that meet high-quality standards. Grants will be used to develop or expand existing programs in the awarded states.