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EARLY LEARNING: Murray Introduces Strong Start for America’s Children Act

Murray introduces legislation to expand access to preschool and improve early learning opportunities

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee 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.

“As a former preschool teacher, I’ve seen firsthand the transformation that early learning can inspire in a child,” Senator Murray said. “Investing in our youngest learners is critical for children and their families, and it is one of the smartest investments we can make to ensure students start kindergarten ready to learn and succeed later in life. The Strong Start for America’s Children Act would help more families and communities in Washington state and across the country gain access to early learning programs and provide their children with the strong educational opportunities that will pay dividends in our future economic growth.”

Research has shown that children who attend high?quality preschool programs are less likely to be held back in school, require remedial education, engage in criminal activity, or use social safety net programs later in life. They are also more likely to graduate from high school and have higher earnings as adults. A recent report showed that Washington state ranks 33rd in the nation for access to state preschool among four-year-olds.

Original cosponsors of the Strong Start for America’s Children Act in the Senate: Bob Casey (D-PA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Al Franken (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

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 Literacy 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 I 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, Teach for America, Music Education Policy Roundtable, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

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