U.S. Senator Introduces Early Learning Challenge Fund Bill
On March 3, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey D-Penn., introduced the Supporting State Systems of Early Learning Act, which would create a competitive grant fund for states that show the most progress developing high-quality early-learning systems. The bill would also encourage states to develop quality rating and improvement systems, create public-private partnerships to leverage public funds, and require states to match 15 percent of any grants awarded.
Co-sponsors include Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Chris Coons, D-Del., and Al Franken, D-Minn. Advocates have been quick to endorse the measure, including Center for Law and Social Policy, Children's Defense Fund, First Five Years Fund, First Focus, National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Women's Law Center, Pre-K Now, and Save the Children.