Tuesday, June 22, 2010

They're listening...

I wanted to briefly share with you a response to my recent inquiry to Senator Gillibrand about creative educational opportunities specifically for early childhood. It's heartening to hear about money being made available for improving our education system (and at a time like this, even little rays of hope are necessary... HELLO NYS budget cuts...)

June 22, 2010

Dear Miss Sheridan,

Thank you for writing to me about the importance of early childhood education.  Research has shown that high quality early learning programs improve cognitive, social, emotional, and language development, necessary skills for a successful life. 

In the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, there are several funding initiatives directed at early childhood education, including $500 million allocated for Title I preschool programs.  Additionally, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) provides $300 million in competitive grants to State educational agencies to raise the standard of quality for all programs.  Although SAFRA has not been introduced in the Senate yet, I will support the legislation when it comes to the floor.

As a mother of two young children, I know firsthand the importance that early childhood education plays in preparing our children for a lifetime of learning.  I have been a strong supporter of early childhood education initiatives during my time in Congress.  In the Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations for Labor-Health and Human Services, I joined my colleagues in requesting an additional $20 million in funding for early childhood professional development, as well as increasing the Head Startand Child Care and Development Block Grants by $1 billion each.  By investing in quality, research based education for our children at this early entry point, we lay the foundation for future successes.

Thank you again for writing to express your concerns, and I hope that you keep in touch with my office regarding future legislation and concerns you may have.  For more information on this and other important issues, please visit my website at http://gillibrand.senate.gov and sign up for my e-newsletter.

Sincerely yours,
Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senator