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Push for Preschool for CA Kids

PHOTO: The Strong Start for America's Children Act was introduced Wednesday in the U.S. Senate. The federal legislation would expand critical access to high-quality early learning programs for children from birth through age five. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Education.
PHOTO: The Strong Start for America's Children Act was introduced Wednesday in the U.S. Senate. The federal legislation would expand critical access to high-quality early learning programs for children from birth through age five. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Education.
November 14, 2013

LOS ANGELES - There's a push in Washington to get more California children into preschool. The Strong Start for America's Children Act would expand critical access to high-quality early learning programs for children from birth through age five.

According to CEO Celia Ayala of the Los Angeles Universal Preschool, the bipartisan bill would expand and improve the quality of early care and education for children in California and across the country.

"It is imperative that socially, emotionally, and cognitively, children be provided with the appropriate preparation to enter Kindergarten," she declared.

The legislation builds on President Obama's Preschool for All proposal announced in his State of the Union address. The bill would help states fund preschool for all four-year-olds from low-income families, as well as expand early learning opportunities for kids from birth to age five.

Ayala said the first few years of a child's life are critical to his or her future success.

"We know the importance in terms of the articulation and transition from birth to five years old and the importance of the learning that happens and the investment that is taking place and the future payoffs," she said.

The bill is authored by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, California Representative George Miller and New York Representative Richard Hanna. Children's advocate and actress Jennifer Garner also helped launch the legislation on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

More information is at LAUP.net. LAUP is funded in part by First 5 LA.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA