Last week the U.S. Senate had a near unanimous approval of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). The CCDBG is vital to economically at-risk families and to our programs because it is the primary funding source for our children who receive government assistance to attend our programs.
“This is an important milestone as it [CCDBG] includes provisions for enhanced continuity of care, funding for quality, and improved health and safety standards,” said Dr. Elanna Yalow, CEO of Knowledge Universe Early Learning Programs, who recently spoke to the Senate about the importance of CCDBG and its effects on early childhood education. “Your voices were heard in D.C. on behalf of the children and families we serve.”
During her testimony to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Elanna represented all ECE providers when she emphasized the importance of confronting “…the practical realities of translating policy into educational excellence.” Elanna spoke about KU’s comprehensive approach to ECE: our Early Foundations curriculum, our commitment to quality through accreditation, and the impact of our programs as evidenced by research efforts such as the Maryland study.
“With so much attention and focus on a child’s earliest years, it is critical that we get our policies right,” Elanna said during her testimony. “It’s important that our investments:
- focus on the children who will benefit most;
- are fiscally responsible and sustainable;
- keep an eye toward possible adverse consequences of well-intentioned efforts;
- promote continuous program improvement and quality;
- recognize and respect that we cannot afford to displace the many qualified, experienced, and dedicated teachers already serving out youngest citizens;
- continue to support and respect parental choice to meet the needs of individual children and families.
“I was honored to represent Knowledge Universe and our families, children, teachers, and all of our employees when testifying,” said Elanna. “The opportunity to inform and influence the policy decisions about how best to support children and families was one of the highlights of my career. It is important for every employee at Knowledge Universe to know how important our work is to this dialogue. We have the opportunity to impact the lives of tens of thousands of children every day, and it is only because of the positive difference that we make that our voice is heard in Washington and beyond.”
You can see Elanna’s full testimony here.
Now the bill goes to the House.
Thank you to everyone who wrote to their Senators to emphasize the importance of the CCDBG reauthorization. Your voices were heard.