Date Issued: April 17, 2015
ESEA Reauthorization Passes Senate
It is a big week for early childhood in Congress!
On Thursday, the House Appropriations Subcommitee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) passed a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), known as the Every Child Achieves Act. On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill that will continue funding for two years for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV).
As a part of the ESEA reauthorization, the Senate HELP Committee approved a new competitive grant program for states to invest in early learning. This a great step towards creating a continuum for early childhood education and the early grades. NAEYC applauds the bipartisan leadership of Senators Alexander, Murray, Isakson and Casey on this issue.
The extension of MIECHV is another major success and will provide grants to states to help support voluntary home visiting. The program offers vital services to children and families, such as literacy and early education, family counseling, child abuse prevention, medical services, and much more. The legislation also extended the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is a crucial source of medical insurance coverage for children in working families whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but also too little to purchase private insurance.
NAEYC congratulates Congress for their bipartisanship and passing legislation that plays a key role in offering young children the stability and support they need thrive in a society that ensures they reach their full potential.