Children's Champions Update - July 28, 2015
- NAEYC applauds Senate passage of ECAA
- Senator Casey introduces Access to Healthy Foods for Young Children Act
- White House and Dept. of Education to host Read Where You Are Day
NAEYC Applauds Senate Passage of Every Child Achieves Act
The National Association for the Education of Young Children applauds the U.S. Senate on its passage of the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) last week. The No Child Left Behind Act is outdated and this bill would make important improvements to the current system. Expectations for the skills and knowledge needed for success have risen in our country and globally. All children need access to high quality early childhood education to ensure that students are entering elementary school prepared rather than playing catch-up from the beginning. The Senate bill would provide important support for early childhood education, in addition to promoting better alignment between early childhood education and elementary education. However, there is more work to be done to align and promote high quality systems of early learning, and we hope that the conference process includes provisions to further encourage this alignment and systems-building at the state and local levels. As Senator Casey proposed, the law should also include significant federal investments in expanding access to high quality early childhood education for more children in order to meet the expectations set out by the Senate bill itself and by our global economy to ensure that students, particularly low-income students, are ultimately college and career ready by the end of high school. NAEYC stands ready to work with Congress and the Administration to ensure strong investments in high quality early childhood education opportunities and systems in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Senator Casey Introduces Access to Healthy Foods for Young Children Act
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation this week to increase access to healthy foods for low-income children in child care. Currently, food assistance is available through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for children in communities where 50% of families are eligible for free and reduced lunches at school. This new legislation would lower the CACFP eligibility threshold to 40%, increasing the number of children who qualify. The bill would also allow for serving a third meal or snack at home- and center-based child care settings to children who attend more than 8 hours in a day, as well as increase the CACPF reimbursement rate for child care programs by 10 cents per child per meal. Additional provisions in the bill would increase the reimbursement rate for community sponsors of family child care programs by $5.00 per program per month, as well as provide a two- year fund for state agencies and the USDA to help successfully implement the CACFP program.
White House and U.S. Department of Education to host Read Where You Are Day
The White House and the Department of Education have announced a day of action to highlight the importance of reading during summer break so children will remain focused and ready to succeed in the next school year. Read Where You Are Day will take place on July 29, 2015. We encourage you to spread the word and encourage friends and family to read with young children! Learn more at www.ed.gov/readwhereyouare and spread the word on Twitter or Instagram with #ReadWhereYouAre (o #LeeDondeEstas en Español).