NAEYC Statement on the American Families Plan
Today, as the White House shares its American Families Plan, NAEYC honors early childhood educators working with children from birth through age 8 who can feel hopeful about the bold, substantial, and sustainable investments being proposed for early childhood education. We look forward to hearing and cheering as the President, in his first address to Congress, calls for an historic $425 billion in simultaneous investments for child care and preK, which—along with funding in the American Jobs Plan—are designed to build equity, quality, and supply of child care by advancing a supported and compensated early childhood education workforce in centers, schools, Head Starts, and homes.
By also prioritizing investments in community college, Pell grants, scholarships, wraparound supports, broadband access, and more, the American Families and Jobs Plans recognize the importance of supporting early childhood educators in having equitable access to degrees and credentials that respond to the science of early learning and lead to professional salaries.
With these investments in early childhood education, as well as additional funding for a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, investments in child nutrition, and a permanently expanded Child Care and Development Tax Credit, the American Families Plan focuses on what families need so that parents can have real support and real choices, and children can thrive and learn.
The American Rescue Plan provided critical relief to families and to child care programs that would have collapsed without an infusion of emergency funding provided by Congress and the administration. At the same time, child care relief is just the beginning of what's needed to recover and rebuild—and the investments proposed in the American Families Plan recognize and respond to the truth that we cannot go back to the crises and challenges of the past. These investments, and those being proposed in Congress, signal to states that the federal commitment to child care goes beyond relief funding and that it is past time to fix the structural issues that leave child care unaffordable for most families and early childhood educators earning poverty level wages.
We are grateful for the recognition of what our nation needs to begin funding early childhood education as the public good that is, and we look forward to working with educators, families, the Administration and Congress to make investments that create millions of new jobs, address long standing inequities, and build a renewed high-quality early childhood education system in which children, families, educators, and our economy thrive.