Bill Expanding Access to High-Quality Preschool Introduced
Senate HELP Chairman Tom Harkin (D) and Reps. George Miller (D) and Richard Hanna (R) introduced the Strong Start for Children Act on November 13th, aimed at expanding access to high-quality, full-day preschool for 4-year-olds from low- to moderate-income families. Professor Heckman immediately stated his support for the bill, noting that early childhood educational policies such as this bill are socially fair and economically efficient. He also added that "policymakers can promote [the bill's] success by staying true to a few essential principles: focus on disadvantaged families, start at birth, integrate health, develop cognitive and character skills, and encourage local innovation in quality programs from birth to age five." Organizations such as ReadyNation, the First Five Years Fund, First Focus, the Center for American Progress, and the National Institute for Early Education Research also made their support known as the discussion kicked off.