U.S. Secretaries Arne Duncan and Kathleen Sebelius to Discuss Need for High-Quality Early Learning Programs at National Head Start Association Conference

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will give remarks at the National Head Start Association's 40th annual Head Start Conference on Friday, May 3, in National Harbor, Md. Their remarks will focus on the role of Head Start in the President's early-learning plan, and the continued partnership between the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services to expand high-quality early learning. A question-and-answer session will follow. The four-day conference-"Securing Our Success: Kids Ready for School and Life!"-began on Tuesday, April 30, and will conclude this Friday.

The Administration is committed to making significant investments in early learning from birth through age 5. President Obama's early learning agenda will support states and communities in expanding high-quality early learning through home visitation programs and new funding for Early Head Start – Child Care partnerships. A proposed $1.4 billion investment will double the number of children ages birth through 3 served in settings that meet the Early Head Start quality standards.

Building on the state investments in preschool programs, the President is proposing $75 billion over 10 years to create new partnerships with states to provide high-quality preschool for all 4-year olds. An additional $750 million would provide competitive grants to states to strengthen their early learning systems. Combined, the proposal will raise the quality of all early learning programs and will align current investments, including home visitation, to create a birth to 5 pipeline of services and support that prepares children for kindergarten and beyond.