U.S. Secretaries Duncan and Sebelius to Discuss Need for High-Quality Early Learning Programs at National Institute For Early Education Research Event

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will participate in a panel discussion at the National Institute for Early Education Research’s (NIEER) release of The State of Preschool Yearbook 2012 on Monday, April 29, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Vanguard Chairman Emeritus Jack Brennan and NIEER Director Steve Barnett will join Duncan and Sebelius on the panel. A question-and-answer session will follow.

The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services are working together to significantly expand and improve the quality of early learning services to young children. At Monday’s event, Duncan and Sebelius will discuss the Administration’s early learning proposal, NIEER’s findings on the state of preschool programs, and the economic and moral imperatives to expand high-quality early learning.

President Obama is committed to making significant investments in early learning from birth through age 5. His 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 will 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 age 5 pipeline of services and support that prepares children for kindergarten and beyond.