Updated: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Visit Early Learning Center Near Richmond, VA.

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will hold an event today at the New Bridge Learning Center, near Richmond. Va., where he will detail how President Obama’s proposal to expand access to high-quality early education opportunities will benefit children in Virginia.

The President, in an effort to help all children begin school on a level playing field, put forward in his 2014 budget request an historic new investment in early learning that would make preschool available to all 4-year-olds from low-income families; expand evidence-based home-visiting services for vulnerable families and children; and support quality improvements through a new Early Head Start-Child Care partnership. At today’s event, Secretary Duncan will highlight how the President’s plan would specifically help Virginia’s children.

While at the New Bridge Learning Center, Duncan will spotlight the comprehensive services that are provided to 110 at-risk preschool children and their families. More than 80 percent of the students qualify for free and reduced lunches.  Each classroom at the center is comprised of 18 students, a teacher trained in early childhood education and an instructional assistant. Students attend school five days a week, a little over 6 hours a day.