U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will join Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius at 10 a.m. ET on Friday, March 1 for a visit to Rolling Terrace Elementary School in Takoma Park, Md. Secretaries Duncan and Sebelius will visit preschool and Head Start classrooms, talk with children and teachers and visit the Student Health Clinic. Their visit will highlight the importance of early learning to help children enter school prepared for success and eventually to graduate and move on to college and careers. As programs across the country face damaging cuts from sequestration, the Cabinet secretaries will speak about how early childhood education is one of the best investments we can make in America’s future.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to expand access to high-quality preschool to every child in America. As part of that effort, the President proposed a series of new investments to establish a continuum of high-quality early learning, from birth to age 5. These proposals would invest critical resources where we know the return on our dollar is the highest: in our youngest children.
The President’s proposals include providing high-quality preschool for every child through a federal-state partnership and encouraging states to expand the availability of full-day kindergarten; expanding high-quality early learning opportunities in the years before preschool through investment in a new Early Head Start-Child Care partnership; and extending and expanding evidence-based, voluntary home visiting which enable nurses, parent educators, social workers and other professionals to connect families to services and educational support that will improve a child’s health, development and ability to learn.