In the 2015 State of the Union Address this week, President Obama maintained his commitment to supporting access to high-quality early childhood programs. He mentioned the phrase “child care” eight times in his speech, making the connection between affordable care to other workforce ideas like paid sick time and maternity leave.
“In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality childcare more than ever. It’s not a nice-to-have – it’s a must-have. It’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.”
The State of the Union address illustrated a growing recognition of the value of investing in quality early childhood programs. Child care has consistently been a focus of this administration, from the White House Summit on Early Education in December 2014, to reauthorizing the Child Care and Development Block Grant, to an increase in federal funding for programs across the country. But there is still much work to be done.
As our own North Carolina General Assembly begins their work this session, we urge them to continue to advance the availability, affordability and quality of our nationally recognized early education system. Early childhood education has a lasting impact on later learning, health and success in school and in life. Early childhood education strengthens our economy and workforce by promoting productivity growth and job creation in the near term and cultivating a better future workforce. We know that early childhood education is one of the best investments we can make.
North Carolina’s multi-faceted system must be sustained to protect public investments, ensure program quality, and guarantee future results for young children, their families and communities, and our economy. Please click here to sign up for our advocacy e-alerts to find out how you can be a champion for young children in Durham.