Access to High-Quality Early Childhood Education for American Families
Sponsored by Rep. Lorenzo Sierra (AZ)
Reported to the Caucus by the NHCSL Education Task Force
Sen. Dominick Moreno (CO), Chair
Unanimously approved by the NHCSL Executive Committee on behalf of the entire Caucus on October 21, 2021
WHEREAS, Latinos currently account for just under a million births per year, about one-fourth of births in the United States; and,
WHEREAS, the first six years (0–5) are critical in the overall development in young children, as this is the time where learning capacity is highest; and,
WHEREAS, decades of studies have shown that low-income children enrolled in high-quality early childhood education (sometimes referred to as preschool, including Pre-K) are more likely to achieve a higher level of education, income, socioeconomic status and health insurance coverage and have lower rates of justice-system involvement and substance abuse later in life; and,
WHEREAS, multiple studies have shown that investing in high-quality early childhood education yields significant return on investment, with studies showing anywhere from $4 to $12 returned for every $1 invested, leading to savings in public services not accessed and higher earning potential for early childhood education students; and,
WHEREAS, preschool aged Latinos are the least likely, among all ethnic and racial groups, to be enrolled in a high-quality early childhood education program, with the main reasons being lack of affordability, lack of availability in the community, or having an undocumented-immigrant family member; and,
WHEREAS, the federal preschool development block grant program operates as a competition program, leading to uncertainty in long term planning for states in providing and funding early childhood education for low-income families; and,
WHEREAS, President Biden has promised to enact federal policies to fund universal early childhood education options for all families.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators calls on the United States Congress and the President to enact a framework for high-quality early childhood education options for all American families, including funding so that all low-income families can have free or fairly subsidized access to high-quality early childhood education options.
ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE EDUCATION TASK FORCE, AT THE REQUEST OF THE CHAIR, AND PURSUANT TO THE IMMEDIATE NEEDS PROCESS OF THE NHCSL BYLAWS, THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE GAVE FINAL APPROVAL TO THIS RESOLUTION AT ITS VIRTUAL MEETING ON OCTOBER 21, 2021.