300,000 Children on the Brink of Losing Services
Why does Early Childhood Development currently head RESULTS’ campaigns for reducing poverty in the U.S.? Consider this: Child care fees for two children in a child care center exceeded annual median rent and mortgage payments in 18 states in 2009, according to Danielle Ewen of CLASP. That puts child care out of reach for many of the families most in need of it.
Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care assistance for low-income working families provide access to affordable, quality early childhood development services at a critical time in children’s and families’ lives. They help children develop the “real skills needed to thrive in school and society,” as Ewen says, such as physical well-being and social, emotional, motor, and language development. The programs have also been proven to make a huge difference in reducing child abuse and teen pregnancy, and in increasing high school graduation and earning potential. And, of course, they enable parents to work to support their families.
RESULTS has long advocated for Head Start, Early Head Start, and childcare programs because we know that they attack the root causes of poverty and are key to a smarter, healthier, and stronger America. However, budget cuts are threatening that success once again. Some 300,000 children and their families will lose these services on March 5 if Congress doesn’t allocate new funding to sustain current levels of Head Start, Early Head Start and child care services (the programs got a boost in 2009 stimulus funds that are set to expire March 4).
Your personal letters and meetings with members of Congress can make the difference. Remember the three things members of Congress want to hear from constituents: Your reason for supporting a bill or issue; specific information about a bill’s impact on your district or state; and a personal story related to the issue. For #2, you can include data from CLASP’s state fact sheets.