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President Obama Announces Over $1 Billion in Early Education Investments

President Obama Announces Over $1 Billion in Early Education Investments

At the White House Summit on Early Education, President Barack Obama called on the public to invest in the expansion of early childhood opportunities for children across the country.

Obama called the program “Invest in US”, which is “a public awareness campaign launched in partnership with the First Five Years Fund and its philanthropic partners,” according to a press release.

The release said that already, “dozens of corporations, foundations and individuals have agreed to dedicate a greater ongoing percentage of their philanthropy to expanding high quality early childhood programs and research as a strategy for achieving better education, health, social and economic outcomes, with commitments currently totaling more than $333 million.”

President Obama, said the release, “also announced over $750 million in federal funding for early learning programs through the Preschool Development Grants and Early Head Start-Child Care [EHS-CC] Partnerships, totaling more than $1 billion in critical investments in early childhood education announced today.”

"These champions of early childhood education are contributing toward new efforts across the country that will bring more children a critical opportunity for success in school and in life," said Kris Perry, the executive director of the First Five Years Fund, an establishing partner of the campaign in the release. "But there's still too many children in America that enter school not ready to learn, including more than half of disadvantaged children. That's why government at all levels, business leaders, philanthropy and the early childhood community must come together and continue to make investments that give all kids a strong start. That's what Invest in US is all about."

Invest in US, the release said, “comes on the heels of growing public and private investment in early childhood development. It celebrates past efforts, provides visibility to current commitments and will live on to encourage greater federal, state, local and philanthropic funding and collaboration. In addition to the over $333 million in new private funding, 22 communities and states have committed to making early childhood programs a policy priority, and more than 40 advocacy organizations have announced their ongoing support of the campaign.”

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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