Bill to Revamp Early Child Ed.

State To Compete For Fed Grants

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, a member of the Senate Education Committee, announced that legislation he co-sponsored requiring a thorough review of early childhood education programs in New York day care centers has been approved by the full legislature.

“Early childhood education kickstarts a child’s academic journey, and is proven to ensure greater success later on in school,” said Addabbo, noting that the legislation (S.5650) was drafted with an eye towards securing federal funding for improvements in New York’s day care system. “Taking a good hard look at our current day care education programs, and seeing what we’re doing right and what we could be doing even better, is an important investment in our future.”

Under the legislation, the state Education Department, Office of Children and Family Services and state Health Department would collaborate on an analysis of existing early childhood education being offered in day care programs for kids up to age five.

This study would examine existing state childhood education regulations, look at educational and training requirements for day care employees, evaluate health and social services available in day care settings, and review all funding streams available for these programs.

Addabbo noted that there is a nationwide movement to improve early childhood education, part of which has resulted in the Obama administration’s Early Learning Challenge Fund. This fund, which offers competitive grants to states, is intended to eliminate the school readiness gap in young children and to provide kids up to age five with an early start in education.

“New York State applied for $100 million last year from the Early Learning Challenge Fund, and we didn’t make the cut,” said Addabbo. “But by undertaking a top-tobottom review of our state’s early childhood education programs in day care centers, we can take a big step towards getting ourselves in the running and demonstrating New York’s commitment to giving our kids a quality, early start on the path to becoming successful, productive adults.”

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