Thursday, September 20, 2012

Devastating Cuts on the Horizon for Our Littlest Learners

Like most parents, for me, September signals the end of the summer and getting back into the
swing of things. And while we’re checking homework, packing school lunches, and going to
school open houses, Members of Congress are getting back to work too, talking to constituents
and other Congressmen and women to figure out priorities.

One big issue looms: the national budget. Unless Congress finds a solution to our nation’s debt
problem by Jan. 1, there will be across-the-board cuts to all federal programs. This is bad news.
In Washington State, an all-cuts approach would mean programs like Working Connections
Child Care, a program that provides childcare to low-income Washington parents and is mainly
funded by federal money, would be cut. A cut to programs like Working Connections Child Care
would be a devastating blow to families like mine who depend on it in order to work or go to
school and create a better future for our children. Also on the chopping block is Head Start. Head Start is a vital preschool program to children of low income families, and those with disabilities. 

My child, who was found to need special education services when she was 3, was able to have access to Head Start. After 1.5 years in the program she started kindergarten with no need for special education services.
The comprehensive, whole-child preschool approach made a tremendous difference in the life of my
child and thousands like her. However, many children who need early learning don’t have access to it. If
Congress doesn’t find a solution, 1,400 kids in Washington state would be cut from Head Start. It would
be detrimental to the future of the children in our lives.

We need to continue to invest in our families and littlest learners. Let’s stand together and
tell Congress we cannot afford across-the-board cuts. Contact your U.S. representative and
senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Let them know a budget solution
by Jan. 1 is the only way to avoid shortchanging our children with unfair cuts to programs that
really work. Demand their action now to support our kids’ success.

1 comment:

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