On Wednesday, December 10, the President focused attention on early childhood education and child care with the White House Early Learning Summit. The goal of the event was to build on recent work by the Administration over the last several years and to hopefully build momentum around early learning and get the word out about the importance of increased investments. President Obama unveiled Invest In US, a new initiative that will challenge public and private partners to build a better nation through high-quality early childhood education. The White House also released a factsheet as part of the event. Key actions promoted by the White House include:
- Over $330 million in new actions from corporate and philanthropic leaders to expand the reach and enhance the quality of early education for thousands of additional children.
- Up to $750 million in new federal grant awards announced by Secretaries Duncan and Burwell, to support early learning for over 63,000 additional children across the country. These investments will expand high-quality preschool or grow the supply of early care and education for infants and toddlers beginning next year.
- The launch of Invest in US, a new initiative created by the First Five Years Fund, a bipartisan non-profit organization, in partnership with private philanthropic leaders, in response to the President’s call for action.
- New private and philanthropic resources and support for Early Learning Communities, an initiative of Invest in US. Invest in US will connect communities and states interested in expanding early learning programs and opportunities with 10 leading partners that have committed to helping connect leaders with resources, planning grants, technical assistance, and other support for their youngest learners.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced how $250 million from the U.S. Department of Education under the Preschool Development Grants program will be distributed to 18 states to expand the reach of their high-quality preschool programs in over 200 high-need communities. States receiving the awards include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia.