A Slam Dunk for Our Children!

Dear Advocates,

The 2021 General Assembly wrapped up this week.  YOU made sure that our early learners, parents, teachers and programs were a top priority.

Budget Recap

  • $11.1m to increase the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) per pupil amount from $6,326 in FY21 to $7,655 in FY22 to improve quality
  • $5m in FY22 to recruit and retain early educators (Early Educator Recruitment and Retention Incentives)
  • $444k to increase access for 3-year-olds
  • $642k to allow flexibility for early learning programs (class sizes, ratios, and meeting the needs of working families)
  • $205k for the Deputy Superintendent of Early Childhood position in the Department of Education (DOE) to oversee early learning and provide leadership
  • $300k to expand the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) to preschool classrooms
  • $300k to eliminate waitlists in VPI
  • $36m for the G3 program (part of the funds will support early educator workforce training)
  • Language to increase access through partnerships between private programs and school divisions
  • Language to expand access for special education children in VPI


  • Dedicated funding for over 20,000 at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds to have access to quality early learning programs
  • Temporary expansion of access to the federal Child Care Subsidy Program for middle income families ($52.5m included in federal funding allocations)
  • Extended portability of background checks for early education program personnel to five years, and establishing a two-year pilot program to emphasize quality for provider contracts with DOE

Thank you for all of YOUR calls, emails and text messages to legislators.  Your voices were heard and more children will have equitable access to quality early learning programs.

The impact of COVID on our children, families and programs deeply concerns us.  We must tackle the reading, learning and readiness gaps.  This requires building on this session’s success long into the future.

Over the next few weeks, you will hear more about how E3: Elevate Early Education and the Early Learning NOW campaign plan to build widespread support to make that happen.  The first ever polling on early learning in Virginia sheds insights on where we need to go.  We look forward to sharing more soon!

With gratitude,


Lisa Howard
President & CEO of E3: Elevate Early Education
& The New E3 School

Invest in our Children!