Results of Our Work = BIG Wins for Kids
The Early Learning NOW Campaign delivers BIG WINS for Virginia’s children. We fight for policy change & increased state investment for ALL children to have access to high quality early learning programs through third grade. Sign up at vaearlyed.org to be an advocate.
2021 General Assembly Session
- E3 leads advocacy for early education through the Early Learning NOW campaign.
- $85m for early learning previously unallocated from the 2020 budget is fully restored.
- 40% of the net profit from the sale of marijuana provides dedicated funding for over 20,000 at-risk children to have access to high-quality early learning programs. This could result in $80-$120m in dedicated funding.
- $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.
Join the movement. Deliver BIG WINS for kids. vaearlyed.org
Early Education Matters
E3 launched the Early Education Matters advocacy campaign and nonpartisan coalition to advance our legislative priorities. The campaign and growing coalition worked to advance early education for all children in the areas of access, equity, quality and impact.
The General Assembly passed the state budget for the 2020-2022 biennium with a historic investment of $85 million in early education for Virginia children. Specifically, this budget includes funding for:
- Transitioning early education from the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE).
- Increasing access to quality for all children in publicly funded programs.
- Improving quality in the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) for at-risk children.
- Expanding VPI to three-year-olds through a mixed-delivery program.
- Increasing the VPI per pupil amount.
- Aligning the health, safety (currently 727 regulations) and quality standards for licensed programs under VDOE.
- Providing support to attract and retain early childhood educators.
Special note: This legislation moves policy in the right direction to improve access, quality and equity for Virginia’s children and families. Sadly, the budget amendments proposed by the governor unallot the $85m to support the historic early education investments and all new funding given the economic uncertainty and the need for a revenue reforecast.