Early Learning Now
OUR FOCUS DURING THE 2021 GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION
- Support Governor Northam’s priorities in early education.
- Support fully the $85m budget package.
- Create dedicated funding to increase access for at-risk children.
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.