DE Governor’s Weekly Message 7/24/2016

Expanding Access to High-Quality Early Learning Programs

: Delaware Governor Jack A. Markell Weekly Message

The first few years of a child’s life are crucial to his or her success. That’s why one of our top goals has been giving all Delaware families access to high-quality early learning programs and why I made early childhood funding one of my top budget priorities this year. It supports social and emotional development, helps even the playing field for children across socio-economic levels, and puts all kids on the path to meeting their full potential. The efforts of state leaders, advocates, and, most importantly, teachers and other staff are paying off. Today, more than 70 percent of low-income children are enrolled in our highest quality pre-schools, up from 5 percent in 2011. More than 120 programs now receive the highest rating of 5 Stars, up from just 24 in 2012. And we’ve made significant investments in professional development for teachers, better classroom materials, and early intervention to detect children’s needs. This week we celebrated an additional investment, a $7 million federal grant Delaware won to keep increasing access for families who need the most support – and in communities where our deficit of quality early learning opportunities is the greatest. At the Sussex Tech childcare center, I saw how this grant has helped enroll more students, expand teacher education, and secure needed classroom materials and equipment. At seven centers statewide this funding is also connecting families with needs assessments and referrals to services that help keep their kids growing healthy and strong. These efforts show how Delaware and the Obama Administration’s historic investments in early learning can make immediate and lasting change in the lives of our children. By continuing to live up to those commitments, we’ll create bright futures for our kids, and we’ll keep Delaware moving forward.

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One thought on “DE Governor’s Weekly Message 7/24/2016”

  1. State “early learning programs” are an abject failure.

    The best “early learning” for a young child is the safety and security of a loving, intact family.

    The state cannot fix a cultural problem.

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