Reps Owens, Estes introduce early childhood education legislation

Today, U.S. Reps. Burgess Owens (UT-04) and Ron Estes (KS-04) introduced the Modernizing Financing of Early Care and Education in America Act of 2021,establishing a bipartisan commission to make recommendations to Congress on streamlining and reducing duplication in the financing of early care and education programs.

“We have a responsibility to establish high standards for quality early childhood education and care in America, with a focus on accelerating academic growth and supporting families,” said Rep. Owens. “The recommendations from this commission will be invaluable as we adopt affordable learning options, expanded parent choice, and a sustainable funding stream.”

“Raising children can be one of the most rewarding and challenging times in a person’s life, and making sure kids have a solid start is a critical first step in helping them grow and develop,” said Rep. Estes. “Streamlining programs and effectively utilizing federal dollars for early childhood education benefits parents and taxpayers alike, ensuring improved access and choice for high-quality services.”

Financing for childcare and early education in the United States involves multiple programs and funding streams, with different eligibility requirements, governance structures, and quality standards. This creates challenges to families and communities in navigating services and can lead to overlap, gaps in services, and wasteful spending.

The commission would consist of 12 members appointed respectively by the Senate Majority and Minority Leader, House Speaker, House Minority Leader, Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, Chair and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means; Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee, Chair and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor.