AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – At a press conference on this morning, representatives statewide said they are working to ensure every child has access to affordable, high-quality early education programs, while strengthening an early childhood education workforce, will share and discuss why early childhood issues must remain a priority.
“From birth to age 3 is when a child’s brain is forming, and early education is key to future success,” says Dr. Bob Sanborn, president and CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK. “Data shows that children are left behind when quality child care is unavailable in their community. As a result, they aren’t prepared for kindergarten, and continue to fall behind throughout their academic years, and later in life.”
Said the announcement for the conference, “as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to wreak havoc on the economy and society, many child care providers are struggling to remain profitable. The disruption in the availability of child care naturally led to a dramatic increase in the number of child care deserts, which resulted in lost child care capacity. Our state faces many challenges going into the 87th Legislative Session, but at this crucial time, we cannot ignore this issue.”
“The economy of Texas will continue to thrive only if we have talented and educated people to move it forward,” says John Cullen, Partner, Capstar Partners. “Our best hope for productive citizens, long-term, is for our children to have a strong start to life. To do so, the state of Texas must improve access to affordable, quality child care. A good start is necessary for a successful educational journey. Right now, Texas has a unique opportunity to get this right. For the sake of our current and future employees and for the continued growth of our state, we simply can’t afford to let this opportunity go to waste.”
At the press conference, CHILDREN AT RISK (CAR) presented new data on child care closures in the various regions of the state, including the number of infant and toddler seats, and the number of quality seats available for children from low-income families. Said the announcement, “Along with our partners, CAR will provide insights on the needs and issues facing these regions, and encourage the Legislature to prioritize infants, toddlers, and their caregivers in the 87th Legislative session.”
Continued the announcement, “On Tuesday, March 9, 10:00 – 11:30am., CHILDREN AT RISK and our partners: Child Care Associates, Dallas Early Education Alliance, Early Matters, Texans Care for Children, Texas Association for the Education of Young Children, TexProtects, Success by 6 Austin/Travis Coalition, and YWCA El Paso del Norte Region invite all of Texas to attend the virtual 2021 Early Childhood Education Rally.”
This year’s Early Childhood Education Rally will be virtual on Zoom, and Facebook Live, instead of the South Steps of the Capitol. Legislators with established records of advocating for early childhood education will address participants about the importance of early childhood education, and legislation they are working on for the 87th Texas Legislative Session.
The Rally is set to conclude with a media Q&A session. Immediately following the Rally, at 11:05 am, business leaders and early childhood education experts will provide a 30-minute presentation on the early childhood education legislative priorities, and the importance of bills that have been filed.
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