“Next Door would like to thank Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Reps. George Miller, D-Calif., and Richard Hanna, R-N.Y. for their bi-partisan leadership to support our nation’s children. Their introduction of the Strong Start for America’s Children Act is an exciting opportunity for our nation to improve outcomes for low- and middle-income children and their families. Research is clear: wise investments in high-quality early childhood programming is proven to promote economic turnaround and growth. Children who receive high quality early childhood education are more likely to graduate from high school, to hold a job, to pay taxes and less likely to abuse drugs and go to prison. The Strong Start for America’s Children Act provides hope that more children will receive this early education, and start school with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in the 21st century.
Milwaukee has one of the highest child poverty rates in the entire country. The best chance we have to break the chain of poverty is by intervening early. As one of the largest service providers of Early Head Start and Head Start programs in the state, Next Door is committed to a birth to Kindergarten system that will provide accessible and comprehensive services for our most vulnerable children and families.
In the coming days, weeks and months, we encourage Milwaukee business leaders and citizens to contact our Senator and Representatives and urge them to co-sponsor the Strong Start for America’s Children Act. Investments in high-quality early childhood programming is a cost effective poverty reduction strategy and offers hope to children and their families for a brighter future.
We look forward to working with our local, state and federal early learning champions as this proposed legislation moves forward.”