By Diana Mendley Rauner, President
CHICAGO—The Ounce of Prevention Fund commends President Obama for prioritizing federal investments in our nation’s youngest children and their families via today’s release of the FY2016 Federal Budget Proposal. Through significant proposals on child care and early childhood education, the administration continues to champion early childhood education, proposing new investments that are crucial for solving our nation’s economic challenges.
In sum total, today’s budget proposal would invest well over $150 billion in child care and early childhood education programs around the country—$75 billion through the Pre-K for All proposal, $15 billion for home visiting programs, and another $80 billion for the Child Care Development Fund. This proposal is an important starting point for budget negotiations, and recognizes what experts, researchers and advocates have long known—prioritizing early childhood programs should be a fiscal priority on all levels of government. These are research-proven strategies and programs that we know work.
We at the Ounce see first-hand what adequate funding for quality early childhood programs can do to help set low-income children on a path to success, helping break the cycle of poverty. The president’s budget proposal is an important recognition that the greatest chance to set a child up for lifelong success is to invest in them starting at, or before, birth. Targeted investments in children from birth to age 5—in their health, education and social well-being—yield immense returns for our economy through reduced social costs, better health outcomes and greater likelihood of success in school and career.
We are thrilled that investing in children starting at birth has become a national priority, but we recognize the hard work ahead. We look forward to working with all policymakers to help ensure that these funds reach America’s children and families.
About the Ounce of Prevention Fund
The Ounce of Prevention Fund is a private-public partnership dedicated to providing all children—especially those from low income families—with high-quality early childhood experiences from birth to age 5. The Ounce aims to be the nation’s trusted source for early childhood research and program models that focus on the physical, social and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. To give children and families most in-need the best chance for success, the Ounce develops programs, conducts research, trains educators and strongly advocates for early childhood education. Our early childhood programs, such as Educare, have created national models of high-quality early childhood education, ensuring that more children have access to opportunities best suited for their future success.