With all the activity surrounding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, it’s easy to miss all of the other bills being introduced and debated in the United States Congress. We found that several of these new bills relate directly to early education. Here are 5 Federal bills to watch:
1. S.210/H.R.460– The Right Start Child Care and Education Act of 2009. This bill-which was introduced in both houses-seeks to encourage businesses to invest in early education by increasing employer tax credits for expenditures on child care and for businesses that open workplace child care facilities. The bill also offers incentives to those who work in child care facilities and those that obtain child care degrees.
2. H.R.702– The Providing Resources Early for Kids Act of 2009 (or PRE-K Act). This bill would provide competitive early education grants under the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) of 1965.
3. S.206-The Early Education Act of 2009. This bill would create a program to help states expand their education system to include at least one year of early education before kindergarten. This bill would be enacted through an amendment to the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) of 1965.
4. H.R.555– The Universal Prekindergarten Act. This bill would create competitive grants for states that offer (or will offer) prekindergarten programs that are universally accessible, full-day, available for 3-5 year olds, and year round.
5. S.240– The Ready to Learn Act. This bill would provide competitive grants to states that provide or create full day, voluntary prekindergarten programs to 4 year olds.