AP NEWS

LETTER: Support quality early-childhood programs

April 9, 2019

As a preschool teacher for HeadStart for 23 years in my community, I have seen how quality care can give children a strong start in life. That’s why I’m encouraging our Congressman Steve King to help more children thrive by investing in high-quality early-childhood programs. Research shows that quality child care is critical because most of a child’s brain develops during their first five years of life. Children in our care spend their days in a stimulating educational environment, and as a result are emotionally prepared for kindergarten and are more likely to graduate high school.

I’ve experienced firsthand how prioritizing learning from the start sets our little ones up for future success. Unfortunately, quality child care is unaffordable or unattainable for too many families. That’s why I am encouraging Congressman King to help increase funding for the federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which helps low-and middle-income families afford high-quality care.

I’ve seen over and over again the impact early learning can have on our kids, their families, and the community as a whole. I know the investment is a proactive, smart choice for our community. If more families in Iowa can access high-quality child care, we will all witness the benefits for years to come. - Jennifer Cooke, Sioux City