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More Virginia children have access to early childhood education than ever

walk to school
(© Angelov – stock.adobe.com)

Since 2018, the Northam administration has more than doubled investments in public pre-K and is now serving an historic number of 3- and 4-year-olds this school year.

Last week, Gov. Ralph Northam announced his budget includes a new investment of $225 million for early childhood education.

“Pam and I firmly believe there is power in every child,” Northam said. “Investing in early childhood education is an investment in the workforce of today and tomorrow—parents can get back to work and children can prepare for the bright futures ahead of them.”

“Increasing access to quality early learning programs provides a launchpad to success,” said First Lady Pamela Northam. “We want to ensure each of Virginia’s little learners have the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

Earlier this year, Gov. Northam signed House Bill 2206, sponsored by House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, which expanded the Child Care Subsidy Program to include a new short-term eligibility category for parents seeking financial assistance for quality child care. Back in July, Northam extended the program until the end of December.

Northam has further extended the program, so families can now apply through May 31, 2022. Go to ChildCareVA.com to apply and learn more.

The Child Care Subsidy Program is an early childhood care program that has been temporarily expanded for parents with children 5 and younger and a household income less than 85 percent of state median income. The program has resulted in nearly 30,000 children accessing quality, affordable early learning opportunities, exceeding pre-pandemic participation. That means more parents can go to work or attend school, which keeps Virginia’s economy moving forward.

“Surging enrollment in this program is evidence of the great need for quality child care options as Virginia’s economy continues to add jobs,” Filler-Corn said. “I know, as a mother myself, that parents want what is best for their children. This extension will provide relief for families who need it most.”


augusta free press
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