Bill would better prepare principals and education leaders as states expand publicly funded pre-kindergarten programs
WASHINGTON— U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation to prepare principals, superintendents, and other school leaders to facilitate high-quality early childhood education programs in school districts. TheCreating Early Childhood Leaders Act would provide school leaders with the tools and training to support early childhood educators.
“The importance of early childhood development cannot be overstated,” Senator Romney said. “These are critical years for a child’s brain development and it is absolutely essential that leaders in our school districts are adequately prepared to support early childhood development teachers and programs. That’s what this common-sense, bipartisan legislation seeks to accomplish: ensure our educational leaders in Utah have the necessary resources and training, in hopes that we will more effectively support the early development of our next generation.”
“As states expand access to early childhood education programs, we must ensure that our school districts are prepared to support children in these fundamental years,” said Senator Casey. “The science is clear: when children learn more earlier in life, they earn more later. The Creating Early Childhood Leaders Act helps to support the emotional, social, and academic development of young children in Pennsylvania and across the Nation.”
This legislation would amend Title II of the Higher Education Act by requiring school leadership programs receiving federal Teacher Quality Partnership grants to include training on early childhood development and effective instructional leadership for children from birth through age eight. This change would ensure school leaders are able to effectively support pre-kindergarten teachers in developing appropriate instruction and assist pre-kindergarten students through the transition from early to elementary education.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and researchers have found that critical brain development occurs in children’s first years. As such, early emotional, social, and physical development can significantly affect a child’s long-term academic achievement and overall well-being. Given the importance of these formative years, the Creating Early Childhood Leaders Act would ensure that all elementary educators understand the unique process of development that occurs during early childhood and are able to support these young learners to reach their full potential.
The Creating Early Childhood Leaders Act is supported by The Education Trust, National Association of Elementary School Principals, Bipartisan Policy Center, First Five Years Fund, ZERO TO THREE, National Association for the Education of Young Children, and New America.