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20 U.S. Code § 9401 - Purposes

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The purposes of this chapter are—
to increase the availability of voluntary programs, services, and activities that support early childhood development, increase parent effectiveness, and promote the learning readiness of young children so that young children enter school ready to learn;
to support parents, child care providers, and caregivers who want to incorporate early learning activities into the daily lives of young children;
to remove barriers to the provision of an accessible system of early childhood learning programs in communities throughout the United States;
to increase the availability and affordability of professional development activities and compensation for caregivers and child care providers; and
to facilitate the development of community-based systems of collaborative service delivery models characterized by resource sharing, linkages between appropriate supports, and local planning for services.
Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Short Title; Findings

Pub. L. 106–554, § 1(a)(1) [title VIII, § 801], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2763, 2763A–79, provided that:

“(a) Short Title.—
This title [enacting this chapter] may be cited as the ‘Early Learning Opportunities Act’.
“(b) Findings.—Congress finds that—
medical research demonstrates that adequate stimulation of a young child’s brain between birth and age 5 is critical to the physical development of the young child’s brain;
parents are the most significant and effective teachers of their children, and they alone are responsible for choosing the best early learning opportunities for their child;
parent education and parent involvement are critical to the success of any early learning program or activity;
the more intensively parents are involved in their child’s early learning, the greater the cognitive and noncognitive benefits to their children;
many parents have difficulty finding the information and support the parents seek to help their children grow to their full potential;
each day approximately 13,000,000 young children, including 6,000,000 infants or toddlers, spend some or all of their day being cared for by someone other than their parents;
quality early learning programs, including those designed to promote effective parenting, can increase the literacy rate, the secondary school graduation rate, the employment rate, and the college enrollment rate for children who have participated in voluntary early learning programs and activities;
early childhood interventions can yield substantial advantages to participants in terms of emotional and cognitive development, education, economic well-being, and health, with the latter two advantages applying to the children’s families as well;
participation in quality early learning programs, including those designed to promote effective parenting, can decrease the future incidence of teenage pregnancy, welfare dependency, at-risk behaviors, and juvenile delinquency for children;
several cost-benefit analysis studies indicate that for each $1 invested in quality early learning programs, the Federal Government can save over $5 by reducing the number of children and families who participate in Federal Government programs like special education and welfare;
for children placed in the care of others during the workday, the low salaries paid to the child care staff, the lack of career progression for the staff, and the lack of child development specialists involved in early learning and child care programs, make it difficult to attract and retain the quality of staff necessary for a positive early learning experience;
“(12) Federal Government support for early learning has primarily focused on out-of-home care programs like those established under the Head Start Act [42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.], the Child Care and Development Block Grant [Act] of 1990 [42 U.S.C. 9857 et seq.], and part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [20 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.], and these programs—
serve far fewer than half of all eligible children;
are not primarily designed to provide support for parents who care for their young children in the home; and
lack a means of coordinating early learning opportunities in each community; and
by helping communities increase, expand, and better coordinate early learning opportunities for children and their families, the productivity and creativity of future generations will be improved, and the Nation will be prepared for continued leadership in the 21st century.”