by Steve Barnett and Ellen Frede, NIEER Co-directors NIEER Policy Brief (1/8/09)
At the request of the president-elect’s transition team, NIEER Co-directors W. Steven Barnett and Ellen Frede developed federal policy proposals, including suggestions for a stimulus plan that would help create jobs and provide adequate child care for those working parents filling those jobs. According to Barnett and Frede, federal early childhood policy changes are an essential element of an effective stimulus plan focused on job creation. Specific recommendations submitted by Barnett and Frede included:
- Invest in early learning programs that provide child care as part of the Economic Recovery Plan over two years:
- (1) $15 billion in construction for 0-5 facilities, and;
- (2) up to $3 billion in matching funds to states to maintain or increase their spending on early childhood education, 0-5.
- Increase the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Head Start/Early Head Start appropriations to provide cost-of-living increases, raise quality, expand coverage and fund collaborations.
- Create a presidential Early Learning Council to coordinate major federal programs for early learning and child care and to facilitate federal-state cooperation.