Every child deserves a strong start to be successful in school and in life and getting there involves more than a small sprint. To highlight the importance of expanding child care and early opportunities, NWLC and MomsRising teamed up to host “Miles Ahead for Early Learning”, a relay race on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

Leaders from Congress and the Administration joined advocates and children on a sunny September morning to call for increased federal investments in child care and early learning programs. Deputy  Assistant Secretary Libby Doggett at the Department of Education , Senators Bob Casey, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tim Kaine, and Patty Murray, along with Representatives Joe Crowley, Rosa DeLauro, Grace Meng, Jared Polis, David Price, and Bobby Scott all sent a clear message: investments in early learning and child care are investments in our current and future workforce.

NWLC staff with Senator Patty Murray, a former preschool teacher who knows how important it is to give kids a strong start in life.

Representative Bobby Scott called for investments in early learning so that we can create a  “cradle to career pipeline”.

Representative Grace Meng knows that child care and early learning set kids up for success from start to finish.

Senator Tim Kaine played “You Are My Sunshine” on the harmonica.

Rep Joe Crowley knows that when it comes to securing our children’s education, “this is a race we can’t afford to lose”.

NWLC’s Helen Blank and Donna Norton from MomsRising with Representative Jared Polis and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education Libby Doggett.

With Congress back from summer recess to work on the budget, it’s time for lawmakers to lace up their sneakers and hit the ground running with investments in child care and early learning.  Send a message to your Members of Congress: it’s time to get #Ahead4EarlyEd.