Early care and education is gaining increased attention from federal, state, and local policy makers and among the broader public. Policy makers are implementing new early learning programs, discussing and debating renewal and revision of existing programs, and proposing significant expansion of early learning investments. The following is a roadmap of new and proposed federal policies and initiatives that can support and improve early care and education for infants and toddlers. These initiatives are important given how critical the earliest years are to young children’s development and future success. Infants’ and toddlers’ early experiences in and out of the home set the foundation for their later growth and learning. Stable infant and toddler care is also essential for
parents trying to get and keep a job so they can support their families. Yet high-quality infant and toddler care is often extremely hard to find and too costly for parents trying to make ends meet. The new and proposed initiatives would help address these gaps in the availability of high-quality infant and toddler care. However, these initiatives will only succeed in achieving their goals and reaching the many young children who currently lack highquality early learning opportunities if sufficient resources are provided.
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