Budget Amendment Adds $7 Million for Early Childhood Programs


Statement from Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi:

“The budget the House will consider today will include an amendment to add $7 million for early childhood programs from unspent federal funds.  This includes $3 million to preserve for Head Start and Early Head start seats and $4 million for a pilot program to expand eligibility for child care, at no cost, to certain child care workers.

“Quality child care is very important to the House and Senate leadership and membership, and many members encouraged me to help find resources to help preserve these vital programs.  It is critical that we continue to address staffing shortages within both programs in a sustainable way.” 


             Statement from Paige Clausius-Parks of Rhode Island Kids Count and the RIght from the Start campaign:

            “The RIght from the Start campaign thanks Speaker Shekarchi for finding state budget resources to ensure that more Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms are be able to open in September than the previous year, and for supporting our workforce of child care and early education professionals.   Child care and early learning programs are foundational to Rhode Island's kids, families, and our economy. They provide our babies and young children with high quality learning opportunities, and they enable parents to work and contribute to our economy. And all of that is enabled by our workforce of early educators who deserve worthy wages for the work they do. We are grateful to Speaker Shekarchi for making these needed investments that will help to ensure all Rhode Island kids get off to the right start."