Democratic, Republican Voters Want More Preschool, And They Want It Now
Both Democratic and Republican voters want more of an investment in early childhood education, and they want it now, according to a new national poll.
The poll, commissioned by early education advocacy group the First Five Years Fund (FFYR) and conducted by bipartisan researchers, surveyed 800 registered voters on their views. The sample was demographically representative of the electorate and included voters living throughout the country.
Similar to previous polls conducted on the subject, Americans expressed support for the idea of early childhood education. Out of nine sample national priorities, including “reducing the tax burden on families” and “securing our borders,” voters ranked “making sure our children get a strong start in life,” as the second most important, only trumped by “increasing jobs and economic growth.”
Overwhelmingly, voters said the nation should be doing more to make sure children begin kindergarten with the knowledge and skills they need (see graph below).
Additionally, respondents expressed support for the ideas behind The Strong Start for America’s Children Act, a bipartisan bill, introduced in November 2013, that seeks to expand early childhood education. The phone survey, which never directly references the act, asked respondents if they support a plan being considered by Congress that:
helps states and local communities provide better early childhood education programs to parents of children from birth to five. It provides ten billion dollars per year for ten years in grants to states to provide all low and moderate income four year olds with voluntarily access to high-quality preschool programs. It also makes available voluntary programs in high-quality early education and child care for infants and toddlers, as well as home visiting and parent education.
Voters across the board said they supported such a proposal.
Those who are typically considered swing voters also supported the proposal:
However, support for the proposal seemed to be somewhat conditional upon its funding method. Eighty-four percent of respondents said they found the proposal to be acceptable “if it were paid for in a way that did not add to the deficit or increase debt," but only 46 percent said they found it acceptable "if it were paid for by prioritizing funding for this program and cutting funding for other programs.”
Still, 76 percent of those surveyed said they thought the suggested proposal should be handled by Congress either this year or next.
Steven Barnett, director of National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, previously told the Associated Press that about half of American children ages 3 or 4 attend an early education program and that a third of children attend programs that are publicly funded.
According to this poll, early childhood education is one of the few issues that unites voters on both sides of the aisle.
Now all Congress has to do is hurry up and take action.
New Hampshire Senator Watters on Living with the Minimum Wage
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Along with fellow New Hampshire legislators, Senator David Watters was challenged by the NH Minimum Wage work group to live on the minimum wage for a week. Working with a budget of $38.50 (the amount of food stamps for one person for one week), the Senator had this to say about his experience (see the video below):
“…I bought a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter, and carrots, my usual lunch materials, thinking this would get me through the week for a sandwich each noon, and then toast in the morning. However, there are 21 slices of bread, so take out 14, and there's just one left for breakfast. And when I made the sandwich, I recalled when I was working in a factory, and in particular when working as a carpenter in my younger days, I would put 4-6 of these sandwiches, fruit, cookies, and milk, in my lunch box, and eat every crumb. And after eating one sandwich, I was really hungry for the rest of the afternoon. So, more potatoes for supper, cooked with an onion, and one piece of chicken, but knowing that if I ate too much today, the end of the week would get very tight. Just not enough to make it through the day, let alone the week, on $5.50 a day…”.
Tell your Rep. to vote YES on Thompson/King
This past weekend, another mentally unstable man was able to obtain firearms and go on a killing rampage. This time it occurred in Santa Barbara, California. Next time could be anywhere. Fortunately, unlike after most mass killings, Congress is on the verge of taking a step that could deny firearms to dangerous individuals.
Today, the House of Representatives will likely vote on an amendment that would provide additional funding to states to submit records to the National Instant Check System (NICS) for firearm purchases. This bipartisan amendment is being sponsored by Congressmen Mike Thompson (Democrat from California) and Peter King (Republican from New York). It would prohibit convicted felons, domestic abusers, the dangerously mentally ill, and other violent individuals from purchasing firearms by making sure their disqualifying records get into the FBI's NICS database.
Please call your U.S. Representative right now and tell him/ her to vote YES on the Thompson/King Amendment to H.R. 4660. You can be connected to your Representative by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. If you do not know who your Representative is, you can find out by clicking here.
Make your call today! If enacted, the Thompson/King Amendment WILL save lives. We must seize this moment together and make sure Congress does not drop the ball yet again.
Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities to Hold Public Meeting in San Antonio, Texas
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The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF), a federal advisory committee established by the Protect Our Kids Act of 2012, Public Law 112-275, will hold an open meeting on Monday, June 2, 2014, and Tuesday, June 3, 2014.
Meeting times: Monday, June 2, 2014, from 1:00–5:30 p.m. CDT, and Tuesday, June 3, 2014, from 8:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. CDT.
Location: University of Texas at San Antonio, Downtown Campus, 501 W. César E. Chávez Blvd., Southwest Room, Durango Building 1.124, San Antonio, TX 78207.
To attend in person or participate by teleconference, please register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5WLJYWH
A call-in number is available upon registration.
ECM Suggests the Perfect Mother’s Day Gift
We all know the best and most important present a Mom can have is healthy, safe, and happy kids.
So, to ensure Moms everywhere receive that perfect present, you can do just a little something every time you hear from us:
And for you Moms who are reading this, have a glorious Mother’s Day!
Raise the Minimum Wage – Call 202-517-2321
On Wednesday this week, the United States Senate will hold a vote to raise the minimum wage, currently at $7.25 an hour, by 95 cents a year for the next three years. It will become $10.10 an hour in 2016. The wage for tipped workers will be set at 70% of the minimum wage. Most importantly, the wage will increase by inflation every year so low-wage workers won’t have to wait for years and years for a raise from Congress as they currently do.
The minimum wage has not increased since 2007. The tipped minimum wage - $2.13 an hour - has not increased in over 20 years. In the past 40 years, inflation has taken away 30% of the value of the minimum wage. It would be $10.60 an hour today if it had kept pace with the cost of living.
The minimum wage helps hard working families and reduces poverty. More than 14 million children have a parent who would get a raise. Raising the minimum wage will not reduce jobs, according to the more rigorous studies and real-life experience of states who have raised it.
Make Your Voice Heard. Call 202-517-2321.
You will be connected to your Senators’ offices. Tell them that no American who works full time should live in poverty. Pass the $10.10 minimum wage and stand up for America’s working families.
We Will All Prosper from the Better Off Budget
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The House of Representatives will vote next week on various budget proposals for 2015. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released his budget for the House Republican majority on April 1st. Earlier this month, the House Progressive Caucus released its budget, the“Better Off Budget”. The Ryan/Republican Budget is dead on arrival and will move no further in the congressional process this year because of certain Senate opposition. However, these two budgets clearly illustrate differing visions of America’s future. ECM strongly supports the Better Off Budgetand urges the House to vote “Yes” on it next week. Here is a brief comparison of the two budgets:
Why Every Child Needs to #GetCovered
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Since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, we are asked what the law does for children. We think the act is a historic step for the health of America’s children because it:
|Feel free to forward this flyer or download it and post it far and wide before the March 31 deadline.
- Prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions and protects families if their child needs extensive care.
- Increases coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program which insures millions of children.
- Provides pediatric benefit packages with oral and vision coverage for all children. The law requires coverage of not only basic pediatric services under all new health plans, but also oral and vision needs, starting next year. Many health plans do not provide coverage for needed child health services, and 12 percent of children have not had a doctor’s visit in the past year. These inadequate plans would end.
- Improves quality of care for children. The law develops children’s quality priorities and promotes children’s quality measurement and reporting to improve the care that our nation’s children receive.
- Increases health insurance choices through state-based health insurance Exchanges to families without job-based coverage and provides tax credits to those who can’t afford it.
- Ends the lifetime caps on coverage. The law ends all lifetime limits on how much insurance companies cover if beneficiaries get sick and bans insurance companies from dropping people from coverage when they get sick.
- Extends coverage of youth up to the age of 26. Millions of young adults have received coverage as a result of this law.
Raising minimum wage results in significant SNAP savings
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From our friends at Half in Ten:
This morning CAP and UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment released a new report demonstrating that the nation stands to reap significant savings in federal spending on nutrition assistance programs by increasing the minimum wage.
Commissioned by the Center for American Progress and authored by economist Michael Reich and Rachel West, the report shows that the government stands to save $46 billion in SNAP expenditures over 10 years by raising the minimum wage to the Harkin-Miller level of $10.10, and provides expected state-by-state enrollment reductions.
NPR Story On National Commission To Eliminate Child Abuse Deaths
National Public Radio aired a great story on Monday’s first public meeting of the National Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities. The Commission soon will be announcing its plans for nationwide fact-finding on child abuse and neglect fatalities. ECM will post the Commission’s schedule once it becomes known.
Also check out what NASW, member of the National Coalition to Prevent Child Abuse Deaths, posted about the first meeting of the Commission.