The time to speak up is now

With fewer than 30 days left in the first session of the 26th Legislature, we at Best Beginnings, along with our early childhood partners and supporters, are doing all we can to ensure programs, services, and initiatives that support young children and their families get a critical infusion of resources.

“Early childhood development programs are rarely portrayed as economic development initiatives and … that is a mistake.” Arthur J. Rolnick, Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis

With fewer than 30 days left in the first session of the 26th Legislature, we at Best Beginnings, along with our early childhood partners and supporters, are doing all we can to ensure that in these hard economic times investments continue to be made in our youngest citizens.

As Art Rolnick with the Federal Reserve Bank stated above, early childhood development programs can boost the economy. There is no better time to invest in young children than now, when the economic vitality of Alaska is at a crossroad.

As our state government and private sector partners are identifying what federal dollars might be accessed for early childhood, we are working with them to ensure programs, services, and initiatives that support young children and their families are getting a critical infusion of resources.

Items currently being considered by the Legislature for FY2010 include the following:

  • Increase in income eligibility guidelines for Denali KidCare
  • Increase in Child Care Reimbursement Rates
  • Increase in funding to Head Start
  • Increase in funding of early intervention services
  • A pilot, voluntary pre-k program
  • Funding for Best Beginnings: Alaska’s Early Childhood Investment

I encourage you to learn more about the our public policy priorities and the important early childhood investments, and to talk to your Alaska legislator, colleagues, and friends about their importance to the future of our children and to our state.

The time has come to put our young children first. The time to speak up is now.

Best,

Abbe