an experienced community provider of quality early care and education programs
Promoting Healthy Development and School Readiness
The Y is an experienced community provider of quality early care and education programs. More than 40% of Ys provide early childhood programs for children five years old and younger in over 1,400 early learning centers across the U.S. By providing families with quality, year-round care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, the Y supports working families and helps prepare young children for kindergarten. The Y believes that building strong foundations during the early years helps prepare children for academic and lifelong success.
Investment in early childhood education results in a positive rate of return—research indicates that for each dollar spent on quality early learning, there is a long-term savings of $13 based on increased tax revenue, reduced crime, education savings and welfare savings.
Early Care and Education Advocacy Priorities
- Support strong foundations for young children by expanding funding for Head Start. Head Start prepares young children for school and life by providing a comprehensive set of services to families including education, nutrition, healthcare and more to enhance child well-being. Head Start programs also support parent involvement to strengthen families as the primary nurturers of their children. Together, we prepare children for future success and ensure their cognitive, social and emotional development. There are more than 185 YMCA Head Start program sites serving infants, toddlers and preschoolers (and their families) through Head Start or Early Head Start services.
- Support affordable child care for working families by increasing funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). CCDBG supports economically disadvantaged families by increasing the availability, affordability and quality of child care. More than half (55%) of CCDBG funding enables families to secure early childhood opportunities, ensuring children are in safe, healthy environments that support their growth and development while parents or caregivers work or pursue education opportunities.
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Advocacy for the Greater Good
Early care and education are vital services offered by the Y, but they are just one piece of our interconnected community programs that improve development and well-being for all.