The future is bright for early childhood in Virginia! With the 2020 General Assembly session drawing to a close with a final vote on the budget this week, please join us in celebrating the tremendous progress and unprecedented support for Virginia’s youngest children.
- Landmark legislation (HB 1012 and SB 578) transforming and unifying Virginia’s early childhood system passed both chambers with bipartisan support. This reorganization of early childhood funding and programs promises to increase access and quality for our at-risk children and families as well as bring common-sense efficiencies and accountability to these important resources.
- Both chambers wholeheartedly embraced the Governor’s proposed historic $95 million investment in early childhood. The proposed final budget fully funds the Governor’s proposed expansion and enhancements of the Virginia Preschool Initiative and invests in public-private community-driven partnerships at $10 million over the biennium for Mixed Delivery Grants serving 500 children each year.
It is clear that the legislature recognized the long overdue need to revitalize and invest in early childhood programs to reach more at-risk children, increase quality, and better support the workforce that delivers school readiness. In addition, the legislature approved a study of the implementation of a statewide early childhood mental health consultation program and provided funding to include home visiting as a Medicaid service. In related good news, the proposed final budget provides $69 million in support for the G3 program which will provide free pathways through Virginia’s community colleges for low-income students, including those working toward an early childhood education associates degree. For more information about the proposed final budget’s investments in early childhood, please review our
This resounding recognition of the importance of early childhood didn’t happen overnight. It is the culmination of years of hard work, leadership, and perseverance by diverse partners across the state. Early educators, parents, school divisions, Smart Beginnings, social service leaders, business executives and many other community partners led the efforts, shoulder to shoulder with the administration and legislators, to deliver this win for Virginia’s children.
This historic moment holds incredible potential for each of us to better support the learning and healthy development of our children. VECF looks forward to busy days ahead, working together to ensure the success of these amazing new opportunities.