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U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Supporting Early Learning through the Every Student Succeeds Act

U.S. Department of Education sent this bulletin at 10/20/2016 11:03 AM EDT

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Supporting Early Learning through the Every Student Succeeds Act

The U.S. Department of Education released today non-regulatory guidance to help ensure young children from birth through third-grade get the strong start they need to achieve success in school and in life. This is the Department’s first comprehensive look at how the nation’s new education law supports our youngest learners. 

President Obama signed the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law in December to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and replace key requirements of the outdated No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. For the first time, the ESSA includes provisions to promote coordination in early learning among local communities; align preschool with early elementary school; and build the capacity of teachers, leaders and others serving young children to provide the highest-quality early learning opportunities.Early learning is woven throughout the ESSA, as a means of addressing educational equity, supporting students’ school success, and bringing greater alignment along the entire education continuum. The ESSA, also for the first time, authorizes Preschool Development Grants, building upon the existing Preschool Development Grant program which has support 18 states, to ensure more students across the country have access to high-quality preschool. 

This guidance is intended to remind state and local decision-makers about the importance of investing in early learning, highlight the opportunities available under the new law to strengthen early education, and provide examples of how states and local communities can support young children’s success in school. The guidance is available here.

“Expanding High-quality early learning opportunities helps close achievement gaps because it gives all children—no matter their zip code—a strong start,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “A high-quality early education can support social-emotional development and unlock a child’s potential, so that all children have the foundation they need to thrive in school and beyond.”

Positive Impact of High-Quality Early Learning 

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