U.S. Secretary of Education visits Union City early childhood education center (PHOTOS) – NJ.com

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U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona says one of the keys to a successful education is high-quality preschool.

He emphasized that point during a visit to the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Early Childhood Education Center in Union City Monday morning, the same day the U.S. Department of Education released guidance for how states, local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools can use Title I funds to expand access to high-quality preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds in a range of quality settings.

This guidance is aimed at ensuring more children can experience early school success, and it encourages more schools across the nation to better set up kindergarten to be a sturdy bridge between the early years and the early grades.

The Biden-Harris Administration has secured historic educational investments, including an additional $1.9 billion in annual funding for the Title I program since 2021, officials said.

“High-quality, early learning opportunities are proven bridges to later academic success — and every child deserves access,” Cardona said. “With the resources we’re releasing today, the Biden-Harris Administration is helping states, LEAs, schools, and communities to reach more historically underserved children with high-quality preschool programs, strengthen community partnerships, and find strategies and tools to best support educators and staff.”

Given the clear link between high-quality preschool and student achievement, the federal Department of Education has revised its Non-Regulatory Guidance on Serving Preschool Children Through Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to help states, local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools leverage these critical resources to expand access to preschool and enhance program quality.

The last time this guidance was revised was in 2012, prior to the most recent reauthorization of the ESEA in 2015.

The release of this guidance also follows the release of the President’s Executive Order to Increase Access to High-Quality Care and Supporting Caregivers, which directed the Department of Education to update its guidance on how schools and local educational agencies could expand access to high-quality preschool.

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