Indiana United Way Agencies recently published their 2011 Public Policy Agenda. It includes a focus on Early Childhood Education. The Agenda states:
The early years build the foundation for a child’s development and success—in cognitive,linguistic, emotional, social, regulatory and moral capabilities. Indiana continues to rank far too low in critical areas of school readiness, grade-level reading competency, middle school success and high school graduation. Many United Ways invest and support early care and education initiatives
and community supports for children.
To help children and youth reach their potential in school, work and life, IaUW:
• Advocates policies that advance early care and education, birth to age 7, such as child care regulations and continuation of Paths to Quality,Indiana’s voluntary rating system, and out-of school time programs.
• Supports policies that encourage early reading and early intervention strategies with the goal of improving the high school graduation rate and better preparing youth for life.
• Is in favor of increased public investments in early education, including child care development fund (CCDF) vouchers/subsidies, universal full-day kindergarten, Pre-Kindergarten and Head Start.
• Actively advocates standardization of health and safety requirements for all types of currently regulated child care. Parent choice is an important value, and regulations should reflect a range of options that provide comparable quality standards in different settings. Changes should standardize regulations rather than add complexity or opportunities for parent confusion. The State of Indiana has a fiscal and programmatic responsibility to ensure that CCDF vouchers are maximized and are used in quality settings that advance other goals for children (good health,safety, early learning and literacy).
You can read the rest of the Public Policy here.