Clayton Early Learning CEO Testifies in US Senate Hearing on investing in ECE

2.6.2014 Clayton CEO Testifies in US Senate Hearing on Investing in High-Quality ECE

Charlotte Brantley (President and CEO, Clayton Early Learning) offered testimony before the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on the importance of supporting children and families through investments in high quality early education. “An ever expanding body of research indicates that young children from disadvantaged homes start kindergarten lagging behind their more advantaged peers. We know this gap grows, continues into high school, and negatively impacts adulthood.  It is linked to illiteracy, teen pregnancy, juvenile justice issues, high dropout rates, and unemployment. Our ultimate goal at Clayton Early Learning is to reverse this discouraging trend,” said Brantley.

Ms. Brantley highlighted innovative state and local initiatives in Colorado to support early childhood supports and services including:
• Activities supported by the state’s recent $45 million Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant award to support kindergarten readiness, especially for at-risk children;
• Increases in public funding at the city and county level to support early childhood programs;
• Public-private partnerships between school districts, community-based programs, and Head Start programs to provide high-quality preschool in a variety of settings; and
• The establishment of a system of local early childhood councils charged with identifying the best ways to facilitate local coordination among programs and services serving children and their families.

“These developments align with and support Clayton’s mission to ensure all Colorado children have access to a high quality early education,” she said, and also applauded related efforts at the federal level such as the introduction of the Strong Start for America’s Children Act and the recent appropriation of $500 million to create Early Head Start and Child Care partnerships.

For archived video of the hearing and transcript of Ms. Brantley’s testimony, Click Here.