| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 2867 (is) To provide for the funding and administration of a Veterans Mission for Youth Initiative within the Troops-to-Teachers Program. [Introduced in Senate] ...
S. 2867 (is) To provide for the funding and administration of a Veterans Mission for Youth Initiative within the Troops-to-Teachers Program. [Introduced in Senate] ...
106th CONGRESS 2d Session S. 2866 To provide for early learning programs, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES July 13, 2000 Mr. Stevens (for himself, Mr. Jeffords, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Domenici, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Bond, Mr. Voinovich, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Cochran, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Smith of Oregon, Mr. Bingaman, Mr. L. Chafee, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Murkowski, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Robb, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Wellstone, Mrs. Feinstein, Ms. Mikulski, Ms. Snowe, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Kerrey, and Mr. Warner) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To provide for early learning programs, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; FINDINGS. (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Early Learning Opportunities Act''. (b) Findings.--Congress finds that-- (1) medical research demonstrates that adequate stimulation of a young child's brain between birth and age 5 is critical to the physical development of the young child's brain; (2) parents are the most significant and effective teachers of their children, and they alone are responsible for choosing the best early learning opportunities for their child; (3) parent education and parent involvement are critical to the success of any early learning program or activity; (4) the more intensively parents are involved in their child's early learning, the greater the cognitive and noncognitive benefits to their children; (5) many parents have difficulty finding the information and support the parents seek to help their children grow to their full potential; (6) each day approximately 13,000,000 young children, including 6,000,000 infants or toddlers, spend some or all of their day being cared for by someone other than their parents; (7) quality early learning programs, including those designed to promote effective parenting, can increase the literacy rate, the secondary school graduation rate, the employment rate, and the college enrollment rate for children who have participated in voluntary early learning programs and activities; (8) early childhood interventions can yield substantial advantages to participants in terms of emotional and cognitive development, education, economic well-being, and health, with the latter 2 advantages applying to the children's families as well; (9) participation in quality early learning programs, including those designed to promote effective parenting, can decrease the future incidence of teenage pregnancy, welfare dependency, at-risk behaviors, and juvenile delinquency for children; (10) several cost-benefit analysis studies indicate that for each $1 invested in quality early learning programs, the Federal Government can save over $5 by reducing the number of children and families who participate in Federal Government programs like special education and welfare; (11) for children placed in the care of others during the workday, the low salaries paid to the child care staff, the lack of career progression for the staff, and the lack of child development specialists involved in early learning and child care programs, make it difficult to attract and retain the quality of staff necessary for a positive early learning experience; (12) Federal Government support for early learning has primarily focused on out-of-home care programs like those established under the Head Start Act, the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 1990, and part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and these programs-- (A) serve far fewer than half of all eligible children; (B) are not primarily designed to provide support for parents who care for their young children in the home; and (C) lack a means of coordinating early learning opportunities in each community; and (13) by helping communities increase, expand, and better coordinate early learning opportunities for children and their families, the productivity and creativity of future generations will be improved, and the Nation will be prepared for continued leadership in the 21st century. SEC. 2. PURPOSES. The purposes of this Act are-- (1) to increase the availability of voluntary programs, services, and activities that support early childhood development, increase parent effectiveness, and promote the learning readiness of young children so that young children enter school ready to learn; (2) to support parents, child care providers, and caregivers who want to incorporate early learning activities into the daily lives of young children; (3) to remove barriers to the provision of an accessible system of early childhood learning programs in communities throughout the United States; (4) to increase the availability and affordability of professional development activities and compensation for caregivers and child care providers; and (5) to facilitate the development of community-based systems of collaborative service delivery models characterized by resource sharing, linkages between appropriate supports, and local planning for services. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Caregiver.--The term ``caregiver'' means an individual, including a relative, neighbor, or family friend, who regularly or frequently provides care, with or without compensation, for a child for whom the individual is not the parent. (2) Child care provider.--The term ``child care provider'' means a provider of non-residential child care services (including center-based, family-based, and in-home child care services) for compensation who or that is legally operating under State law, and complies with applicable State and local requirements for the provision of child care services. (3) Early learning.--The term ``early learning'', used with respect to a program or activity, means learning designed to facilitate the development of cognitive, language, motor, and social-emotional skills for, and to promote learning readiness in, young children. (4) Early learning program.--The term ``early learning program'' means-- (A) a program of services or activities that helps parents, caregivers, and child care providers incorporate early learning into the daily lives of young children; or (B) a program that directly provides early learning to young children. (5) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self- Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b). (6) Local council.--The term ``Local Council'' means a Local Council established or designated under section 14(a) that serves one or more localities. (7) Locality.--The term ``locality'' means a city, county, borough, township, or area served by another general purpose unit of local government, an Indian tribe, a Regional Corporation, or a Native Hawaiian entity. (8) Parent.--The term ``parent'' means a biological parent, an adoptive parent, a stepparent, a foster parent, or a legal guardian of, or a person standing in loco parentis to, a child. (9) Poverty line.--The term ``poverty line'' means the poverty line (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget, and revised annually in accordance with section 673(2) of the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9902(2))) applicable to a family of the size involved. (10) Regional corporation.--The term ``Regional Corporation'' has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1602). (11) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Health and Human Services. (12) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (13) Training.--The term ``training'' means instruction in early learning that-- (A) is required for certification under State and local laws, regulations, and policies; (B) is required to receive a nationally or State recognized credential or its equivalent; (C) is received in a postsecondary education program focused on early learning or early childhood development in which the individual is enrolled; or (D) is provided, certified, or sponsored by an organization that is recognized for its expertise in promoting early learning or early childhood development. (14) Young child.--The term ``young child'' means any child from birth to the age of mandatory school attendance in the State where the child resides. SEC. 4. PROHIBITIONS. (a) Participation Not Required.--No person, including a parent, shall be required to participate in any program of early childhood education, early learning, parent education, or developmental screening pursuant to the provisions of this Act. (b) Rights of Parents.--Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect the rights of parents otherwise established in Federal, State, or local law. (c) Particular Methods or Settings.--No entity that receives funds under this Act shall be required to provide services under this Act through a particular instructional method or in a particular instructional setting to comply with this Act. SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION AND APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS. There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services to carry out this Act-- (1) $750,000,000 for fiscal year 2001; (2) $1,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2002; and (3) $1,500,000,000 for fiscal year 2003. SEC. 6. COORDINATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS. (a) Coordination.--The Secretary and the Secretary of Education shall develop mechanisms to resolve administrative and programmatic conflicts between Federal programs that would be a barrier to parents, caregivers, service providers, or children related to the coordination of services and funding for early learning programs. (b) Use of Equipment and Supplies.--In the case of a collaborative activity funded under this Act and another provision of law providing for Federal child care or early learning programs, the use of equipment and nonconsumable supplies purchased with funds made available under this Act or such provision shall not be restricted to children enrolled or otherwise participating in the program carried out under this Act or such provision, during a period in which the activity is predominately funded under this Act or such provision. SEC. 7. PROGRAM AUTHORIZED. (a) Grants.--From amounts appropriated under section 5 the Secretary shall award grants to States to enable the States to award grants to Local Councils to pay the Federal share of the cost of carrying out early learning programs in the locality served by the Local Council. (b) Federal Share.-- (1) In general.--The Federal share of the cost described in subsection (a) shall be 85 percent for the first and second years of the grant, 80 percent for the third and fourth years of the grant, and 75 percent for the fifth and subsequent years of the grant. (2) Non-federal share.--The non-Federal share of the cost described in subsection (a) may be contributed in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated, including facilities, equipment, or services, which may be provided from State or local public sources, or through donations from private entities. For the purposes of this paragraph the term ``facilities'' includes the use of facilities, but the term ``equipment'' means donated equipment and not the use of equipment. (c) Maintenance of Effort.--The Secretary shall not award a grant under this Act to any State unless the Secretary first determines that the total expenditures by the State and its political subdivisions to support early learning programs (other than funds used to pay the non- Federal share under subsection (b)(2)) for the fiscal year for which the determination is made is equal to or greater than such expenditures for the preceding fiscal year. (d) Supplement Not Supplant.--Amounts received under this Act shall be used to supplement and not supplant other Federal, State, and local public funds expended to promote early learning. SEC. 8. USES OF FUNDS. (a) In General.--Subject to section 10, grant funds under this Act shall be used to pay for developing, operating, or enhancing voluntary early learning programs that are likely to produce sustained gains in early learning. (b) Limited Uses.--Subject to section 10, Lead State Agencies and Local Councils shall ensure that funds made available under this Act to the agencies and Local Councils are used for 3 or more of the following activities: (1) Helping parents, caregivers, child care providers, and educators increase their capacity to facilitate the development of cognitive, language comprehension, expressive language, social-emotional, and motor skills, and promote learning readiness. (2) Promoting effective parenting. (3) Enhancing early childhood literacy. (4) Developing linkages among early learning programs within a community and between early learning programs and health care services for young children. (5) Increasing access to early learning opportunities for young children with special needs, including developmental delays, by facilitating coordination with other programs serving such young children. (6) Increasing access to existing early learning programs by expanding the days or times that the young children are served, by expanding the number of young children served, or by improving the affordability of the programs for low-income families. (7) Improving the quality of early learning programs
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