The following is a joint statement from Early Education Works Coalition leaders Anne Valentine, Vice President of Government Relations of United Way of Central Indiana, and Maureen Weber, President and CEO of Early Learning Indiana, regarding the release of Governor Eric Holcomb’s 2022 Legislative Agenda:
The Early Education Works coalition applauds Governor Holcomb for including efforts that will strengthen Indiana’s early care and education sector as part of his 2022 Next Level legislative agenda, including the creation of the Office of Kindergarten Readiness under the Department of Education.
Connecting the Indiana Department of Education’s expertise on grade school academic preparedness with the Family and Social Services Administration’s oversight of Indiana’s early childhood education sector will continue to improve early care and education access for Hoosier families. Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers, and our coalition wants to make sure Hoosier families in every community have access to genuine high-quality, affordable early learning for their children. Governor Holcomb’s 2022 Next Level Agenda announced today will set Indiana on that path.
In addition to the creation of the Office of Kindergarten Readiness, Gov. Holcomb’s Next Level legislative agenda includes strengthening the work of Indiana’s Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC).
The ELAC language within House Bill 1093 will empower the state’s existing early learning advisory committee to set and measure progress against goals for Indiana’s early learning system, evaluate how the sector can best maximize state and federal dollars for early learning and develop strategies for the long-term sustainability of the sector. If enacted, these reforms have the potential to greatly stabilize the supply of high-quality early care and education providers in communities across the state and improve efforts to attract, develop and retain the early education workforce.
The Early Education Works Coalition, representing state and local chambers, employers, academia, philanthropic, nonprofit and early care and education experts from across the state, stands ready to partner with Governor Holcomb and the Indiana General Assembly to pass and implement the early care and education priorities announced today.