For Immediate Release:
June 7, 2018
Contact: Frances Reimers
Alexandria, VA — The Child & Family Network Centers applauds the bill recently passed by the Virginia Assembly to increase funding for the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) to help early childhood education providers offer more robust services to low-income families. The $4.6 million increase will mean an additional allocation of $201 per student for a total of $6,326 per student.
“Anytime we can open our doors to even one more child it is a win,” said Lisa Carter, Executive Director, CFNC. “Studies have consistently shown the long-term benefits of early childhood education—especially for our community’s most vulnerable children. The passage of this bill demonstrates a commitment by our Assembly to put our children first.”
CFNC provides early education for children living at or below 250% of the poverty level. It is extremely difficult for families in this demographic to access reliable, high-quality childcare. The total yearly cost to educate one child is about $12,000. VPI provides about one-fourth of the funding necessary to educate one child.
“The passage of this bill is a step in the right direction, but there is still unmet need,” said Carter. With the new increase, CFNC will receive half of the $6,326.00 rate per child. Providers are expected to match the $3163.00 to equal the full $6,326.00 allotment. Currently, the City of Alexandria matches that funding. CFNC fundraises the remaining 50% of its budget.
“The additional funding approved by the Assembly for professional development and training for VPI classroom teachers and classroom observation assessments will benefit us greatly,” added Heather Jelks, Chair, CFNC Board of Directors. “We applaud these measures that will help to maintain a high-quality environment for students.”