Laura Bush visits with parents Ronnie and Chakeiva Collins, a couple from Plant City, Fla. and their 2-day-old son at Tampa General Hospital on Tuesday, October 1, 2002. Mrs. Bush presented the new parents a copy of the Healthy Start, Grow Smart magazine series that provides parents with critical information about the early development, health, nutrition and safety needs of babies and toddlers. White House photo by Susan Sterner.|
President Bush's Education Reform Initiatives
In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush stressed the need to prepare children to read and succeed in
school with improved Head Start and early childhood development programs. These themes built upon Mrs. Bush's
Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development, held July 26-27, 2001.
The early childhood initiative announced by President Bush seeks to improve the state of early childhood
education, where too many children come to school unprepared to learn. Because a significant number of
young children receive care from people other than their parents (62% of children age 5 or younger),
Federal and state governments provide more than $18 billion annually (more than $14 billion in Federal
support alone) to help families particularly low-income families provide for pre-K care.
Despite these significant resources, not all children are receiving care that is high-quality care
because: 1) many states do not fully align what children are doing before they enter school with what
is expected of them once they are in school; 2) early childhood programs are seldom evaluated based on
how well they prepare students to succeed in school; and 3) there is not enough information for early
childhood teachers, parents, and other child care providers on the activities that prepare children to
be successful in school.
>>More about the Early Childhood Education Initiative