Washington, D.C. (June 23, 2022) – Save the Children Action Network released the following on Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signing the two-year state budget, which includes many victories for children, into law.
“We applaud the Virginia legislature and Governor Youngkin for making robust investments in early childhood education. In doing so, they’ve demonstrated their commitment to the health and well-being of Virginia children. These investments will go a long way toward stabilizing the state’s early learning system and ensuring that more children have access to high-quality care.” said Austin Walker, Virginia State Manager at Save the Children Action Network.
Throughout the legislative session, Save the Children Action Network advocates contacted their state representatives expressing their support for early education funding increases and urging lawmakers to lend their support to the budget.
The budget contains historic investments in early childhood education that will strengthen Virginia’s early learning system and improve access to early learning opportunities for thousands of children. Several key wins for children across the Old Dominion state include:
- Over $50 million in new state investments for early childhood education and child care
- Expansion and improvements to the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI), including serving more at-risk 3-year-olds
- Expansion of the mixed delivery grant program, which will provide more flexible preschool options for families and include a pilot program for 200 infants and toddlers
- Additional investments in the early educator teacher incentive grant program, which will support the early childhood workforce
- Strengthening of the child care subsidy program ($73 million in federal funding per year) including increasing income eligibility up to 85% state median income
While these are exciting victories for Virginia’s children, there is still more work to be done to ensure all children can learn, grow and thrive regardless of their zip code. Virginia’s lawmakers should continue to demonstrate their support for children and early educators by passing legislation providing additional resources and further increasing access to early childhood education opportunities. Save the Children Action Network is committed to working closely with Governor Youngkin, state officials and other members of the Virginia Promise Partnership to ensure the Commonwealth is a place where all families have access to affordable, high-quality early childhood education programs.