(Washington, DC) – Today, after reading to classrooms of infants and toddlers as part of Read Across America, Mayor Bowser highlighted her investments in making child care more accessible and affordable for District families.
“We know that when we invest in our children and their early education, DC families succeed,” said Mayor Bowser. “This budget reflects our commitment to increasing access to high-quality child care and educational opportunities in every neighborhood, builds on our previous investments, and will help us set more young people and their families up for success.”
Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget includes $52 million to create new child care and early childhood education opportunities at the old Randle Highlands School in Ward 7, the old Miner School in Ward 6, and the old Thurgood Marshall School in Ward 5. The budget also includes $2.5 million to make the “Keeping Childcare Affordable” tax credit permanent.
The annual Read Across DC event is coordinated by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). This year, 127 volunteers will visit 92 child development centers across the District to read to 299 classrooms of children, making this the biggest Read Across DC event to date.
“It’s encouraging to see more and more volunteers join us in this great effort to spend time reading to our children,” said State Superintendent of Education Hanseul Kang. “Reading aloud to children stimulates their imagination, helps them develop critical thinking skills, and builds a stronger foundation for school success, which creates a pathway to academic achievement later in life.”
DC continues to lead the nation in access and per-pupil funding for pre-K. Last year, Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget included $12.5 million to make early child care more affordable for all District residents which, including funds for the tax credit of up to $1,000 per child for families enrolled in any licensed DC child care facility. The District also recently received a $10.6 million Preschool Development Birth to Five Grant (PDG) that will go toward improving the quality of early childhood programs and services and to build systems that equip families with clear and consistent information.
Mayor Bowser was joined by Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn and Superintendent Kang.