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Ms. Feature Article Explains President Obama's Interest in Early Childhood Development

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Cornelia Grumman's article in the current issue of Ms. (Winter 2009), "Beyond Babysitting" highlights the importance of early childhood education, which leads to reduced crime rates and greater adult earnings. Knowing this, President Barack Obama believes it is time to make a historic commitment to education.

In her feature, Grumman explains why children need better education before kindergarten. Learning, she says, begins at birth and educational gaps can be detected as early as 18 months.

The stimulus bill signed into law by Obama on February 17 includes a much needed boost for early childhood care and education. The Child Care and Development Block Grant program received $2 billion and Head Start received another $2.1 billion while t he 2010 proposed budget will provide resources to help states build high-quality "Zero to Five" early childhood programs.

Quality early education has been on the feminist agenda for 35 years, but the movement is feeling a new burst of energy because of Obama's substantial investment in early learning programs. Grumman states that early childhood education is the smartest available public investment because when children have quality early learning experiences it benefits everyone, both economically and socially.

According to Grumman, "From birth to kindergarten, children need better education than many are receiving. With a new president at the bully pulpit, they might just get it."

Note to editors: Writer Cornelia Grumman is available for interviews.

Pdfs of articles or review copies of the issue are available upon request.