The proposed Oregon budget released last week includes millions in cuts to early learning programs and agencies that serve families. In response The Children's Institute is encouraging you, if you're concerned about education, to reach out to your state legislators in support of maintaining education funding at least at its current level.
Early learning is a vital component in brain development and school readiness yet 75% of vulnerable children don't have access to high quality, affordable early learning opportunities. Those same kids are 25% more likely to drop out of high school if they start kindergarten unprepared. Studies show many societal issues - from alcoholism and drug use to poverty and crime - can be traced back to a lack of early learning.
Because our mission at Kid Time Children's Museum is to encourage all children to learn and grow through play we make our facilities and programs as accessible and affordable as possible, and offer scholarships to families for whom membership prices are cost prohibitive. In addition, we understand not all families can afford high quality preschool like that offered at The Learning Loft at Kid Time so we allow the techniques used in the preschool to inform exhibits and programs in the museum, and vice versa. Our goal is to make quality early learning opportunities available to all, not just those who can afford them. However, as a non-profit organization we rely on funding from entities including the Early Learning Hub, Kindergarten Partnership Fund, and Preschool Promise, to name a few, so cuts at those levels will without question affect the services we offer and the number of families we'll be able to support.
If you believe as we do that all children deserve a safe, nurturing, inspiring place to play and develop, please make your voice heard. The information provided in a letter from the Children's Institute (below) will help you find your lawmakers and form your argument.
We - and the families we serve - thank you.
- Kid Time Children's Museum and The Learning Loft Preschool
Stop the Budget Cuts to Children's Education and Health
On Monday, April 17, the co-chairs of the state budget writing committee (Ways and Means) released a proposed budget that puts kids at risk. Reductions include:
20 percent cut to Early Learning Hubs and Kindergarten Partnership Fund, $5.3 million cut.
10 percent cut to Healthy Families Oregon of $2.5 million, a reduction of 250 children served.
10 percent cut to Preschool Promise of $3.6 million, a reduction of 130 children served.
$20 million cut to Employment Related Day Care, a reduction of 1,000 families served.
Call Your Legislators
Call your state legislators today. Find your Oregon state legislator here.
You can use this script to call or email your legislators:
"Hello. I am (legislator's name) constituent. Please maintain full funding for early childhood programs and services that help keep Oregon's young children healthy and prepares them for school.
I support (choose programs of interest to you): Preschool Promise, Healthy Families Oregon, the Kindergarten Partnership Fund, Early Learning Hubs, Employment Related Day Care and Culturally Specific Early Learning.
We need to find sustainable budget solutions that honor Oregon's values, not squander our most vulnerable children's potential.
Read the Proposed Reduction Lists and Response from Early Childhood Advocates
Read the Ways and Means Co-Chairs’ 2017-2019 Target Reduction Lists.
Read the letter early childhood advocates wrote to the Ways and Means Co-Chairs to express their concerns about the proposed reductions to early childhood programs.
Thank you for taking action today to support the programs that help Oregon’s young children thrive!
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