Skip to main content
Resolutions & Amendments

40th International Convention - Los Angeles, CA (2012)

Protect Early Childhood Programs

Resolution No. 61
40th International Convention
Los Angeles Convention Center
June 18 - 22, 2012
Los Angeles, CA


            Republicans in Congress have targeted the Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) programs for budget cuts, showing once again that they are willing to balance the budget on the backs of the poorest and the neediest; and


            Head Start is a nearly 50-year-old national pre-school program which aims to give a leg up to the neediest children who will enter public kindergarten. It is funded with federal, state and local money. Head Start provides educational, nutritional, and health services to younger children to help prepare them for school. Currently nearly 1 million children are enrolled in this program; and


            We need to again remind lawmakers that investing in early learning services is an investment in our future. Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman has found that investing in quality early childhood programs, particularly ones that target low-income children, can create a 10 percent rate of return on society’s investment. This return comes through lower crime rates, better school outcomes, better health outcomes, and better skilled workers; and


            Head Start and other child care programs enable low-income parents to access reliable child care while they work and provide at-risk children with the early learning experiences needed for success in school and life. Society benefits from these programs through reduced need for special education, better health outcomes, reduced need for social services, lower criminal justice costs, and increased self-sufficiency and productivity among families. These programs also support thousands of jobs around the country; and


            Head Start, Early Head Start and CCDBG are a valuable mainstay in poor socioeconomic areas. These programs give children the opportunity to do significantly better scholastically and socially during their education years. They increase children’s test scores, the likelihood of truancy decreases, and high school dropout rates are lower too. Scholastic research shows that of all the non-mandated programs, the one that does the most to impact closing the achievement gap is Head Start.


            That AFSCME will lobby to protect the funding of the Head Start, Early Head Start and CCDBG programs. AFSCME will join forces and develop partnerships with community organizations with the goal of keeping these programs available for future generations.


Juan Fernandez, President and Delegate
Egbert Isaacs, Delegate
Sheera S. Glass, Delegate
Thomas Orawiec, Delegate
Alan Mendelson, Delegate
Diana Thillet, Alternate Delegate
Juliet White, Alternate Delegate
AFSCME Local 154, District Council 37
New York