Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan Discuss Early Learning


HHS Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan Discuss Early Learning for All at Educare Investors Luncheon

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Arne Duncan were keynote luncheon speakers at noon on Wed., June 12, at the Educare Learning Network's Investors Luncheon in Washington, D.C.

Sebelius and Duncan both discussed the need to dramatically expand high-quality early learning and the importance of pressing ahead with President Obama's landmark Birth to Five Initiative.

Educare, a growing network of full-day, year-round schools that serves at-risk students from birth to five years, now consists of 18 schools located in 11 states and the District of Columbia. It is dedicated to narrowing the achievement gap for its young students through high-quality programming that develops early readiness and social skills and nurtures strong parent-child relationships.

Evaluation of Educare by researchers at the University of North Carolina found that children who participate in the program for at least two years begin kindergarten with the same skills as their middle-income peers. Stronger vocabulary and social skills were found compared with low-income children who did not attend.

Secretary Sebelius has supported investment in early childhood education since her time as Governor of Kansas. In 2008 she toured an Educare center in Omaha and met with a community of philanthropy, program, and advocacy groups.  She was impressed with the Educare model and receptive to a new vision of education reform. Secretary Sebelius is a champion for the importance of meeting our youngest children’s needs.

Early learning leaders and advocates attended the luncheon, including representatives of foundations and philanthropies that support Educare.

For more information on early childhood development, please visit Early Childhood Development for information and resources.