United Way of Roanoke Valley praises $100 million proposal for early childhood education

Officials: The money will change the lives of at-risk students

ROANOKE, Va. – Governor Ralph Northam is proposing a historic investment to make sure all three and four-year-olds in Virginia have the skills they need for kindergarten.

$94.8 million is budgeted to transform early childhood education systems and ensure educators have the training and support they need, especially in child care settings.

The United Way of Roanoke Valley said the money will change the lives of at-risk students.

“Many people in the field of early childhood have been waiting for this kind of attention for so long because, like Governor Northam said, this is the foundation of everything else in their life," said Vivien McMahon, director of Early Learning Strategies at United Way of Roanoke Valley. “And as long as they have a good start and the equal opportunity that all children should have to build a strong foundation for them to be successful.”

The budget also includes $8 million dollars to attract early childhood educators. Northam will share the full details of his budget plan on Dec. 17.

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