November 13th, 2013
03:17 PM ET
11 months ago

Jennifer Garner stumps for expanded early education

(CNN) - Actress Jennifer Garner tested the power of celebrity activism on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, helping Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa and Education Secretary Arne Duncan make a pitch for a bill that would expand access to early education programs.

Garner joined Harkin, Duncan and Reps. George Miller, D-California, and Richard Hanna, R-New York, in the Senate visitor’s center in her capacity as an ambassador for Save the Children, a major advocate for expanding early education.

“The playing field for kids in America is not equal,” Garner said Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day.”

The star of the “Alias” TV show worried about the 16 million children growing up in poverty in the United States.

“Without starting from the very beginning and getting an earlier start on their education, they have very little chance of catching up if they start as far behind as they’re starting in kindergarten,” she told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Garner has become a prominent activist, including pushing for a law passed in California that seeks to shield celebrity children from paparazzi.

Formally titled the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, the bill has so far only Democratic cosponsors in the Senate but Hanna’s introduction of the House version aims to give it bipartisan credibility.

“The proposed bill closely mirrors President Obama's Preschool for All proposal he announced during the State of the Union address,” according to a statement from Duncan’s office.

According to Harkin’s office, the bill would create a 10-year initiative to expand early education opportunities, funding preschool for 4 year olds whose families earn 200% below the federal poverty level.

The bill would also encourage states to expand their own early learning programs and authorizes a new Early Head Start partnership aimed at improving infant and toddler quality of care.


Filed under: Education
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    Very laudable actions – and as a mother, I appreciate Garner's advocacy for children. Keep up the good work!

    And to all you haters out there, think of it this way: The more educated a populace, a more prosperous and civil society you will have. Go live in a third-world country as an Average Joe if you don't believe me.

    November 13, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    I'm guessing a lot of RWNJs claiming in one breath they are "pro-life" and "Christian" will in the next breath condemn any efforts to help children.

    Their version of the Bible: "Got mine – screw you!"

    November 13, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Donna

    PARENTS need to educate their children in the early years. Kids are already taken from their mothers at an early age for public schooling. These kids need more than education at that early part of their life. These are not little robots you know. I fear people just want to use this as a form of government paid for daycare.

    November 13, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Good, but they need to enjoy early life with moms, dads, uncles, aunts.

    November 13, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?

    @Donna: "PARENTS need to educate their children in the early years. Kids are already taken from their mothers at an early age for public schooling. These kids need more than education at that early part of their life. These are not little robots you know. I fear people just want to use this as a form of government paid for daycare."

    Oh, give me a freakin' break! We're not talking about putting them in full-day daycare; we're talking about early education (2-3 hours/day, 3-5 days/week) so the kids don't have their first school experience the day they enter Kindergarten.

    Studies have shown that this kind of early education greatly increases a child's chance for success in school. I would think you would WANT that, but noooooo, old Donna is just another RWNJ stick in the mud. You truly are dense, woman!

    November 13, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "“The proposed bill closely mirrors President Obama's Preschool for All proposal he announced during the State of the Union address,” according to a statement from Duncan’s office."

    Then the House GOP/Teatrolls are sure to kill it. They can't let him have a "win" on anything whatsoever. It's anathema to them.

    November 13, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Donna

    ThinkAgain: Hey, GOP, where's our $24 billion reimbursement check?
    @Donna: "PARENTS need to educate their children in the early years. Kids are already taken from their mothers at an early age for public schooling. These kids need more than education at that early part of their life. These are not little robots you know. I fear people just want to use this as a form of government paid for daycare."
    --
    Oh, give me a freakin' break! We're not talking about putting them in full-day daycare; we're talking about early education (2-3 hours/day, 3-5 days/week) so the kids don't have their first school experience the day they enter Kindergarten.
    --
    Studies have shown that this kind of early education greatly increases a child's chance for success in school. I would think you would WANT that, but noooooo, old Donna is just another RWNJ stick in the mud. You truly are dense, woman!
    --

    You don't have a clue idiot. They already have pre-kindergarden for kids. A parent can educate their young children fra better at tht early age with one on one education. Throwing a hoard of 20-30 2-3 years olds in a room with a few adults is NOT education or certainly no where near what a child gets with one on one with their parents. But I'm sure fools like you are perfectly comfortable with relinquishing your parental duties and responsibilities to government nannies. It is why we have a bunch of know-nothings 'graduating' from high school.

    November 13, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    Despite ample evidence that early education program increase a child's chances of success and also aid in helping to identify children with special needs ( like my son), there are those that will insist its a step towards the government taking control of the family. The only way that will happen is if you grossly neglect your kids or you seek to isolate them from the outside world. This is a proven success story, so naturally the Right is against it. I do think that districts have the right and the obligation to experiment with programs like vouchers and charter schools, there should be more rigorous standards for the kids to meet and a wider array of choices for career and job training when the kids get to the Secondary level. Its only going to get tougher for kids: why hurt them and their chances? The people that hate programs like this are also the ones wanting to spend billions on a border fence: which is a better investment?

    November 13, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. truth hurts but reality bites

    Liberals and lefties only seem concerned with out sourcing their kids education. More money, early school, more money, and you claim studies prove you right. But reality proves you wrong as more and more kids coming out of the public school system are uneducated, with many not being able to read, write or do simple math.

    Parents can educate their chilrdren at home in the early years. Every moment with that child is a learning moment. Before reaching the mire of public education many of these home education children are far far ahead of their liberal raised cohorts who are still trying to learn to tie their shoe laces. Liberals like to throw out the false choice of if the kid isn't in a public school setting then he is not learning. Total lies and rubbish.

    November 13, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |