Washington, D.C. -- It was a race to the finish for a group of youngsters on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The race was meant to draw attention to an even bigger race, the one for funding early child education programs before the budget deadline at the end of the month. Mom’s at the event said it was programs that those that changed their lives.
“I have a 7 year old and a three year old. And we had a really hard time trying to find affordable child care In Arlington so this really hits home for us,” Amy Hjerstedt form Arlington, VA said.
Another mom, Shelia Arias said it saved her life. Early Head Start took in Shelia Arias’ 18 month year old daughter after she had lost her job and couldn’t afford the fees of day care.
“To go back and have those bad bad memories, when my kids didn’t have food, we didn’t have money to pay rent I was out of my apartment,” Arias added.
The moms and dads were joined by a group called Mom’s Rising, a grassroots organization that works for economic security for all families.
“Too many families are struggling with the cost of childcare which in many states exceeds the cost of college,” Donna Norton, Deputy Executive Director of Mom’s Rising said.
Members of Congress, like North Carolina Congressman David Price and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand were there showing their support for these programs. Gillibrand says as a mother, she knows the difference they make.
“To learn your letters before you go to kindergarten your ability to succeed as child through education and throughout your life is enhanced,” Gillibrand said.
Senator Gillibrand says she has a number of bill is working on to make day care more affordable.
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As for what cuts will be made in the budget, we’ll have to wait and see what Congress decides to when the budget deadline hits at the end of the month.