Blog | Announcement | May 23, 2023

Prosecuting Attorney Advocates for ECE Programs in New Congressional Testimony

Prosecuting Attorney and Member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Dan James offered his written testimony early last week

On May 18th, Prosecuting Attorney Dan James sent written testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies sharing the powerful crime prevention and economic growth potential of investing in early childhood education and care.

As a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Mr. James knows that the best way to reduce long-term crime is to prevent it before it happens. In his remarks, he highlighted that investments in West Virginia’s youngest can improve academic performance—including high school graduation—and reduce the risk that participants will become involved in crime later, as studies show attendance in preschool programs increases school readiness and success, reduces likelihood of behavioral infractions at all grade levels, and is linked to long term crime reduction.

We as law enforcement leaders know that a prime way to reduce crime in the long run is strong investments in high-quality programs that allow children to develop properly and prepare them for school and life.

Dan James, Prosecuting Attorney for Morgan County

He also explained that the lack of infant-toddler child care in West Virginia causes economic damage of an estimated $464 million per year in lost wages, productivity, and revenue. Two thirds of West Virginians also live in a child care “desert,” with more than three young children for each licensed child care slot.

On behalf of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Mr. James called for increases in funding for Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), Preschool Development Grants, Birth to Five (PDG B-5), and Head Start and Early Head Start for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. These programs are research-proven to steer kids in the right direction and create a safer, more productive state.

Investment in early childhood education has historically been met with bipartisan support. In fact, this year, a record number of Republicans and Democrats expressed their approval of improving the early childhood sector. Prosecuting Attorney James closed his remarks with his hope that the bipartisanship will continue and our lawmakers can devote the crucial resources to our youngest children.

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