Cole, Castro, Spanberger Introduce Bill to Include Early Child Education Jobs in Work-Study Programs
Congressman Tom Cole (OK-4), Ranking Member of House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Vice Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a member of the House Intelligence and Education and Labor Committees, and Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (VA-7), Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Member of the House Agriculture Committee, introduced H.R. 4196 to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to make jobs in early childhood education eligible as community service under the Federal Work-Study Program.
“Studies have shown that the earliest years of education are the most critical for learning and setting children up for future success. As the Federal Work-Study Program is currently administered, vital early education jobs do not qualify for community service. This is a missed opportunity not only for our children but for our talented future teachers. I am proud that this legislation encourages college students with a passion for teaching the youngest generation and provides greater opportunity for valuable career growth in the field. But most importantly, this bill brightens the future for our kids,” Congressman Cole said.
“With meaningful community service jobs and quality early childhood education, everybody is better off. During formative years, developmental and learning services are critical for students to succeed and realize their full potential. For those attending college and participating in the Federal Work-Study Program, teaching our nation’s kids is a valuable job and important way to give back. Such firsthand experience will inspire more diverse and talented people to pursue teaching, to the benefit of our children. Enabling our brightest minds, young and younger, to learn from one another will contribute to progress for all of us,” Congressman Castro said.
“Across Virginia, thousands of students take advantage of the Federal Work-Study program to earn extra income and help pay for college—and many of these hardworking students are preparing for careers in early childhood education. But currently, they’re unable to use work study dollars to serve in Head Start centers,” said Congresswoman Spanberger. “Our bipartisan bill would fix this discrepancy by allowing Head Start programs to qualify for Federal Work-Study dollars. By giving college students the opportunity to serve at Head Start centers during their undergraduate years, we are giving the next generation of educators valuable, hands-on experience in early childhood education. I’m proud to stand alongside Congressmen Castro and Cole in introducing this bill—and I’ll keep seeking new ways to strengthen Head Start, promote high-quality early childhood education, and support Virginia students pursuing education careers.”