Washington, DC — Congressman Jim Himes will welcome Children’s Learning Centers CEO Marc Jaffe as his guest to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 7th. Founded in 1902, Fairfield County-based Children’s Learning Centers is the second largest early childhood education provider in the state, and the largest food provider to young children in Southwest Connecticut.

“Connecticut is lucky to have some of the best educators in the country,” said Rep. Himes, “but for many, pre-k is prohibitively expensive. What’s more, early childhood classrooms don’t always have the resources necessary to ensure each family receives proper support. The incredible staff at the Children’s Learning Centers work daily to ensure that no child falls behind due to these financial hurdles. From offering safe childcare for frontline workers at the start of the pandemic, to feeding children who have nowhere else to eat, Marc Jaffe and his team offer lifechanging services to the people of Southwest Connecticut.”

A report recently published by the Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, chaired by Congressman Himes, found a direct correlation between family income and access to early childhood education. In large cities, basic childcare costs nearly $20,000 a year per child, forcing some low-income families to spend up to 35% of their income. The Child Care and Development Block Grant, the primary federal support for childcare to states, territories, and tribes, reaches less than 15% of eligible children.

“In the past two years I have heard from countless Americans who need more financial, academic, and emotional support for their children,” Himes continued. “The government can do so much more to support our nation’s families, and I am enormously grateful for leaders like Marc Jaffe who have taken on much of that burden. Increased access to early schooling is not only a moral obligation, it is good fiscal practice. I hope we will hear more from President Biden about how the government is working to support children in these early, formative years.”