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house Bill H.R. 3461

Increased Access to Kindergarten for Disenfranchised Youth

Argument in favor

Kindergarten is vital to a child’s educational and social success, and should be available to all American children. Decreasing the number of low-income children currently placed on waitlists for programs could potentially decrease poverty in America.

Argument opposed

Some concern that the federal initiative is duplicative of existing programs. Fully-funded, the bill would still leave 60 percent of low-income children under age 5 without access to any public programs.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
      Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education
    IntroducedNovember 13th, 2013

What is House Bill H.R. 3461?

Would create a 10-year federal-state partnership to expand and improve early learning opportunities for children up to age five. The bill would provide full-day kindergarten for four-year old children from families that were 200% below the poverty line. The federal government would provide money to states that would in turn distribute that money to local entities that could provide kindergarten services. The bill also includes $100 million reserved to support child care training, licensure, and professional development, including support for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program. The bill was introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) in Senate and Representative George Miller (D-CA), and Representative Richard Hanna (R-NY) in the House. The Senate version of the bill, S. 1697, is identical. 


If enacted, the bill would afford some of America's most disenfranchised youth access to kindergarten education. Optimistically, this access would have wide-ranging long-term benefits to those enrolled, including increased sociability, better cognitive ability, and a greater chance of leaving poverty. Pessimistically, the program would not reach enough youth to affect sociological change.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3461

A CBO cost estimate is not currently available.


Strong Start for America's Children Act of 2013

Official Title

To support early learning.

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