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ZERO TO THREE Comments regarding loan forgiveness for early childhood providers

As the leading national nonprofit representing the needs of infants and toddlers and their families, ZERO TO THREE provided a comment on the recently proposed rule by the Department of Education to expand Public Service Loan Forgiveness for early educators working in licensed and regulated settings.

Unlike K-12 or higher education, most families do not have access to a publicly financed system of care for their young children. Instead, early care and education is provided by a mixed delivery system made up of some public programs, but largely non-profit and for-profit child care centers, family child care homes, and informal caregivers. Without robust public funding, this system is financed through a combination of prohibitively high-parent fees and uncompetitively low educator compensation. Yet, despite this low level of compensation, early educators are professionals that play a critical role in shaping the foundational early brain development of infants and toddlers; and higher education plays an important role in preparing and supporting many early educators in this work.
We applaud the Department’s attention to this issue and urge the Department to expand eligibility to Public Service Loan Forgiveness to early childhood educators. Download the resource below to read the rest of our comments and our responses to the Department’s questions regarding the operational and feasibility of this proposed change.

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