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House Committee Approves Parental Training Bill

On June 18, the House Education and Labor Committee passed, by voice vote, the Education Begins at Home Act (H.R. 2343).

Sponsored by Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), H.R. 2343 would authorize $400 million in grants for FY2008-2010 to enable states, Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and territories to deliver quality early childhood home visitation programs to pregnant women and parents of children from birth through kindergarten entry.

The measure would enhance Head Start programs, authorize $20 million for FY2008-2010 to expand linguistically appropriate home visitation programs, $20 million for FY2008-2010 to expand home visitation programs for military families, and “such sums as necessary” to provide parenting classes regarding the proper care of newborns, including information about symptoms of child abuse.

The bill also would establish a public education awareness campaign on the importance of proper care of infants and young children.

During consideration of the bill, the subcommittee approved, by voice vote, a substitute amendment by Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) to give priority to communities that have large concentrations of individuals who are learning English.

The subcommittee rejected:

  • an amendment by Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) to focus the programs on areas with high instances of drug abuse, teen pregnancies, and child abuse, 17-24; and
  • an amendment by Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-NY) to exempt individuals who are in the country illegally from the bill, 17-25.
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