[caption id="attachment_47298" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Early learning programs help prepare children for later academic success."]Early learning programs help prepare children for later academic success.[/caption]

Advocates of early childhood education continue to fight for a federal initiative that was intended to challenge states to develop effective, innovative models that promote early childhood programs.

The program, called the Early Learning Challenge Fund (ELCF), was authorized by Congress in September 2009 but was never funded.

Lawmakers had committed $8 billion for the program as part of a larger bill...

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