The Maneater

Chelsea Clinton speaks at UCP Child Development Center about childcare issues

Chelsea Clinton: “I believe this is a moral imperative. Some people think it is a competitive imperative.”

Chelsea Clinton met with local parents and members of the Columbia community at the UCP Child Development Center on March 14th, 2016 where she discussed the importance of early childhood education and also focused on how important programs for young children with disabilities are.

Chelsea Clinton sat in front of a collection of kids’ Pollockesque splattered paintings and spoke about child care resources and research at 8:30 a.m. Monday at Columbia’s United Cerebral Palsy Child Development Center. She addressed a crowd of mostly female parents, teachers, community leaders and residents.

Chelsea Clinton, Hillary and Bill Clinton’s daughter, is president of the Clinton Foundation, which advocates for health and education globally. She hosted the “working mom’s roundtable” discussion as part her mother’s presidential campaign. Missourians will be voting in the state’s primary Tuesday. Hillary Clinton, who is facing a challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, is leading in the delegate count

“Something I’m really proud of my mom for doing in this campaign is how she is the only one on either side of the aisle who has a plan on how to fund her policies,” Chelsea Clinton said.

Chelsea Clinton mentioned her mother’s plan to provide child care tax credits so parents could send their children to quality care places like the UCP Child Development Center. She said working mothers should not put in jeopardy what comes first for them: their families.

A focus in Hillary Clinton’s work has been to find out why many kids were not in school, Chelsea Clinton said. She often found their stories included mental or physical disabilities, or lacking resources at home and school. Hillary Clinton’s “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda” focuses funding on Title I schools, those with high percentages of students from low-income families, according to her campaign website.

Chelsea Clinton said the funding would ensure schools have sufficient counselors, speech pathologists and nurses.

“That should be the story of every child in our country, that they have opportunities and choices,” Chelsea Clinton said.

Early intervention for children with developmental challenges was also discussed. Heather Demand, a teacher and parent at the UCP center, shared photos and a story about her twins who were born three months early. Her family received support from Missouri First Steps, an intervention system aimed at enhancing disabled or developmentally delayed children’s education and participation in families and communities.

“I couldn’t be more happy with how early intervention has affected my family and other kids,” Demand said.

Waiting until kindergarten to begin serving children is too late, said Chelsea Clinton. She noted prenatal services as a key to child and family development, and endorsed Obama’s work through the Affordable Care Act. According to the ACA’s [website] (http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts-and-features/fact-sheets/aca-and-maternity-care/index.html), improved benefits include private plans required to cover maternity and newborn care and many plans covering well-woman visits and breastfeeding supplies.

Chelsea Clinton also pointed to her mother’s act to double Head Start program funding while she was in the Senate. She said child development issues may now seem like a Democratic issue, but more Republicans are getting on board.

“I believe this is a moral imperative, some people this it is a competitive imperative,” Chelsea Clinton said.

This presidential campaign is different for Chelsea Clinton because she is now a parent and pregnant with her second child. She said she previously questioned continuing her involvement in politics as she started a family. However, Chelsea Clinton wanted to make sure the elected leader of her kids’ generation makes a future she desires them to grow up in.

“I have not one iota of a doubt that my kids are my drive to work so hard,” Chelsea Clinton said.

Edited by Waverly Colville | wcolville@themaneater.com

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