Pelosi Announces National Summit on America's Children in May

March 28, 2007
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today that she will convene a bipartisan summit in May to hear from national experts on recent scientific findings and how they relate to early childhood development.

The National Summit on America's Children will take place in Washington on Tuesday, May 22, 2007.  The meeting will be chaired by Congressman George Miller of California, co-chair of the House Steering and Policy Committee; Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, co-chair of the House Steering and Policy Committee; and Congressman Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania, a longtime advocate for children.  All Members of the House will be invited to attend.

'The goal of the summit is to hear from experts on how federal policies can match the latest research so that families are given what they need to take advantage of scientific advances,' Pelosi said.  'This will require a commitment to explore new approaches and to examine existing policies.  Today's families and future generations are counting on us to make this critical commitment.'

Congressman Miller said: 'Research over the past decade in the fields of neuroscience and child development shows that during the first five years of life, children's brains develop dramatically, and the path of this development has a lasting impact on children's future health, learning, and success.  It is critical that we carefully re-examine our public policies to determine if they are adequately helping young children to develop into productive members of our society.'

Said Congresswoman DeLauro: 'Recent scientific studies on young children and their families have demonstrated that there is a huge chasm between what we know is good for America's children and families versus what we as a country do about it.  The Children's Summit will focus Congress's attention on this chasm, the problems that ensue if we do nothing, and the opportunities for Congress to use science to dramatically improve the public policy opportunities for children in this country.'

Congressman Fattah said: 'I share the Speaker's concern that our policy be evidence based.  I look forward to collaborating with Chairman Miller and Congresswoman DeLauro, two tireless champions of our youngest citizens, to make certain that our policy supports the most relevant research on how best our children grow and learn.'

The legislators will convene leading scientists and experts in a wide array of areas, including early childhood learning, health care, and child care.  Practitioners of innovative public and private initiatives will be invited to attend to offer research-based testimony to assist the lawmakers in the development of federal policy.

In addition to Members of Congress, state and local officials will be invited to participate.  Representatives of child and family policy organizations also will be invited to attend.