Assembly Speaker Rendon Receives Early Learning Champion Award

Los Angeles (Dec. 15, 2016) – Early Edge has presented California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) with the Early Learning Champion Award for his leadership in quality early childhood education and care.

"Early education has been the heart of my work throughout my career and I am honored to receive the Early Learning Champion Award today," said California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. "It continues to be a top priority of mine that California gets it right by investing more in quality teaching and early learning for our young children and families."

“Early Edge California is pleased to recognize Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon with the Early Learning Champion Award,” said Deborah Kong, director of Early Edge. “We are fortunate to have a leader like Speaker Rendon in the Assembly who understands the need for high-quality early education and takes action to make California a better home for our young children and families.”

The award presentation included a tour of Los Angeles Unified School District’s Jaime Escalante Early Education Center and an on-site community celebration in Cudahy, CA. During the tour, Speaker Rendon visited a class of 2 year olds, a class of 4 year olds and an outdoor learning area. The award celebration that followed convened parents, educators, administrators, community leaders, and early childhood advocates. 

“Jaime Escalante Early Education Center is excited to welcome Speaker of the House Anthony Rendon who understands the need for quality preschool. On behalf of Jaime Escalante EEC, we are honored to host an amazing leader who advocates for our youngest learners and recognizes the importance of early education,” said Elvia H. Hernandez, principal of Jaime Escalante and State Street Early Education Centers. 

Thanks in large part to Speaker Rendon’s leadership in the Assembly, the 2016-17 California State Budget includes significant multiyear investments to expand early childhood opportunities, sustain the infrastructure of early education and care programs, uphold transitional kindergarten statewide, and set the stage for progress in quality teaching and learning in the future. The multiyear investments begin with an additional $147 million in 2016-17 that is expected to grow to more than $500 million in 2019-20.

The budget investments increase provider reimbursement rates to address the state’s new minimum wage increase and cover the cost of care. The state will also expand access to full-day State Preschool by nearly 9,000 additional slots over four years. The budget includes a modest investment in the early childhood workforce and language that prioritizes federal funds for the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS).

Speaker Rendon has also proposed to establish a Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Care and Education to improve services for children 0-3 and develop options for establishing universal pre-k for all 4 year olds.

The Early Learning Champion Awards are presented annually by Early Edge.

For photos from the event, please contact

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About Early Edge

Early Edge, an initiative of The Early Learning Lab, advances quality early education so children can be happy, healthy, engaged learners by their first day of school and every day after. Since 2003, Early Edge has successfully advocated for groundbreaking early childhood policies, from creating transitional kindergarten to securing the funding necessary to improve early learning programs. Learn more at:



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