THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
February 24, 1997
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Federal Policies Targeted to Children in Their Earliest Years
Over the past few years, scientific research has demonstrated that the earliest years of life -- before children reach school-age -- are critical to cognitive, emotional, and physical development. We know that emotional nourishment, intellectual stimulation, parental and community support, good nutrition, proper health care, quality child care, and safe housing during the first years of life form the foundation for a child's ability to learn, thrive in school, work productively, and contribute fully to society.
Across the Federal Government, we are making great strides to enhance development during the earliest years of life by investing in research, educating parents and caregivers, and supporting programs that provide early intervention to disadvantaged families. I am committed to accelerating our efforts to target the earliest years of life. We all have a stake in ensuring that every child is given the opportunity to fulfill his or her God-given potential.
Today, I am directing the heads of executive departments and agencies to report to me within 30 days with:
I am also directing the establishment of a senior level interagency working group to share, examine, and develop these assessments and proposals.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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