- Associated Press - Thursday, May 15, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - Early childhood education activists are pressing Massachusetts lawmakers to dedicate more money to help reduce a waiting list of parents looking to get their children into affordable early education and child care.

Activists say there are currently about 40,000 children on the waiting list. They say they support a Senate proposal to spend $17.5 million that would help reduce that list by about 3,000 children.

They said the extra money will help ensure that at-risk families have access to the high-quality, affordable education and child care opportunities they need to succeed.

The activists are planning to rally on the Statehouse steps Thursday morning.

They say they will be joined by Sen. James Welch, a West Springfield Democrat, and Rep. Jay Livingstone, a Democrat from Boston.