First Lady Pam Northam visits Roanoke early childhood education centers

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - Thursday afternoon Virginia's First lady visited TAP's Head Start program in Raleigh Court.

There she toured a toddler classroom and read them a book called "No, David."

Northam said she wants to learn how programs like TAP's are collaborating with other local agencies. Northam also visited the United Way of Roanoke. She hopes the state can scale up the programs she visited in Roanoke - in hopes of serving more children.

Northam said she hopes to reassure these centers she is pushing for more support and funding, and wanted to learn more about what kind of resources they need.

"We know that this is a great place to put our investment. It's one of the best developments that we can make as a state, not only are we growing the workforce of the future but we're also providing opportunities for people to go back to work or go back to school," she said.

Northam said many of the local centers are taking advantage of a $10 million preschool grant obtained by the state last year, but said that is just the beginning. She hopes to work with her husband to secure more funding to scale up operations like the ones she visited in Roanoke.

Northam remarked that some are recognizing Virginia as being number one in the nation for business, but ranked 33rd in the nation for money spent on early childhood development. Northam said she'd like to see that number increase.