Helen Blank is Director of Child Care and Early Learning, working on child care and early education issues, at the National Women’s Law Center. She currently leads the federal Child Care and Early Learning Coalition. At NWLC she has authored numerous reports and articles including an annual report on state child care policies and A Center Piece of the PreK Puzzle: Providing State Prekindergarten in Child Care Centers. Previously Ms. Blank served 24 years as the director of the Child Care and Development Division at the Children's Defense Fund. While at the Children's Defense Fund, Ms. Blank spearheaded a variety of efforts for improved early learning legislation including the campaign to enact the first comprehensive federal child care legislation. She was also a leader in efforts to create an entitlement for child care for parents receiving welfare and later to expand and improve the child care provisions in the 1996 welfare law, subsequently developing guides to assist states in implementing the provisions of the laws. While at CDF, she created and led the Emerging Leaders Program for up and coming leaders in early care and education and at the National Women’s Law Center co-directs PLAN, the Progressive Leadership and Advocacy Network for emerging leaders focusing on issues affecting low-income women and their families. Ms. Blank has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College of the City University of New York.