Preschool education has become a prevailing topic of interest in the United States. Questions have been raised regarding the reasons for this interest. Is it out of a growing necessity of preparedness for school, a convien ent program geared towards middle class families or is it a possible solution towards reducing teenage pregnancies and juvenile crime or is it a precursor to higher academic achievement in later years Financing new preschool / early education programs elevates many concerns. The primary concern is funding of these new programs. While most agree that early intervention may possibly be the key to the reduction of teenage pregnancy and juvenile crime, we cannot forget about the existing problems that our older children are currently facing or the needs of infants. By adding new programs, will we reduce funding for programs currently serving our older children The U.
S. Department of Education currently has research programs underway. One such program of study is defined as basic and applied research of 23, 000 children in 1000 schools. These children will be followed from kindergarten until 5 th grade. A number of states have also joined the study or implementation of early childhood programs. Some specific examples are: New York California Has universal pre-kindergarten law.
Recommendation of universal preschool for all 3 and Will spend 500 million over the next 4 years. 4 year olds over next 10 years. Will begin new 4 year old program in fall, Has 53 member task force. to 125 districts. New Jersey Connecticut Provides half-day preschool and full day Serving 3500 3 and 4 year olds in 25 districts. kindergarten to 125 districts with the most Program free for families on public assistance.
disadvantaged. Sliding-fee scale for others. Georgia Vermont Ha program serving 61, 000 four year olds. Introduced legislation that would require This program is based on a first-come, first all schools to offer 3 and 4 year old programs.
served basis. Colorado Governor has staff of 9 that are working on early-childhood policies and programs. In addition to the study or implementation of new early childhood programs, the focus of what definitive skills should be taught is also an issue. The National Research Council suggests a heavy emphasis on literacy. Also recommended was additional training for teachers. In conclusion, I agree that early childhood intervention programs should be available to all, regardless of income.
Instead of reducing funds from existing programs that serve older children, new resources should be allocated from Federal Funding and dispersed equally between infants, preschool, and school aged children. Without this equality, we will be unable to fully service the needs of any child.