I recently read an article in my local paper about the results of “Bright Beginnings,” an early childhood education program in North Carolina, funded by the government. While pre-K programs like this give an invaluable boost to our children’s education, some legislators are trimming the budgets for pre-K curriculum based on a number of misconceptions. I’m concerned that these naysayers have never spent time in these programs and have not observed the interaction between the parents, teachers and professionals involved.
Sadly, two-thirds of America’s fourth graders are not reading at the appropriate grade level. If more children have access to early childhood education, this number would be smaller. Pre-K programs are vital to ensuring students succeed later in life, which ultimately means a more educated, productive workforce. Despite the benefits, programs like “Bright Beginnings” have always been underfunded, and are now in crisis. Let’s look at the long term consequences of these programs when determining whether or not our children are worth our tax dollars when it comes to these types of programs. And, be sure to read the research done by Professor Kathy Hirsh-Pasek at Temple University, Professor Michnick Glinkoff at the University of Delaware, and Professor Dorothy G. Singer at Yale University for accurate information related to early childhood education and its benefits.
For more information on activities you can do at home to enrich your child’s learning before entering elementary school, read My Baby Compass.
– Kathy Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series