In his recent State of the Union Address, Obama recapitulated his plan for implementation of the “Preschool for All Initiative.” This initiative aims to widen access to preschool throughout the nation while also improving the quality of the education. The initiative especially focuses on providing preschool access to low-moderate income families who have typically otherwise found access to such education challenging, with the hope of improving future opportunities for these children regardless of background. Additionally, there will be a focus to provide early education to additional children from middle class backgrounds and to expand availability of full-day kindergarten.
The proposed educational initiative will be established via a continuum of early learning beginning at birth and progressing through age 5, and the programs will be specifically implemented via dollars allocated to the states by the United States Department of Education based on the presence of four-year-olds from low-moderate income families. There will be expansion of the current Head Start program as well as implementation of a new Early Head Start program. Indeed, evidence continues to mount illustrating that early education is worth our investment. Children without access to high-quality early education are 60% more likely to never attend college and 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime. With such early education programs in place, there is the hope of optimizing the opportunities, safety, and happiness of our children, adolescents, adults, and nation.
To learn more about Obama’s plan for expanding early education, read the official White House publication on Preschool For All Initiative
To read more about the advantages of early education here
Rania Myhre, MD