Universal Preschool and the State of the Union

(KTVI) – President Obama repeated some of last year’s State of the Union Address plans that never took hold. One of those is making pre-kindergarten classes available to every four-year-old.

A $100 billion-dollar program would fund preschool for children in families below the poverty line.  Early Childhood education expert Steve Zwolak discusses the proposal.

2 comments

  • Meg

    Quality preschool is surely needed for our children but how about fully funding Head Start programs first. The president talked about getting more people into the middle class then he talked about moving 1/4 of the children out of my preschool into a public FREE preschool.

  • L Carol Scott, CEO, Child Care Aware of MO

    I’m with you, Meg, AND we shouldn’t have to choose between quality preschool for *any* child and quality preschool for children in families that are eligible for Head Start or able to pay for high quality community-based preschool. It’s time to recognize that Head Start and private-pay preschools serve specific subsets of the nation’s young children, and that there is a large population of preschool-age children that are not served in either setting. High quality pre-k is important for many, many more children than those whose families are eligible for Head Start or are able to pay their own tuition at a good quality program. We need to adequately fund the *existing preschool infrastructure* by making sure that these new federal funds are spent to purchase pre-k IN those existing programs. School districts starting up new programs should only occur where community options are not sufficient to meet the demand or existing programs are not willing to meet the quality standards.

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