Which preschool education projects will get more money?
Posted September 16, 2018 11:38:05A report released Monday by the nonprofit Center for American Progress finds that while funding for preschool education rose significantly over the last decade, it hasn’t always been as robust as other areas of education.
The report notes that while preschool education spending grew by $3.2 trillion over the decade, preschool education has been hit with “substantial underfunding.”
It also notes that there has been a $1.4 trillion increase in the cost of preschool education over the past five years.
In addition, the report says that the percentage of preschool children in preschool programs has declined over the same time period.
The CAP report also notes a major problem that the preschool education funding has been slow to fix: “the nation’s largest preschool programs still struggle to provide sufficient preschool activities, enrichment and educational support for children in all preschool settings.”
The report recommends a broad-based preschool education program that includes “a wide range of programs, activities and supports that will be of value to children and families in the early years of their life, especially those most at risk for poverty and early learning difficulties.”
The CAP proposal includes: A national preschool curriculum that would include “a high-quality mix of activities, experiences, and learning experiences,” including enrichment and activities designed for the developmental, social and cognitive development of children and young adults.
An expanded preschool program that would address all preschool children’s needs through a wide range to include: a new kindergarten program that provides access to the “right kind of learning environment” and supports students with disabilities, learning disabilities, and developmental delays; a preschool program for special needs students, which includes a special education component that provides “learning support services that provide the support necessary to achieve high achievement and academic achievement for students who are students of color or who are eligible for special education services.”
An expansion of the Childcare Investment Fund, which would create new funding for low-income families and provide an additional $10 billion to the Child Care Investment Fund to help support families in “emerging communities that are at risk of closing their schools and may not be able to provide services to students who need the support.”
The plan also calls for a pilot program that will see the federal government establish a preschool program in every state.
The program would focus on developing activities that will help children learn to read, to learn math and to make friends and interact with peers.
The White House also announced Monday that it is expanding a preschool education pilot program called the Early Learning Initiative, which will help low- and moderate-income preschool children get ready for kindergarten and first grade in every American state.
The federal government is offering up to $1,000 in early childhood education funding to low- or moderate- income families and supports in the first two years of a child’s life.
This money is available in the form of $1 for every dollar of federal tax credits, $2 for every $10 in federal tax credit monies paid, or $2.50 for every 100 federal tax refunded.
The Department of Education will be implementing these funding opportunities over the next two years.
The CAP project calls for “a comprehensive preschool education initiative that includes an expanded preschool curriculum and includes activities, supports and support that will promote early learning, healthy development, and educational achievement.”