Universal Preschool News
In this section, you'll find editorials, legislation, public policy and trends
on issues relating to preschool, pre-kindergarten, childcare and the push toward
universal preschool education. Particularly of note are articles concerning the
states claim of a compelling interest in compulsory preschool education. Visit
often for the latest preschool news.
The Evidence on Universal Preschool
Calls for universal preschool programs have become commonplace, reinforced by President Obama's call for "high-quality preschool for all" in 2013. Any program that could cost state and federal taxpayers $50 billion per year warrants a closer look.
This report reviews the major evaluations of preschool programs, including both traditional programs such as Head Start and those designated as "high quality." These evaluations do not paint a generally positive picture. The most methodologically rigorous evaluations find that the academic benefits of preschool programs are quite modest, and these gains fade after children enter elementary school.
October 15, 2014
[More Results from cato.org]
Lawmakers quietly considering universal preschool
After California's voters last June defeated a $2.3 billion universal preschool initiative, Proposition 82, the issue of early education seemed dead. But reports of its demise have proved premature.
The debate over how much to spend on pre-K and for which kids is now in the hands of the state politicians, and the issue will resurface this week when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger releases his revised 2008 budget.
May 7, 2007
[More Results from San Jose Mercury News (CA)]
The Price of Day Care Can Be High
There is one place in North America where parents of young children don't have to worry about child care. In Quebec, full-time day care costs just $7 a day, thanks to a government program aimed at one of the thorniest problems that workers in their 20's,
Starting in 1997, the Quebec Family Policy subsidized day care for 4-year-olds at government-approved centers around the province. By 2000, the program had expanded to cover any child not old enough for kindergarten, all the way down to infants. This is universal day care, an audacious idea that recognizes the revolution in women's work over the last 30 years.
June 14, 2006
[More Results from New York Times (Canada)]
World Congress of Families II
"The learning tools -- vision, hearing, cognition, nervous system-- of
average children who enroll at today's early ages are not tempered for structured academic tasks.
Students lose physical and mental health from 1) uncertainty from leaving the family nest, 2) bafflement from social pressures and restrictions, 3) frustration from pressure to use their unready "learning tools" which can't handle the regimentation and routine of formal lessons, 4) hyperactivity growing out of tattered nerves warring against rigid studies, 5) failure which flows from the episodes above, 6) delinquency which is failure's twin, and 7) a sense of family lost, often including suicide.
April 11, 2005
[More Results from The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society]
Do Pre-K Center Care Programs Work?
A number of states have initiated, or are in the process of initiating, free pre-K center care programs for children from low-income families.
In the case of Smart Start and Kid Stuff, the states estimate that when fully implemented, these programs will cost in excess of $300 million per year.
During the past 40 years there have been five large-scale trials conducted to investigate the relationship between pre-K and developmental outcomes in children. We will examine each of these studies to see if they support the claim that high quality pre-K contributes to the intellectual, academic, and behavioral development of children.
August 1, 2003
[More Results from Eagle Forum]
Opinion: Preschool is No Answer
Those who call for more state funding for preschool age children are ignoring one important fact: American preschoolers are doing better than ever.
Throughout the 20th century, the scores of preschool age children on IQ and kindergarten readiness tests have climbed steadily upward.
In short, American children start school better prepared than ever. It's not until they move up through grade school and on to high school that their performance declines.
January 10, 2002
[More Results from CATO Institute]
Much Too Early!
Realistic developmental needs in early childhood education and preschool, discussed by Professor of Child Development, Dr. David Elkind.
In one sentence, Froebel, father of the kindergarten, expressed the essence of early-childhood education. Children are not born knowing the difference between red and green, sweet and sour, rough and smooth, cold and hot, or any number of physical sensations. The natural world is the infant's and young child's first curriculum, and it can only be learned by direct interaction with things.
February 5, 2001
[More Results from Best Homeschooling.org]