A lot of budgeting-axing attention focuses on grades K-12. What’s happening with pre-school education?
In some states, pre-school education is a casualty in the race to cut education budgets. Pre-school education is taking a serious hit in states like my own home state of Michigan. A special report released yesterday by The Center for Michigan finds that the Wolverine State is falling behind when it comes to funding pre-school education. Michigan is decreasing funding for pre-school education, as well as making some of the deepest cuts in childcare appropriations, the report says.
Other states making cuts are Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington, according to the report.
Research is clear on the benefits of good pre-school programs. Investments in programs for infants and toddlers pay off—and not just for the children. Families and communities benefit from helping little ones get a good start. The return on investment is as high as 20%, says the special report, citing research by an economist at the Federal Reserve.
I know the Gold Standard for early childhood programs: Allen Creek Preschool in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Its mission is “to support the healthy development of children from birth to age six. We do this by integrating early childhood education with modern psychoanalytic knowledge to benefit children, their parents, and the greater community.”
The program involves parents, teachers, staff, and children in co-producing the early educational experience. In my opinion, it focuses on the right priorities—emotional development, interpersonal relations, and conflict management.
What’s happening in your area when it comes to pre-school budgets?
Do you know any model programs like Allen Creek?