Recently, The Cap Times published an article by U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, on the need to give all young children an equal chance to begin kindergarten ready to learn.
Secretary Duncan writes that, “President Barack Obama put forward a plan last week to make access to high-quality early learning a reality for every 4-year-old in America by making full-day preschool available to families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.”
Duncan notes that parents and education professionals across the country agree that more needs to be done to ensure that children from disadvantaged families begin kindergarten just as ready as children from better-off families.
But members of Congress have asked Secretary Duncan questions, doubting the impact of early childhood education. “How do we know early learning works?” Congress members ask, and “What about its lasting impact?”
The Secretary uses the article to share research on the impact of quality child care in states ranging from Oklahoma to Georgia and New Jersey.
He also writes about the need to invest in early learning to compete globally. “The countries we compete with economically are well ahead of us in preschool opportunity. We rank 28th in the proportion of 4-year-olds enrolled in early learning in surveys by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and 25th in public funding for early learning.”
Share your opinion: What do you think needs to be done to make sure all children receive quality early learning opportunities? Comment below…