Expanding pre-k to every three- and four-year-old in your state might seem like a daunting task. But the Campaign for Education Equity (CCE) and the Center for Children's Inititiatives (CCI) have got you covered with their new report, "Making Prekindergarten Truly Universal in New York: A Statewide Roadmap." This roadmap is specific to the Empire State, but there are lots of good strategies and ideas for advocates in other states to draw on, so it's definitely worth a read.
The roadmap encompasses recommendations for funding and expanding pre-k access over an eight-year period. The first four years would focus on getting all four-year-olds into pre-k programs, prioritizing children in low-income communities. The next four years would focus on expanding that same access to every three-year-old.
The plan is ambitious, but as our allies at the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) have noted, "At the pace the state is currently going with pre-k, it will take nearly 89 years before all four-year-olds have pre-k." Given the importance of early childhood education in closing the opportunity gap for students in underserved communities, we can't afford to wait the better part of a century to institute universal pre-k.
While we're on the subject of early education, don't miss this fantastic rebuttal from ReadyNation in response to a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed that tried to argue pre-k wasn't worth investing in. ReadyNation fact checked the whole article to show why pre-k most certainly is worth the investment.