In a new brief from the Pew Center on the States, Timothy Bartik argues that investing in early childhood helps with job creation in the short term and also creates a stronger future workforce. His comprehensive model combines well-designed business incentives with high-quality early childhood programs.
High Quality Early Education
The Pew Center's Pre-K Now project released a new paper making the case for "Pre-K as a School Turnaround Strategy." The paper urges members of Congress to look at state and local turnaround initiatives that use limited funds for proven early education programs as a way to improve student achievement. According to the report, "The evidence is clear and compelling: pre-K multiplies the impact of other reforms. Early investment is the best investment."
As federal lawmakers consider reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, this brief makes the argument for a robust early education component in the effort to provide high-quality programs in the fight for equal educational opportunities for all children.
Even with the restoration of planned cuts to 16,000 child care slots, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's budget would still reduce the level of child care funding below what are already inadequate levels to meet the needs of low-income families, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute. Funding would be considerably below the annual average level for 2008-2010 and it increases child care co-payments from families by $13 million, even though the need among low-income families is five times as great as what the city now funds.
The 2010 State of Preschool Yearbook presents data on state-funded prekindergarten programs during the 2009-2010 school year.
The report includes information on national trends in public preschool programs, state profiles with detailed program information, and comprehensive appendices of survey and program data. The report emphasizes the need for effective, high-quality early education programs which provide critical support to a child’s development. The data also shows that the recession had a significant impact on state funding for preschool programs in the 2009-2010 school year.