President Barack Obama’s vision for universal pre-school includes greater investments starting in the earliest days of life, including home-visiting programs that offer parenting skills and support to new mothers and fathers, more quality child care for infants and toddlers, as well as a push to offer pre-school to all four-year olds from low- and moderate-income families.
The president is scheduled to visit a Head Start program near Atlanta Thursday to unveil his proposal, but an outline of his plan was released early in the morning.
The administration did not offer a price tag for the sweeping expansion of early education. But he is proposing that federal-state partnerships pay for pre-school expansion and competitive federal grants pay for an expansion of Early Head Start and other child care programs that serve infants and toddlers.
Federal funding would be given to programs that adhere to specific quality standards, with qualified teachers, state-determined academic standards, and assessment systems.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama announced that he wanted to make high quality pre-school available to every child in America. He cited research that pre-school investments pay off with improved high school graduation rates, higher employment rates, and even more stable family lives.
“Let’s do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind,” Obama said.
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