Preschool - Preschoolers are the most overlooked demographic, and some kids even more than others.
Unfortunately there is still a huge discrepancy between what we know to be true (that early education is foundational in nature, makes a difference in early intervention, and helps spark learning that the child carries through their lifetime) and actual funding of programs for families to access preschool.
Many people are under the mistaken impression that preschool is available to all, and that's not true. Or that Head Start is available to anyone that can't afford preschool, also not true. In fact some states still don't even fund kindergarten, or have it as part of their public education format. Five states Alaska, Idaho, New York, Pennsylvania; in New Jersey, only the Abbott districts must offer kindergarten, don't even require their districts to provide kindergarten.
While that is bleak enough the reality is that there is another set of children that are often fully overlooked when it comes to the conversation of early education, those that are homeless, and those that are living in shelters (domestic violence, transition shelters) .
The idea that kids can just "catch up later" is often a fallacy. And we know that having access to even some preschool, can really make a difference. It can help a parent evaluate if there is a concern they should discuss with their pediatrician. We know that early intervention is a key to success. It can also allow children to start learning by sight the alphabet, the numbers, the days of the week, and words and sounds. Those early concepts and connections both spark an excitement in what is available, and an independence to want to learn more.
And a set of teachers that are overlooked? Preschool teachers! We know that teachers in funded programs still spend a lot of money out of pocket for their classrooms and students. A preschool teacher spends a lot out of pocket also, and many are small private owned business. And of course all teachers end up spending a lot of time outside of the classroom, making sure that their students needs are met - and that's NOT paid overtime.
Safe and happy travels!
Have you checked out Over The Bay Pre-K yet? It's a virtual Pre-K Classroom and it's affordable too!
We know the key to success starts way before school, and Pre-K to the end of Third Grade is the significant foundation for learning success.
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