ERIC Number: ED455924
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Education for All Young Children: The Role of States and the Federal Government in Promoting Prekindergarten and Kindergarten. Working Paper Series.
Mitchell, Anne W.
This working paper presents options for federal and state policymaking to create incentives for states and communities to make preschool education available to all young children. The majority of 3- to- 5-year-olds are engaged in preschool programs of one form or another, and one answer to questions regarding the quality of these programs is universal preschool. At present, Georgia is the only state that has committed sufficient funds to reach universal access. The word "universal" has several meanings, and the term "preschool" implies a certain level of educational quality. Four distinct delivery systems for preschool education in communities with local, state, and federal support are noted: kindergarten, Head Start, child care, and prekindergarten. One effective system is more efficient than several separate ones with regulatory, administrative, and other gaps, overlaps, and inconsistencies. Steps that states can take toward universal preschool education are delineated, including establishing one set of regulations that apply to all early childhood programs, raising staff qualifications, establishing program standards, and ensuring that a necessary infrastructure is funded. The paper also delineates roles for the federal government, which include conducting an annual survey on the status of preschool education, funding research to develop evidence-based curricula, and creating financial incentives for states and communities to develop locally responsive systems of preschool education. Appended is a table delineating how much each state and the District of Columbia budgets for its state prekindergarten program or the Head Start supplement, and the schematic diagram for constructing universal preschool. (KB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Foundation for Child Development, New York, NY.