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ERIC Number: ED542908
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
The Pre-K Pinch: Early Education and the Middle Class
Wat, Albert
Pre-K Now
Across the nation, policymakers are paying increasing attention to the latest research on early childhood development--from brain development to cost-benefit analyses to longitudinal studies--and they are coming away with one conclusion: high-quality pre-kindergarten programs make the most of young children's immense learning potential and give them a foundation for success in school and in life. Especially in times of state and federal budget deficits and a global economic crisis, policymakers need sound, research-based guidance on the wisest use of public dollars. Few public policy options offer a guaranteed return as tangible as that of high-quality, voluntary pre-k. Through a review of the evidence, both quantitative and anecdotal, this report, "The Pre-K Pinch: Early Education and the Middle Class," demonstrates that high-quality pre-k benefits all children, families, and society; describes the extent to which middle-class families are struggling to afford high-quality pre-k; and provides estimates of the number of middle-class children left out of pre-k because of family income. This report then offers recommendations for policymakers to aid them in providing financial relief to middle-class families, stimulating our sputtering economy, ensuring the school readiness of the next generation, and building our nation's human capital. While increasing access to high-quality state pre-k will not address all of the economic troubles facing the middle class or the nation, it is an important and oft-overlooked part of the solution. Appended are: (1) Expense and Income Estimates for a Middle-Class Family of Four in States with Income-Based Pre-K Eligibility; and (2) Estimates of Children in Middle-Class Families Struggling to Afford Early Education and Care. Individual sections contain footnotes. (Contains 2 tables, 6 figures and 57 endnotes.)
Pre-K Now. Available from: Pew Charitable Trusts, State and Consumer Initiatives. 901 E Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20004. Tel: 202-540-2000; Fax: 202-552-2299; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pew Charitable Trusts, Pre-K Now