The New York Times published an article titled “51,000 Answer de Blasio’s Bell for New Pre-K” this earlier week.
The piece highlights New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s aggressive efforts to provide pre-kindergarten care in the largest school system in the United States. De Blasio aims to enroll 53,000 children in pre-kindergarten programs this year at 600 public schools and 1,100 community-based organizations and religious schools throughout the city.
Whether de Blasio’s plan is successful remains to be seen. But its impact will be felt across the country, especially as more education and policy experts recognize the effect that quality early education care has for children’s long-term success.
In Philadelphia we see this. This week, Drexel University and the William Penn Foundation announced a new initiative to transform early education in West Philadelphia. Increasing the number of neighborhood children who receive high-quality childcare from 300 students to 600 students while raising pre-literacy scores by at least 15 percentage points is the primary goal.
Evaluating the short-term effectiveness of New York City’s pre-kindergarten program will come from a $2 million independent study followed by state test scores from enrolled students four years from now. Regardless, the outcomes from de Blasio’s program will impact early-childhood providers across the United States.
What do you think about the increased attention pre-kindergarten initiatives are receiving? Share with us @FairmountV.
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