Universal pre-Kindergarten (page 2)
85% of who you are - your intellect, your personality, your social skills - is developed by age 5. One of the goals of the Early Education for All (EEA) Campaign is to ensure that every child has access to a high-quality pre-kindergarten education, which meets professionally accepted standards, is staffed by well-trained early educators, and is delivered through a mix of public and private programs. Investing in Early Education is Essential: Children who participate in high-quality early childhood education develop better language skills, score higher in school-readiness tests and have better social skills and fewer behavioral problems once they enter school. Research indicates that low-income children who participate in high-quality early childhood education are:
- 40% less likely to need special education or be held back a grade;
- 30% more likely to graduate from high school; and
- Twice as likely to go to college.
Learn more about why investing in early education is essential. Early Education is an Investment that Pays Off:
- Dr. James Heckman, University of Chicago Nobel Laureate in Economics, found that high-quality early education gives children "the advantage of an early start to their skill development improving their chances of participating in the job market in later years." He concluded that, "the best evidence supports the policy prescription: Invest in the very young."
- A 2003 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis found that investments in early childhood education yield an estimated 16% for every dollar invested.
Learn more about early education as an economic development strategy. Read What Early Educators are Saying about UPK: "UPK has allowed us to not only dream dreams of what we can do to stimulate children's curiosity and learning, but it also has given us the resources to actually make this happen in all our classrooms." -Diana Makhlouf, Director, Malden Early Education and Learning Program Click here for Diana's complete remarks. "We are proud to be a chosen provider of Universal Pre-School. The support that Ellis Memorial receives through this funding initiative (UPK) has enriched our programs and the children and families we serve." -Leo Delaney, CEO, Ellis Memorial Children's Center Click here for Leo's complete remarks. "The Teaching staff at the Garelick Early Learning Center are truly honored to be a part of such unique and creative vision in ensuring that all our children in the state of Massachusetts receive high-quality early education and care. We believe that by implementing the Universal Pre-K program, the state of Massachusetts is setting the bar high and rightly so. There is no better way to spend our dollars today for the betterment of our communities tomorrow." -Mary Varr, Child Care Director, Garelick Early Learning Center at the Hockomock Area YMCA Massachusetts Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK): The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has laid the foundation for responsible, accountable and effective investments in universal pre-kindergarten. In 2005, the state created the first-in-the-nation Board and consolidated Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). Among it statutory responsibilities is to oversee the development and implementation of a program of voluntary, universally accessible high-quality early childhood education for all preschool-aged children in the Commonwealth. Furthermore, the Legislature allocated $4.6 million for pilot funding for the Massachusetts Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) Program in the FY07 state budget. EEC awarded 126 UPK Classroom Quality Grants to 187 pre-kindergarten classrooms/settings, serving 3,002 children in 62 cities and towns. In FY08, the Campaign helped to secure an additional $2.5 million for UPK, bringing the total allocation to $7.14 million. Overall, 216 programs, representing 294 classrooms/settings, were awarded UPK Pilot Classroom Quality Grants in FY08. View the complete list of FY08 UPK Pilot Classroom Quality Grant recipients. EEA's Current Work: To see MA UPK to fruition, EEA is currently advocating for:
- The passage of H. 3776, An Act Relative to Early Education and Care, landmark legislation formally establishing the MA UPK program.
A Report On The Cost of Universal, High-Quality Early Education In Massachusetts:
In October 2006, EEA released “A Report On The Cost Of Universal, High-Quality Early Education in Massachusetts.” The report, produced in conjunction with the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, employs an exhaustive, detailed methodology to identify the cost of full implementation of MA UPK. The total investment needed to ensure that all Massachusetts’ preschool-aged children and their families have access to high-quality and affordable early education is $600 million, or just over $3,000 per child in 2006 dollars, in addition to the current public and private investments in early education and care. The Early Education for All Campaign believes that this new investment should be phased in over the next five years, starting with $100 million in FY08.
Reprinted with the permission of the Early Education for All Campaign. © Strategies for Children / Early Education for All. All rights reserved.
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