The Case for Early Childhood Education A Berks Alliance Community Forum
In the late 1990’s, then Boston Mayor Tom Memino, wanted to improve Boston’s schools. One of his strategies was to support universal full day kindergarten. But with a tight budget, he was forced to move funding support from Pre-K for 4 year-olds, to provide funds for kindergarten for 5 year-olds. The result was a limited pool of money for the Pre-K slots. To fill those slots, the city launched a random lottery. This “accidental experiment” produced incredible results. Twenty years later, academic researchers took a look at the students who participated in Boston’s six year lottery. And the results were amazing.
Regardless of their background, the students who attended the pre-kindergarten program were less likely to get into trouble during their academic career and skip school and more likely to graduate from high school and continue their education. The impact was more significant for boys than girls, but the impact was still significant. Just one year of half day pre-kindergarten made a big difference in the lives of these children.
Other studies of early childhood education have found similar results. But the academic impact is only part of the story. Students who have experienced a Pre-K program are more likely to be disciplined and focused, motivated and socially acclimated than students who lack that experience.
Sloane Kaiser, an associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, will talk about her work centered on early childhood education, particularly the role of the private sector and business community in supporting these efforts. That research show that the quality early childhood education is a “two-generation” approach to workforce development. Not only does early childhood education allow more parents, particularly mothers, to hold a job, it helps prepare their children to also be more successful when they reach young adulthood. Sloane will also share information about the use of American Recovery Plan Funds to support childcare and early childhood education.
Dr. Christi Weitzel, the Assistant Director of Early Childhood Education for the Berks County Intermediate Unit will talk about efforts in our region to expand access to quality early childhood education. She will be joined by Dr. Marnie Aylesworth, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Key, Pennsylvania’s early childhood education resource center.
Below is the information about registering for this upcoming Community Forum
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Sep 16, 2021 11:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)