In an Oct 17 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Red Jahncke, asserts universal preschool programs are really about “…Providing parents with free day care under the guise of education.” We disagree. This conversation is not about “free daycare” but rather the availability of quality, affordable and accessible early learning programs, which include child care.
While Mr. Jahncke may ignore studies showing the long-term benefits of preschool, undisputed is the tremendous brain growth and development that science shows us occurs in the first years of life. Of the 20 million children under the age of five in this country, more than half need child care for up to 36 hours a week (up from 35 hours since last year). Our country cannot afford to dismiss the quality of early learning and child care settings and how children are – or are not – preparing to enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life.
Mr. Jahncke’s suggestion, to ignore learning until kindergarten, leaves children to chance. More than 350 senior military leaders who formed Mission Readiness and 35 current and former CEO’s who pledged their support and belief in early childhood education through Ready Nation also disagree with Mr. Jahncke. They know, as we do, that supporting young learners today is a sound investment for the future.
Want more facts? Follow our webinar series “Raise Your Hand” to hear from industry experts about early childhood education and the long term benefits.