“I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America… Let’s do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.”
– Barack Obama, Feb. 12, 2013
Far too many children lack access to preschool. The need for early learning is clear, as studies prove: children who have rich early learning experiences are better prepared to thrive in school. Yet the US ranks 28th in early learning enrollment. For those who do attend, quality varies widely. Less than a third of 4- year-olds in poverty attend a high-quality preschool program, and the gap is especially pronounced in low-income communities. Doing better is more than just a moral and educational imperative, it’s smart government: Every public dollar spent on preschool returns $7 through increased productivity and savings on public assistance and criminal justice.
The goal is to enable every American 4-year-old to attend a quality preschool program — one characterized by well-organized learning experiences, guided exploration, art, and storytelling, led by a skilled teacher. In addition, the Department of Education will work with the Department of Health and Human Services to significantly expand and improve services to younger children.
Want to learn more about The Plan for Early Learning in America? Click here to read more from the Department of Education.