Pre-Kindergarten may only be something you think of twice in your life: when you’re four years old, walking into a classroom for the first time, and once again, when you’re a parent, deciding if you’ll place your young one in preschool and answering the bigger question, “Can I afford it?” Alternatively, if you’re the president of the United States proposing a Universal Pre-K plan, this is a constant consideration.
Universal Pre-Kindergarten, also called Preschool for All, is a framework that focuses on children ages three to five having access to quality, publicly funded education and care. Similar to the idea of Universal Healthcare, Universal Pre-K removes the debt of forgoing a financial burden for a necessity. As a community, we can all agree on the importance of quality education. So, the sooner a student has access to quality educational tools, the more expansive their educational journey can become.
This is a thought our students at Goodwin University understand all too well. There is no one timeline for earning your education, but gaining that education should be as accessible as possible. A large percentage of Goodwin students start their journey while surrounded by various other responsibilities: work, spouses/partners, and families. When your family is young or just starting out, the price of preschool can be an anticipated derailment to your own educational pursuits. As a parent, you may choose to delay continuing your education, so you can set your child’s educational journey off right.
According to an article on MSNBC, American families pay on average $16,000 per year for quality childcare. That price can out-cost several private higher educational institutes. While Goodwin students experience more affordable costs, they are still faced with deciding between their education and their child’s. President Biden is proposing free universal preschool for all three and four-year-olds under his American Families Plan. Education involves the entire family, and the universal preschool subsection of this plan can release parents and guardians from the burden of settling or waiting until their children turn five years old.
The Alliance for Early Success website mentions that the brain of an infant to five years old is crucially developing intellectually, socially, and emotionally. These are essential years for young minds to form and absorb before formal educational training.
For the parents that choose their child’s quality education, there’s something they’re likely to give up. Some cut back on their working hours and career ambitions to take on homeschooling their preschooler. Others may remove themselves from the workforce altogether to devote their fullness to their young learner’s education. Universal Pre-K can remove the life-changing ultimatum from the equation and provide a better outcome for every American’s education, no matter their age.