Obama Administration Puts Preschoolers on Path to Excel

$1 Billion investment supports quality early childhood education in 20 states

preschoolers
Image: iStock.com/Christopher Futcher)

Money isn’t everything, but it sure helps.

The Obama Administration has invested $1 billion to improve early childhood learning quality, particularly for low and moderate-income earning families.

More importantly, the investment is yielding positive results. It has opened the way for lower earning families to have greater access to high quality, early childhood programs.

To learn more, read this excerpt from The Washington Post:

“Early education across the United States is a mishmash of daycare, Head Start, and preschool programs with a wide range of quality and effectiveness. But a federally sponsored program in 20 states has been effective at giving those states a way to assess and quantify early-childhood education options and make that information available to parents, educators, and legislators, according to a study the U.S. Education Department released Monday.

The report looks at data from the 20 states that received more than $1 billion in federal aid to make quality education accessible to high-needs preschool children—those from low-income families or those in need of special assistance, including children with disabilities or developmental delays. The funding, the study says, has rapidly improved the quality of learning for the students while simultaneously enrolling a significant number of new students in top-tier programs.

It also has allowed health screenings for thousands of preschoolers to help identify and treat medical and developmental issues earlier, including ones that might have affected their ability to learn.

‘The individual and collective progress of the 20 Early Learning Challenge States is changing the early childhood landscape for the better,’ Linda Smith, deputy assistant secretary for early childhood development at the Administration for Children and Families, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. ‘It is exciting to watch these states make meaningful improvements as they tackle common and state-specific challenges and share lessons learned.’

States taking part in the program have created Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems that evaluate the individual daycare and preschool programs and create a measurement system so that parents can have more information when choosing a school for their children. Nearly 267,000 children with high needs are now enrolled in the highest quality state preschool programs, according to the report.”