The KC Pre-K Program Initiative Position Statement
Thanks to decades of research and scientific advancements, we understand more about young children’s brains than ever before. We know high-quality early care and education can help children take advantage of immense opportunities, that are unique to the first five years of life, and literally, wire children’s brains for success. Unfortunately, for many families, high-quality early education is not obtainable. It’s time to help all families enjoy the benefits of high-quality early education. High-quality child care is an investment we can’t afford to forgo.
The Family Conservancy supports the Mayor’s proposed plan for the following reasons.
A Once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity
The benefits of high-quality early education are immense, but the window of opportunity is narrow. Today, there are approximately 4,500, 4-year-old children not receiving the benefits of high-quality pre-k.
Flexible Options for Working Families
For working parents, flexibility is an important element of early care and education. Every family and child has a unique set of needs they need met by their pre-k program. Utilizing a mixed-delivery system, the proposed plan provides parents greater flexibility and options.
Leveraging Existing Public Resources
The proposed plan will leverage several public funding sources, including Head Start, child care subsidy, and the school funding formula by the State.
Levels the Playing Field
This new revenue will be used to help families afford high-quality pre-k. The tuition scale is designed so families with the greatest financial need will receive the most tuition support, giving more families the opportunity to enroll their child in a quality-rated preschool program of their choice.
Building a System of Quality
The KC Pre-K Program places a heavy focus on improving system-wide quality — enabling existing programs to meet the communities need for high-quality, affordable child care. By strengthening our existing resources — school-based classrooms, community-based child care, and Head Start — the proposed program takes advantage of current expertise. Additionally, quality improvement dollars will be used to implement research-based, system-wide measurements to drive program improvement and gauge quality.
Learn more about the plan here.