Skip to comments.Head Start: Preschool Proponents Should Admit to Shortcomings
Posted on 02/21/2014 4:37:15 AM PST by iowamark
Are Americans really longing for Head Start-like programs for their children? So argues Eleanor Clift in a recent article for the Daily Beast.
Clift praises El Centro Rosemount, a preschool center in Washington, D.C., that serves children from affluent families and students in the federal Head Start program.
As the day care center notes, its one of the few such centers in the country that cares for students in Head Start along with students from tuition-paying households. Visiting the center and observing the students led Clift to the conclusion that Rosemount epitomizes the value of early schooling.
Rosemount, however, might be the exception that proves the rule with Head Start. Proponents showcase centers such as Rosemounttheres a picture of actress Jennifer Garner participating in an event with the preschool in Rosemounts development materialsbut the vast majority of Head Start participants are relegated to underperforming centers that fail to prepare them adequately for kindergarten.
Despite all of the programs shortcomings, proponents defend Head Start. Head Start has endured for 50 years, and enjoys iconic status in Americas safety net, Clift writes. Head Start advocates cross party lines and more access to Head Start-like programs for more affluent families is driving the political debate.
But are Head Start-like programs really what middle- and upper-income families are pining for? Heres what we know about Head Start on the whole:
We can do better for the low-income families currently using Head Start. If the federal government remains in the business of financing Head Start, states should be allowed to make their Head Start dollars portable to follow children to preschool providers of choice. That might be a center like Rosemount, or it might be another private provider, a church-based day care, or any other number of options.
Instead of trying to scale-up the troubled program to make it a universal taxpayer-funded entitlement, at a minimum it should be reformed to better serve the low-income children currently enrolled. Middle- and upper-income families can and should bear the responsibility for financing their own childrens early education and carenot the federal government.
Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world. ~ Vladimir Lenin
Or, "What's this we have now?" Where do the authors think "the Federal Government's" money is coming from, if not from taxpayers ... those people with "middle and upper incomes"?
Private pay or private charity is the only effective policy.
The program was only about 2 hours long...maybe twice a week. A parent came with the child and stayed in a separate room discussing BS with the other parents. I only took her a few weeks.
They're trying to turn this crap program into some kind of Montessori...which is also a lot of cr**. It's nothing more than a free babysitting program and we know these kids have no long term benefit. The benefit is to mommy who can go back to bed.
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