Thursday, January 9, 2014

Universal Preschool should be Mandatory

San Jose Mercury News reports; California Democratic lawmakers has proposed a “Universal preschool program,” for all four year olds.

“Universal Preschool,” is a “movement that is designed to make preschool education available to all families free of charge."  This program would also expand transitional pre-kindergarten classes for those students that missed the cutoff date for starting kindergarten.

I am excited for this program, since it might bring more employment opportunities to qualified teachers and the pre-kindergarteners won’t have to endure another year of pre- kindergarten curriculum in a preschool setting.  I also think that it is a good idea since most pre-kindergarten students need more emotional and social development before they are ready to attend kindergarten; by providing this, it gives them more time to grow and mature.  They would also have the opportunity to be challenged with additional pre-kindergarten material, which would enable them to be more prepared to enter kindergarten.

The only thing that I do not agree with, is that it is on a volunteer basis; any student that missed the deadline for kindergarten should be required to be in a transitional pre-kindergarten class before they are allowed to attend kindergarten. This would take the risk out of students entering kindergarten already behind.

For example; say you have a student that has not attended preschool and also missed the deadline for kindergarten. Since neither are required and the student can enter kindergarten the following year; that student would already be behind in comparison to her peers. If transitional pre-kindergarten was required and the students did not attend a traditional pre- kindergarten class; the student would at least have an educational background from a transitional pre-kindergarten class.

Preschool and Kindergarten are not put on the same level of importance; that is why we have so many children entering a class for the first time in kindergarten.

Darla The Teacher*


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