Early childhood education or state sponsored daycare


#1

We have recently had some front page news articles around here about government spending on what I’ll call “early childhood education” programs. The support is that this is good for the kids, no child left behind, they start pushing the learning earlier. The opponents say this is basically just a new name for tax payer sponsored daycare. The academic edge the kids get is negligible, and that many studies have shown that the earlier kids are put in these settings (i.e. away from their parents) the more commitment/bonding/attachment issues they have later.

And of course, there is the strictly monetary concern, do we want our tax dollars paying for your daycare, which time and again our taxpayers have voted no.

The implication from the supporters (and media) seems to be that you are a horrible parent if you don’t want your child in school settings starting at age 3, and that you are a horrible person if you don’t think all kids should have this benefit with your tax dollars.

What do you all think?


#2

I hear what you are saying, but I wonder if these children would have attachment issues either way because their parents are lacking so much on an emotional level.


#3

Anything before age 6 is not neccessary. An advantage, if any, is minimal and by 4th grade no one can tell a difference between which kids started at what ages.


I do not feel obligated to pay for someone else’s daycare, which most of these programs boil down to imho.


Anything these places teach your kids is so basic that any parent can do it themselves. It’s really not as complicated and parents really aren’t as inept as these people would have us believe.


However, my greatest concern is that eventually these types of things will become mandatory and not just optional for parents. That’s how kindergarten started. First it was optional for a half day starting at age 6. Then it became mandatory at age 5 (in some states). Then it became an option for fullday K. Then it became a requirement for all 5 yr olds to attend fulltime. Don’t doubt for a single second that that is not the goal of these early program pushers!


People need to look at more than the here and now.
They need to look at past examples and future consequences. Every step your children are pulled from you, and the younger it is done, requires you to pull 10 x’s harder to get them back. And once laws are made, it’s a nightmare to get them changed, much less removed.


**And that’s well over my .02 worth!:slight_smile: **


#4

It depends on how it is done. We have a local program which helps at risk kids. It involves the parent(s) as well. They did their own assessment, and it was very promising. The benefits lasted throughout all of their schooling with lower drop out rates, higher grades. www.stmaryschildcenter.org

However, most middle class/upper class kids are properly stimulated within their families. So, to spend the money on these kids is kind of silly.


#5

How can a kid be “at risk” before they even start school at 3 years old? Aren’t we just admitting at that point that the parents aren’t capable?


#6

[quote=TAS2000]How can a kid be “at risk” before they even start school at 3 years old? Aren’t we just admitting at that point that the parents aren’t capable?
[/quote]

There are things that make a child “at risk” that has little to do with the child and has everything to do with the parent. I would say single parent, teen parent, undereducated/uneducated parent, drug/alcohol abuse, poverty, etc all set a child up to fail. In these cases early intervention and education is BETTER for that child. Head start is a good program as far as it goes–helping at risk children. It becomes a problem when those that DON’T need the services are offered or demand the service (because it’s a cheap/free form of child care). I think the money spent early on is better spent then waiting until the child is in trouble later on. Of course there is no promise that the child will stay out of trouble, but the odds are a bit better. I don’t like the slippery slope of offering these services to everyone or redefining what “at risk” is so that everyone can get ther services.
Jennifer


#7

Well, that’s sort of my point. It isn’t the early learning that is better or worse, it is the child’s environment. Essentially, we are saying that certain kids are not able to get what they need from their parents due to abuse, neglect, severe economic disadvantage, etc.

So it ISN’T that we need to educate all children earlier, which is what these programs keep pushing (mandatory pre-k programs). It is that we need to get these specific kids out of their destructive environments. Wouldn’t that be better handled with social programs aimed at building up the disadvantaged family? OR lets be totally un-PC and come right out and say: we can’t force ONLY those families we think are incapable to give their kids care over to someone else, so we need to make ALL kids do it. Then we aren’t being “unfair”.

BTW- just a personal side note- in all these studies, how do they figure out what the “savings” for future roberies, murders, etc. little Johnny WON"T commit now because he went to pre-school is? I mean do they figure a an average number of crimes per each kid or what? Seems iffy to me at best. I agree it is better to spend money to prevent the problem, but really, where do they gets these “future savings” figures from?


#8

Actually, a study came out just the other day on how early leaning had been found to be more important that previously thought. I’m currently working on my Master’s in educatio and just did a paper on pre-shool. All the indicators suggest that children need to have their brains stimulated from a very early age. Many of the things they learn very early enable them to learn better in the future. And everyone deserves to have quality pre-school care available to them. To deny a child this opportunity could affect him/her for life. This is especially true for at risk kids whose parents aren’t physically or emotionally available as a child who lives in this kind of environment can be permanently harmed way before they have the opportunity to reason/understand what is going on.


#9

For what it’s worth, I attended a Montessori school beginning at age three. I learned to read at age 3 and I was doing multiplication and division by age 6. All of my other classmates were doing the same at that age, also. I think that if the child is able to have a well-trained teacher in a school that has vision for the students (and confidence in their abilities), then early childhood education is beneficial. I do not think I have attachment/commitment issues (although it’s hard to evaluate oneself!).

Oh, and I’m studying to be an educator (at the middle school level) so I am a big proponent of well-prepared instructors, not those that feel they don’t want to have any other job so they will “settle” with teaching— our kids need more than “settlers”! :thumbsup:


#10

[quote=JMJ Theresa]It depends on how it is done. We have a local program which helps at risk kids. It involves the parent(s) as well. They did their own assessment, and it was very promising. The benefits lasted throughout all of their schooling with lower drop out rates, higher grades. www.stmaryschildcenter.org

However, most middle class/upper class kids are properly stimulated within their families. So, to spend the money on these kids is kind of silly.
[/quote]

We have one of these in our area as well, and it is necessary for the at-risk parents more than the at-risk kids.
erikson.edu/development.asp?file=pdearlylit

To make it mandatory for all kids, particularly middle and upper class kids? Nope. To take away parental rights in favor of a statist system for toddlers? Nope. I think I expressed my opinion in one of the “build your own Catholic town” sites that wanted communal daycare and kitchens.

But what’s being offered the kids and their parents who need it is necessary, very necessary.


#11

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