America Needs Preschool for All Children

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America Needs Preschool for All Children

As you walk into the room, a pint-sized kid runs up to your legs and squeezes your knees. Squeals of delight bounce off the walls as kids boogie to Disney tunes, and another group is meticulously drawing pictures of rainbow colored snowmen. The faint smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies wafts through the room. Everywhere you look, there are smiles. Sounds great? Attending preschool is like running through a field of dreams. Unfortunately, not every child gets the opportunity to experience preschool.

For low-income families, particularly single mothers, preschool is a huge financial burden. Despite what parents want for their children, it isn’t always a practical option; sometimes, the cost of enrolling their children outweighs the money earned at a job (Mason 46). Soon, mothers are sending their kids to preschool so they can work to make money to pay for preschool. Furthermore, without an education, parents are confined to minimum wage jobs with no hope of advancement (49). Where’s the incentive to work? Robin Mason describes one single mother’s motivation. For her, employment is more than just money; rather, it’s also a means to boost her self-esteem, gain financial independence, and set a positive example for her children. She emphasizes her responsibility to her children to keep a roof over their head, be a good mother, and choose a quality daycare (47).

The value of preschool is often overlooked as parents consider it for its utilitarian purposes. Although most preschools do function as a daycare, the merits gained from an early education follow children throughout their entire lives. Children at this ripe age are eager to learn, excited about the buzzing world aroun...

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...cial and cognitive skills suffer under the strain (195).

But, there is hope: a loving, supportive environment that encourages children to grow into themselves. Preschool. Government programs are in place to help low-income families offset the costs, and national agencies provide multidimensional support for preschoolers and their families. Seven hours in a classroom doesn’t fix the problems at home. Rather, these programs are designed to help low-income families through a multi-faceted approach, attacking several issues in one mighty blow (Olson, Ceballo, and Park 427). These programs offer a variety of resources, including parenting classes, stress management courses, family counseling, and nutrition education. Through these programs, the entire community is assuming responsibility for taking care of its children. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.

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