Universal Preschool Could Help Working Families

6829496615_fcc20fbd92Two years ago, I went on a rant about the cost of preschool in my local area. As a two parent working household, we still struggled to add the nearly $400 a month onto our plate while juggling a new baby and our monthly obligations.

Of course there are options for free programs, none of which our children qualified for. Nor did we win one of the thirty-something lottery slots. Leaving us two options. Pay or simply not send our oldest child to preschool; the latter wasn’t a real option.

Now we are on to our second child in the same program, our oldest in public school and another child soon entering the preschool her older brothers have benefited from.

During the State of the Union address, I jumped for joy with excitement when President Obama even uttered the words free preschool in his speech. See:

Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 6.59.26 PM

Seriously. It was a big deal. But it isn’t just a big deal to me, it is a huge deal to so many American parents across the country. No one should have to wonder if they can afford to keep their child in preschool for the month, or if you are going to have to pay the power bill instead.

But no matter how much we want to ignore this, these are real life dilemmas for working parents.

Once again my excitement was peaked when I came across this infographic I had to share with our readers. I knew you guys would really enjoy the extremely helpful information from The Nation.

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Photo Credit: Flickr

  • Danielle, I think universal pre-school is one thing America could fund that would help society greatly because of the foundation it lays for may things: working and playing well with others, being in groups, getting a head start (so to speak) for the foundation of a good education. Good post.

  • I don’t know how so many working mothers do it! Great information!

  • It’s hard to argue against “free preschool helps working families” … but does it help the kids? Does having mothers in the workforce actually help our economy? (some would argue no)… And, where is the researching PROVING that children who go to preschool actually DO better in the long run…
    Sure… if the parent is going to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with their toddler at home (not even a teensy bit), then presumably preschool would be better… but if parenting is happening the way it SHOULD (conversations, quality time, reading) …then I subscribe more to this:
    http://www.imfcanada.org/issues/nurturing-children-why-early-learning-does-not-help

    • @JulieK – Statistically, many studies have proven children who attend preschool programs are better prepared, and so better in school. That was a big deciding factor for me when it came to preschool. I am not talking about daycare programs when it comes to this, I am talking specifically about preschool. Yahoo!’s Shine did a great post a while back about why you should send your children to preschool.
      Also, unfortunately many mothers don’t have the opportunity to work from home (like I personally do) and cannot make ends meet and stay home with their children. I am sure in the long run both children of working parents, and stay at home parents are loved just as much, just live different lifestyles.

  • Suzanne

    Interesting topic but I guess I was looking for a real in depth article and not a borrowed graphic. It’s not that the graphic is not good it’s just there is no real meaty reading to draw me into discussion.

  • My grandson was fortunate enough to obtain a place in a preschool for 4 year olds in a Chelsea school two blocks from his house. What an impressive classroom it was. What a difference it makes to have a teacher with ten years experience with a master’s degree, good salary, good benefits, vacation, sick leave. It was developmental rather than academic; it resembled the best nursery schools I have seen. I would wish that for all American children.

  • Toaddy

    I felt like I got punched in the gut when I heard Obama mention federally funded preschool! No!!!!I do not agree with federally funded preschool. Not all parents want to send their children to pre-school, myself included. None of the three of mine went to preschool and I’ll admit I was lucky enough to be home with them. Each of them is at the top of their class or skipped a grade. They are socially acclimated and paragons of behavior although I know they are not perfect :). Why should I have to pay for the pre-school education of other children when I see many kids that went to pre-school from the time they were 3 or 4 in our classrooms today that cannot behave, do not have a inclination to learn let alone excel and are likely burned out from their continuum of ‘classrooms’. What would children like mine receive from the federal government.? If they can guarantee gifted children like mine a intellectual and age appropriate program that I’d be willing to help others pay for their pre-school, but it’s not one size fits all in terms of funding. Many will get left out. Plus…preschool does not guarantee results, but parent involvement might!

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