When voters go to the polls in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio on November 8th, they'll be voting for more than president and other candidates - they'll also be casting ballots on historic proposals to expand preschool to thousands of children and improve the wages of the educators who teach.
The list of problems with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's latest child care proposal is long. It caters to the rich, does little to help working families, does nothing to help the poorest parents, and includes an ill-conceived maternity leave scheme that actually hurts women who work outside the home.
Her proposals could set up a stark contrast with Donald Trump's.
In New York City, over 150,000 children under five are poor. Last year, nearly 20,000 of these children slept in homeless shelters - enough to fill Madison Square Garden. From the moment they're born, children in poverty face an uphill struggle to survive, thrive and learn with so many odds stacked against them.
Here in Florida, we passed a constitutional amendment 14 years ago to offer free, voluntary pre-k programs to every 4-year-old in the state. This initiative has never been fully funded. In fact, our state is ranked as amongst the worst in the nation for per-pupil funding for pre-k.
Further to supporting the children experiencing their local community businesses and institutions, is to enrich their education
Evidence shows unequivocally that pre-K gives children from poor families an "early advantage." The critical question for our time must be how to make that advantage sustainable.
If our country wants to give all children a shot at success and disrupt the intergenerational transmission of poverty, we need to provide more support to families with young children.
The effort was good for the economy -- but maybe not for the kids.
I am in countdown mode. In just one week, Seamus Philip Berrigan Sheehan-Gaumer starts school. That's right, our 3-year-old will matriculate at The Friendship School in Waterford, Connecticut from about 9:30 in the morning until 3:00 p.m. five days a week. Yikes!
Children in Utah were coming to kindergarten unprepared to learn, but many parents were unwilling to send very young children to school. Transportation was another issue in rural parts of the state. To address the Kindergarten readiness issue, the legislature created UPSTART, a five year pilot program to test the potential of literacy software used at home.
In this post, I will share many of the early academic indicators of kindergarten readiness. The list is by no means comprehensive, but it will provide families with an understanding of what will be expected of their child and offer tips to help them prepare their child for a successful transition to kindergarten.
The developing early education sector can learn a lot from the long history of its K-12 counterpart.