US President Joe Biden has made child care and education a major concern of his administration.
In his first address to a joint session of Congress on April 29, Biden proposed a $ 1.8 trillion spending plan to expand government support for children, families and education. The plan, called the American Families Plan, includes $ 200 billion for free preschools for 3 and 4 year olds.
President mentionned, âResearch shows that a young child goes to school – not daycare – they are much more likely to diploma high school and go to college or something after high school. He added, “whatever happens Context they come, it puts them in the position of being able to compete for 12 years. “
Preschool, also known as Pre-Kindergarten or Pre-Kindergarten, is a program intended to help children in the early stages of learning and socialization. Child care centers focus more on child care than learning.
Rebecca Anguiano teaches preschool at an elementary school in Washington, DC Classes are bilingual. They are taught in English and Spanish. She said students who attend two years of kindergarten did better than those who didn’t.
Anguiano said: âIf they miss those two years, it’s kind of a catch-up for them. I really think starting early – especially in a bilingual school – is key for great success. “
Effective preschool programs
The National Research Institute for Preschool Education saidCurrently, only four US states and Washington, DC spend enough money to support preschool programs.
The nation’s capital spends the most money per kindergarten student. It also has the highest percentage of students in pre-K classes. Seventy-nine percent of 3- and 4-year-olds attend preschool in Washington, DC. And nationwide, only 20 percent participate.
Washington is one of the most expensive cities to raise a child. A 2018 study says childcare in town can cost up to $ 2,000 a month for each child. In some places, parents choose to stay home with their children instead of having a job and paying for care.
In 2018, research from the Center for American Progress showed that about 10 percent more mothers entered the workforce after the city launched its preschool program. Student test scores have also increased since the change. That year, Washington schools were among the few across the country to see an increase in math and reading scores.
Josh Axelrod has two children who attend preschool in Washington, DC. He said the program is a âhuge plusâ for living in the city. âOur experience … has been great,â he added.
Washington’s preschool program is not without its problems, however. Many elementary schools in the city do not offer preschool, and some programs are better than others. There is also a very high demand for some preschoolers stains, which means that some children will not be placed in their neighborhood school. Others are not placed at all.
Biden’s proposal comes at a time when preschool attendance has dropped 25 percent over the past year, largely because of the pandemic.
Administration said a free preschool nationwide could save the average American family $ 13,000 and benefit 5 million children. And he offers to pay for the plan by raising taxes for wealthy Americans.
Republican opponents of the idea say it costs too much and families will make childcare decisions based on what the government wants. For the plan to pass, the president will need Republican support in an equally divided Senate.
Senator Josh Hawley is a Republican from the state of Missouri. He shared his opposition in a notice article on Fox Business.
âNo family should be forced to particular childcare arrangement by the government. And no parent should be treated worse by the tax coded for choosing to do the work of raising the children at home, âhe wrote.
Anguiano, preschool teacher from Washington, DC, sees Universal Kindergarten as a way to improve education equity. Many families in poorer areas cannot pay for a private preschool, she said, preventing children from going to school and parents from working.
“I think that by expanding this system nationwide, you certainly won’t see just an educational program. advantage for children, but an economic benefit for families, âsaid Anguiano.
I am Jill Robbins.
Dan Novak reported this story for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.
Words in this story
diploma – v. to graduate from a school, college or university
Context – not. experiences, knowledge, education, etc., in a person’s past
bilingual âAdj. able to speak and understand two languages
key – not. something that is necessary to do or achieve something
in law – not. a particular position in a competition, organization, program, etc.
particular – adj. used to indicate that a specific person or thing is mentioned and no other
arrangement – not. the way things or people are organized for a particular purpose or activity
coded – not. a set of laws or regulations
equity – not. fairness or justice in the way people are treated
advantage – not. a good or useful result or effect