Universal Pre-Kindergarten: Common sense or calamity?

“The 360” presents a variety of perspectives on the day’s top stories and debates.

what’s happening

President Biden last week , A $ 1.8 trillion proposal to expand access to education and childcare across the country. Many provisions of the plan include paid leave, free community colleges, tax cuts for parents, and $ 200 billion to provide before universal kindergarten.

If enacted, American family planning will establish a partnership between the federal government and the state to provide “free, high quality, accessible and comprehensive kindergartens” nationwide. The Biden administration estimates that a universal pre-kindergarten will benefit 5 million children and save $ 13,000 in childcare costs for the average family. Biden offered to pay his plans by raising the tax rates of the wealthy and closing certain tax avoidance holes.

“By adding a two-year universal, high-quality kindergarten every three and four years old, we are in a position to compete for twelve years, regardless of where we are from. They graduate and go beyond graduation. Exponentially increase the outlook for. ” Said during his first speech to Congress last week.

lots of people The only national ever existing in the United States to provide a universal form of childcare and allow women to join the workforce while husbands are abroad during World War II. There was a childcare program. Parliament passed a law in 1971 to establish a permanent national day care system.But the president at that time Reject the bill and quote What he called the government’s “family-weakening impact” of childcare.

Why there is a debate

Universal pre-K supporters are substantial This suggests that formal school education at an early age has a significant positive impact on children’s cognitive development and future prospects for schools and workplaces.According to the quote quoted by , Universal pre-K is three times longer than the initial cost by making it more likely that students will do a good job of generating tax revenues as they grow up and less likely to rely on other government programs. It may even provide financial benefits.

Proponents argue that free pre-kindergarten will also have an immediate positive effect on the economy. They claim that the overwhelming cost of day care drives many parents, especially women, out of the workforce. According to supporters, free pre-kindergartens provide a second income and avoid the often permanent career retreat that occurs when parents take vacations to care for their young children. Will enable.

Universal pre-K opponents are skeptical of the idea that it would simply be too expensive to implement nationwide and that it would pay for itself. Another common criticism is that the program reduces the quality of time parents spend with their children and increases their reliance on government. Some lawmakers, such as Republican Senator Mitt Romney, want the government to send money directly to their parents rather than paying for schools, which may not be the best choice for many families. I am thinking.There are some Those looking for a more comprehensive universal child care program for all children, not just 3 and 4 years old.

What’s next

In this early stage, how much US family planning has gained parliamentary support, as the Democrats are focusing on negotiations on Biden’s $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan, and individual like a universal pre-kindergarten. It is unclear if the element can survive to the final bill.



Private sector proves unable to provide fair care to American children

“Reliance on private providers can not only take care of the desert, but can also lead to price pressures in high-demand areas. These problems are costly to parents and initially concentrated. It cannot be solved by giving more money to people. Direct public provisioning of care work can ensure a baseline of quality and access that cannot be achieved by subsidizing the private sector alone. You can. “— Mike Konczal,

High quality kindergarten prepares children for lifelong success

“It has long been believed that the first burst of preschool benefits tends to disappear within a few years, and questioned the long-term benefits of an early start to education. However, recent thinking and analysis suggests that preschool enrollment is high in college, imprisonment is low, and the likelihood of drug addiction in later years is low. “—Editorial,

The high cost of day care is harmful to children

“For families living in the margin, lack of stable childcare hinders parents from working, which can lead to housing instability, eviction of peasants, or even worse. And quality care and housing. Instability has a profound effect on child development. ”—Bridged Schulte,

Expensive day care is restraining the economy and hurting women

“Our antiquarian family policy not only makes the lives of parents and their children more difficult and expensive. They also probably act as an economic shackle by keeping women away from the workplace. “— Jordan Weissman,

Childcare costs prevent many families from reaching the American dream

“Conservatives … can’t claim to be true supporters of the working class, nor can they interfere with Biden, who provides the tools needed to support his family.” — Hayes Brown,

The government also needs to provide free care to younger children

“But in one major way, the actions of the Biden administration can continue to have harmful disparities. Even though kindergarten is actually just one version of childcare, kindergarten and childcare are separate values ​​of different values. Is treated as a company of. “— Elliott Haspel,


Direct cash payments to parents are better than universal pre-kindergartens

“I would rather like the administration to cut out the money promised for pre-kindergarten and child care and fully fund the generous children’s allowance.” — Sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox From

Universal pre-kindergarten will make families dependent on government

“This plan aims to imply government cash and associated rules to all major decisions in family life. The goal is to expand qualifications and everything Americans haven’t yet offered. Is to make it dependent on government and political class. “— Editorial,

Parents should be encouraged to stay home with their children

“There is no good debate about simply subsidizing day care …. Current tax law already includes a stay-at-home order bias. What makes it worse with day care subsidies is Obvious and simple discrimination. Social engineering in favor of taking young children out of the care of their parents. “—Editorial,

Pre-kindergarten would be the wrong choice for many families

“The taxes used to fund these programs are not optional, but the programs are only valuable to parents who build their jobs and family lives in certain ways. The government bribes us. We shouldn’t build our lives instead. Another. ”— Robert Verbruggen,

Parents do not have to fund childcare systems that they do not want to use.

“People who stay at home and choose to invest in their children do not need to subsidize the childcare costs of other families at the same time.” — Rachel Gresler and Lindsey Burke,

Universal pre-kindergarten can exacerbate racial inequality in education

“A vast Scandinavian-style program will not narrow terrible inequality and will not close the gap between early language and social skills. Wealthy families, instead, are often separated from public schools. Like the placement, we will move to a higher quality pre-kindergarten or politically demand it. “— Bruce Fuller,

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Photo Illustration: Yahoo News; Photo: Getty Images

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