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For Immediate Release:
December 15, 2003
Building High-Quality, Well-Financed Systems of Universal Preschool
(Washington, D.C.) - The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is pleased to participate in the Governor's Forum on Quality Preschool in Orlando, Florida this week. More than 100 governors, educators, policymakers and state teams will gather to discuss benefits of high-quality preschool and explore state strategies for supporting and improving preschool programs.
On Monday, December 15, NAEYC Executive Director Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., will moderate a panel discussion on early childhood education workforce issues involved in efforts to advance voluntary, universal preschool. Nearly every state has a preschool or prekindergarten program, but most of the programs reach only a limited number of children. Head Start, the federal prekindergarten program for low-income children, reaches only three out of five eligible children.
"Preschool and prekindergarten are essential parts of a continuum of learning and development that begins at birth, and 13 million children get crucial support for their development and early education in child care, preschool, Head Start and other early learning programs," said Ginsberg. "If we want our children to succeed in school, these programs need to provide healthy and safe environments, and also high-quality learning experiences. To accomplish that, we need well-qualified and compensated staff, effective curriculum and practices, good facilities, and an array of comprehensive services for young children and their families."
For nearly 80 years, NAEYC has been leading efforts to raise the quality of early childhood education, and the organization's position statements provide a guide for states, communities and programs on creating standards for early learning, curriculum, assessment, program evaluation, and teacher preparation. Several states use NAEYC's national voluntary accreditation system to measure the quality of their preschool programs.
At the Governor's Forum on Quality Preschool, NAEYC will urge states to expand and improve access to, and quality of, preschool and prekindergarten programs, and to:
- Continue building on existing preschool providers and programs, including child care, Head Start and schools;
- Ensure that program standards are designed to lead to high quality, and that all programs are given the supports and resources to meet those standards;
- Provide resources to attract, prepare, and retain good teachers and staff, including funds for scholarships, release time and substitutes, and expansion of quality higher education coursework and community based training;
- Use accreditation of programs as a strategy to leverage continuous program improvement, and to give families a way to make informed choices;
- Promote the use of developmentally appropriate, research-based standards, curricula, teaching practices and assessment; and
- Meet the needs of working families, by providing resources so that children can attend preschool and have access to wrap-around care and learning.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has nearly 90,000 members worldwide. The association is the largest and most influential advocate for early care and education in the
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Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.