On the Record

Preschool Programs: What Are We Getting? What Should We Expect?

Ron Haskins

Editor’s Note: Voices for Virginia’s Children and the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation partnered to host a statewide Early Childhood Public Engagement Summit on Monday, December 15.

The event featured Ron Haskins, Brookings’ senior fellow and co-director of  the Center on Children and Families. His keynote speech “Intersection of Early Childhood Education, Poverty and Policy” discussed cost effective early childhood policies that improve outcomes for children.

With government funds for pre-K programs in jeopardy because of the economy, early-childhood-education advocates must find ways to preserve initiatives and streamline future ones. Haskins said an overall goal is to have all children from different socioeconomic groups enter school performing at similar levels.

Enrolling more low-income children in preschool programs could have a broad impact, Haskins said. But mediocre programs won’t cut it over time. “We need to increase the supply of high-quality programs.”

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