Abbie Polich-Schaffer Iowa 0

Madrid Needs to Participate in Iowa's Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program and Four-Year-Old Children

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Some of you have heard that for several years our state has offered FREE preschool for all 4year olds, not just for low income families but for everyone. However our school district chooses not to participate in this FREE program. They do however let Head Start delegate a very very small program at the school which does require you to meet certain criteria to enroll. This does not help all of our kids. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program and Four-Year-Old Children

The purpose of Iowa's Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program for Four-Year-Old Children is to provide an opportunity for all young children in the State of Iowa to enter school ready to learn by expanding voluntary access to quality preschool curricula for all four-year-old children. The allocation of funds for the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program is intended to improve access to quality early childhood education and provide a predictable, equitable and sustainable funding method to increase the number of children participating in quality programs. Therefore, the four-year-old preschool funds are intended to increase the number of children participating in quality programs.

· A licensed teacher

· A minimum of 10 hours per week

· Community collaboration

· High program standards

· High learning standards

· Small class sizes

Please look at the FACTS sheet I posted as this alone should convince you that this is something Madrid needs to have. Don’t be confused that Madrid’s name appears on this list as a participant in the program. It is only on the list because it allows Head Start to delegate (again a very small number of kids) in their program not the school directly.

This is something we need to do for our kids. Early education is very important as the research and facts show however Madrid is demonstrating that this is not an important focus of theirs. The sad part is that this is a free grant provided by the state and would be a very little cost to the school.

I am not in any way talking derogatively about our current preschool providers because they do a wonderful job and still should offer their services especially to 3yr olds. I am saying that our school district needs to offer the programs (free programs especially) to our kids so they are not missing out on an education that will help form them for the rest of their lives!

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