Tonight I decided to relax and polish my nails after a long hard week...but then somehow I found myself browsing around on Google News. I read a story about a preschool program called the Early Childhood Inititive in Ohio having to close because of funding, or lackthereof. So I am putting away the nail polish and getting out the proverbial "pen."
As I read the article, I felt sympathy for those parents who are struggling financially who now have no child care. What about the single mother who has a minimum wage job and manages to pay her rent, utilities, clothe and feed the chidlren, and has no money left to pay for quality childcare? How is this mother supposed to go to work to continue to support her family if there aren't programs like the Early Learning Intiative? No child care for many single parents means NO WORK.
And then I read this quote and I felt my feelings of sympathy being overcome by anger:
Warren County Commissioner Mike Kilburn is all for the [budget] cut. "We've got to stop the craziness of all these social programs," he said. "They're breaking us. We have got to send a message to people that you've got to have responsibility for your kids and your family and doing good by yourself," said Kilburn.
WOW! WOW! WOW!
Will we, as a nation, ever grow up and realize that it really does take a village to raise a child? Many other countries are so far ahead of us in providing free or low cost quality programs for children.
Research shows that programs like ELI are succussful and beneficial for children and families. I certainly don't think that such programs will solve all of the woes in our society. But it's foolish of us not to consider the profound effects that quality PreK programs can have on children, especially children who may be potentially at-risk. Pre-K Now describes Ohio's efforts to put early childhood at the forefront; now it seems that they may be taking a couple of steps backwards.
How is your state doing?