Gavin Newsom is going all in on early childhood education to the tune of nearly two billion dollars. In an effort to expand Kindergarten readiness and access to Kindergarten and Pre Kindergarten programs, the new Governor of California will prioritize and strengthen, finally, early education programs. Some of the money being allocated will be to help school districts that do not have full-day Kindergarten facilities while in other cases money will be used to expand Pre-kindergarten around the state.
The term “readiness gap” was coined by researchers that have found that there is a direct link to income levels and the lack of readiness in children who come from lower socioeconomic areas. The incoming Governor will propose $750 million to expand Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten, while another $200 million would be earmarked for programs that provide home visits to expecting parents similar to what Governor Brown provided in the last budget he signed last summer.
An interesting note on Pre-Kindergarten in California is that it is currently not mandatory. It may be time to revisit that. It also is definitely time to revisit the issue of half-day kindergarten. With the increased rigor in Kindergarten standards, perhaps it’s time to consider all Kindergarten to be full time.
For now this news out of Sacramento is very welcomed by many in education that have known for years that we need to invest more in early childhood programs.
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