California Needs Free Early Childhood Education for All Children, Especially For Children in Low-Income Families

One of the first things my wife and I learned before our daughter was born is the importance of early childhood education. We know that, “the human brain develops the vast majority of its neurons, and is at its most receptive to learning, between birth and three years of age.” In fact, humans absorb the most amount of information in their entire life during our early childhood. There is no other period in our life more ripe for learning than our early childhood years. 

California is looking to pass multiple bills (27 to be exact) that offer funding for low-income children. It is important to emphasize that a significant number of bills target funding for low-income children. This is justified considering that, “Low-income children pay the steepest price. By age 3, they’ve heard 30 million fewer words than higher-income kids. By age 5, they’ve made 1,300 fewer visits to libraries and museums. By the first day of kindergarten, they can be up to two years behind in language development.” 

My wife and I could not afford early childhood education for our daughter. The cost of early childhood education averaged out to about $2,000/month. That was a little over twice as much as my total monthly income. Fortunately, we received financial aid through my wife’s university that helped us enroll our daughter in a reputable early childhood education center. She attended this center from age 2 through age 5. The curriculum was play-based, which felt right to my wife and I as we wanted our daughter to focus on her social skills during this time. We would not have been able to enroll our daughter at this school without the financial aid that we received.

Our daughter just finished first grade, but she is reading books at the fourth grade level, and she is working through middle school mathematics. Ask her to solve for “x” in a math equation, and she will handle that math problem with pride and confidence. My wife and I attribute our daughter’s rapid academic growth to her time spent at her early childhood education center (ECEC). We also acknowledge that we were privileged by the financial aid offered to send our daughter to an ECEC. This opportunity should be offered to all low-income families because our children’s early education is vital for their success. Let’s continue urging and supporting California’s plan to fund more early childhood education programs for our children, and continue fighting for the right to a quality education that is often neglected in our community. 

What do you think?
The following two tabs change content below.
Robel Espino

Robel Espino

Robel Espino is an education specialist assistant, worked as an after school instructor, and serves as a youth leader in his local church. A first-generation college graduate, Robel attended California State University, East Bay in Hayward, CA, and received a degree in English Literature. Robel is an Oakland native who received k-12 education in the cities of Oakland, San Pablo, and Richmond, CA. He is a husband, and a father of a four-year old.

More Comments