Bob Norris: Challenges that come with all-day kindergarten

I understand the benefits of full-day kindergarten and have some thoughts.Extensive research has shown that while quality early childhood education has lifelong benefits, the greatest benefit results from providing children in the 0- to 3-year-old group with quality preschool education. These studies often site a sixfold to 17-fold return on investment when looking at graduation rates from high school, college attendance, work compensation and avoidance of the criminal justice system.

Quality preschool education such as that provided by the Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition’s PASO program in which home day care providers learn to not only provide academic education, but improve executive function, awareness of environmental and health eating issues, and how to be with other children and adults.

It may be difficult to find enough properly trained teachers that will or can afford to work for the salaries that will be provided in statewide full day kindergarten.

There already exists a shortage of teachers in many districts. One possibility is to license undocumented immigrants that are qualified for early childhood teaching.

Statewide full-day kindergarten will require many schools to find capital funds for the additional classroom space: a challenge for many rural schools.

Should schools divert funds from their current kindergarten programs and the state become unable to continue funding, many schools will be in a lurch.

What is the plan for school lunches (and breakfasts)?

Like any program, the challenges and alternatives should be considered.

Bob Norris





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