Many parents – single or otherwise – tend to focus so much on college education. They scrimp, they save, and they find the best university that they can afford. But all that will be naught if your child does not get excellent early education to prep him or her for that college education.

And if Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has his way, we could see a bill that will make it easier for young children to gain access to early education opportunities like child care and after-school programs.

Harkin points to the fact that 80 percent of a child’s brain develops from birth up to the age of five. This means that much of a child’s knowledge, ranging from simple intellect to solidified skill sets, develop even before they enter their first day in kindergarten.

And this doesn’t mean simple classroom education, either. Getting access to nutritious food and living in a sound family environment is crucial for a child’s development. These are not things that some parents can provide their children – at least not without outside help.

This is exactly why there are already at least two existing programs that aim to give tots an early education: Head Start and Early Head Start.

Both Head Start and Early Head Start are federal programs designed to provide holistic assistance to low-income families. This assistance ranges from child education to health and nutrition to even parental involvement in the family.

The only problem here is that only 30 percent of eligible children participate in the program, while a mere two percent enrol the Early Head Start program designed for families with infants and tots.

This means that a whole lot of families out there either don’t know that they have access to federal resources for a better future for their families, or that not enough pressure is being placed on the government to better provide these services to those that need them the most.

The bill proposed by Sen. Harkin is planned to roll out by the end of the month with the aims to draw in more money to help low-income families gain better access to child-care services. Although it might be an uphill battle considering the poisonous political climate, such a bill throwing support for early education is still better than nothing.

Last updated: April 17, 2012 by & filed under Blog

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