Weekly Blog Article By A Child's World Developmental Centers VP, Ron Seidman - How do You Eat an Elephant?
You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. That is what my father-in-law used to say when tackling a tough problem. So, how do we fix an education system that is broken from the top down? The answer is from the bottom up and one step at a time. There has been a system in place for the delivery of education that allows for parent choice, competition among schools, vouchers for low income/at-risk children, schools rated on criteria that is researched based so that parents will know which schools have better out comes, and loving and caring teachers that truly do the job for the children. This system is the early care and education system that has evolved from babysitting, nursery schools and childcare.
Governor Rendell instituted good policies and some less than good policies with regard to education. He gave public schools what was known as an Accountability Block Grant that could be used for a variety of purposes, including but not limited to pre-school, full day kindergarten, and before and after school programs. Kindergarten still is not mandatory in Pennsylvania. While there may be some areas of PA in need of such programs, I opposed this as government taking jobs and business away from the private sector and offering them to an already over burdened system that was ill equipped to accommodate this population of children. This was not the best use of our tax dollars.
On the other hand, he instituted the Pre-K Counts initiative that allowed for disadvantaged and at-risk children to attend pre-school at a state approved private facility for free. He also deserves credit for the KEYSTONE STARS program. This program implements a rating scale for Child Care providers based on a rigorous tool called The Environmental Rating Scale. A Child’s World participates in Keystone STARS as well as Pre-K Counts and has achieved tremendous results and outcomes for children and parents.
Going forward I would like to loudly applaud our new Governor, Tom Corbett for recognizing the value of the early care and education community by keeping the funding for early childhood in his proposed budget. Education begins at birth. The years up to five are the most crucial to developing skills for a person’s life of learning. The private system of early care and education can be a model for changing the way we deliver education in Pennsylvania, one bite at a time, starting at the bottom.
With three locations in and around Newtown, Pennsylvania, A Child’s World offers early education and daycare center services to families with young children. To learn more about our child care facilities, please call us at (215) 519-1993.