When we explore issues and standards regarding education, we often look solely at grades Kindergarten through 12; but this is a narrow focus on this age group, especially when we only consider the schools in our district; as a result, we sometimes unintentionally ignore other learning centers and educational day care centers like Pre-K.
The State of New Jersey has one of the best education systems in the country; however, there is always room for improvement regardless of ranking. When considering the growth of our education system, a great place to start is with our Pre-K programs.
How to Improve the Pre-K System
On this segment of One-on-One with Steve Adubato, the host met with Brian Maher of Pre-K Our Way, a non-profit group that strives to expand these programs to more communities in New Jersey. Maher shares the group’s mission, which is to provide better education for the state’s youth.
New Jersey possesses a first class-quality early education Pre-K program, which we fund publicly; however, the program is only utilized in 34 communities. Maher and his associates raise awareness about this fact in hopes of inspiring the public to expand this number.
Maher explains that though people typically fully support the improvement and increase of Pre-K programs, most aren’t aware of the need for it and do not view it as a priority. He tells Adubato: “The brain science shows that in those first five years [of a child’s life], it’s extremely important that children get that kind of stimulation that they can get in a quality Pre-K program.”
“One of the things I say quite often is, ‘those people who can afford to send their children to Pre-k, do. Those people who get it for free because they happen to live in one of those districts, send their children to quality Pre-K. It’s the people in the middle… I mean, to spend $20-$25k a year to send your child to a private Pre-K school is pretty difficult to do.'”
To hear more from Maher about how “Pre-K Our Way Seeks to Expand Pre-K Programs in NJ,” check out this segment of One-on-One with Steve Adubato.
For more stories that impact New Jersey residents, click over to our Hot Topics in NJ series.
Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Kablonk Micro / Adobe Stock