Early Childhood Education Options for Low-Income Families

State law does not require early childhood education programs such as preschool. Parents do not have to pay for these programs. Preschool programs and daycare programs are often priced in a way that is affordable for low-income families.

Inequality in preschool availability can lead to a vicious circle in which low-income children do not have the same education opportunities as middle- or upper-class kids. Low-income families need to recognize that preschool is possible for low-income families at a reasonable cost. These are just three options that you should consider.

Head Start

In the middle of 1960s, Head Start was established as a program that low-income children could use to get into kindergarten. It was initially intended to provide a program in a summer school setting that would allow students six weeks to learn everything necessary for kindergarten. In 1981, the Head Start Act was passed to expand the program to better meet the needs of low-income families.

All across the country, Head Start programs are offered. This preschool option was available to more than 22 million children in the United States in 2005. It teaches young children everything they need to know to start kindergarten. However, it also emphasizes social skills and nutrition skills. It aims to alleviate some of the problems that can come with being poor in America and to level the playing field for those children from low-income families.

Cooperative preschools

Traditional preschools can run several hundred dollars per month. Parents drop their children off at school to let them enjoy a few hours. A cooperative preschool allows parents to pay lower tuition, but they are still required to teach in the classroom to keep costs down. This option is great for families with low incomes because it offers the same excellent education but costs less. It also gives parents and other guardians the chance to be involved in the child’s lives outside the home.

Because cooperative preschools are often found in close families, it is easier to find a support group for children during their formative years. The school’s day-to-day operations are influenced by parents, who feel more involved.

Preschools funded by the state

These types of preschools are not available in all states. Low-income families should verify with their state government. Oklahoma, New York, and Georgia are some of the states that offer public preschools. They are part of the public school system and give every child an equal chance to get the education they need to succeed in life.

Some states do not offer public preschool programs. However, there are other state-funded preschool options available for low-income families that are interested in early education. You should verify which programs are available in each state as they can vary from one government.

Low-income families that do not have the means to send their children to tuition-based preschools often find their children behind when they begin kindergarten, due to the high number of preschool children in America. They are not able to learn and socialize in a classroom setting and they often don’t know the basics that they will need when they start elementary school.

Parents must recognize the importance preschool education in today’s society and work with local governments to find low-income programs that are right for them. These programs have many benefits that will last throughout the child’s school years and beyond.