Colorado advocates for equity and quality preschool programs

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This month Colorado is finalize plans for a new early childhood department, which will oversee the transition to universal preschool.

In 2021, voters passed a law that will offer at least 10 hours of free preschool to all 4-year-olds from 2023. The Biden administration is also proposing a social spending plan that will also offer a free preschool. for 3-year-olds. .

The organization Confidence for learning advocates for the consistency and quality of preschool education programs as the state moves towards universal preschool education. Dr Cathrine Floyd, Head of Early Years Partnerships at Trust for Learning, said young children learn best in what are called “ideal learning environments”.

“We know that children learn best in experiential environments. If you don’t really understand how kids learn before the age of 8, you might be doing things that may seem intuitive, but actually don’t work, ”said Floyd.

Floyd, who has 25 years of experience in early childhood education, said research shows that children of color and from marginalized communities are more likely to be placed in overly “academic” programs as opposed to play-based and relationship-oriented programs.

“We will often see in underserved neighborhoods more children lining up, children sitting at desks, children learning to be obedient and follow the rules,” she said.

Ideal learning environments may vary in their approach, but Floyd said some common characteristics would be teachers sitting on the floor with children and talking to them frequently to develop their vocabulary, as opposed to teaching a lesson with children. flash cards. She said Colorado has many examples of quality programs, including Montessori schools. The current timeline sets July 2023 as the target date for Colorado to offer a universal preschool.


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