The Prichard Committee has long been a strong advocate for early childhood education, recognizing that investments made in the development of children will pay the greatest dividends in helping them to succeed academically and become productive citizens. Even with important supports in place, only half of Kentucky’s children arrive in kindergarten fully prepared to learn. Improvements in early education and development are critical if our children are to meet the increasingly rigorous demands of the classroom and become prepared to succeed as adults. (Download the Prichard Committee’s Early Childhood Education Policy document, pdf)
We want to guarantee that every three- and four-year-old Kentucky child has access to a strong preschool experience with well-qualified teachers, followed by full-day kindergarten. We advocate for expanding state-funded preschool eligibility to include three- and four-year-old children from families with income at or below 200 percent of poverty; collaboration among early care and education providers to use resources efficiently and effectively; assure funding for and expand voluntary home visiting for families at risk with infants and toddlers; and higher standards for early childhood programs: require all childcare providers to participate in the state STARS quality-rating system and provide support for centers to do this. We want to assure that all early care and education providers are trained in using Kentucky’s early childhood standards.