When my son, now in college, started school in Maryland, he went to a private preschool, and only half-day public kindergarten existed. As for most young children in the United States, then and now, public early childhood education was unavailable.
Full-day kindergarten is now the norm, and 35 percent of Maryland’s 4 year olds are enrolled in public preschool, with another 15 percent in private pre-K. But the state still lags behind the national average, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Because low-income children generally have less access, they are less “school ready” by kindergarten, generally perpetuating lifelong disparities. For a state that prides itself on its public education and is also among the nation’s wealthiest in per capita income, it is inexcusable that Maryland lacks free or affordable early childhood care and education.
Continue reading at The Baltimore Sun.