State close to implementing universal pre-kindergarten programs

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–Despite bickering between the two political parities over the state budget, Republicans and Democrats joined together over the weekend to pass an expansion of pre-kindergatern that will increase funding for early childhood education programs, especially in the state’s most challenged school districts.

“My children have so many resources that other children don’t have access to, and I think that all children should have access to those resources,” said Cyd Oppenheimer.

Early childhood advocates, and plenty of moms and kids, came to the Capitol on Monday to celebrate not only the expansion of 1,000 more pre-k slots, but also formally establishing the ‘Office of Early Childhood’ to make sure it continues to expand.

“As a parent, I really see how much our children learn in those years before they start kindergarten,” Oppenheimer said.

“They come in, those ones that have the high quality’Pre-K experience, they’re ready to learn,” said kindergarten teacher Heather Rodman.

The budget includes more funding for all of the major early childhood programs currently available to low-income children, which includes school readiness, child development centers, and home visiting health and safety programs.

“Their oral language is different. Their literary skills are different. Their social skills are different, and to have that for every child in the state of Connecticut will be a wonderful day for education,” Rodman said.

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