Pre-K as a jobs program

There’s talk of funding universal pre-kindergarten to stimulate the economy, writes Eduwonk. There will be lots of lucrative child-care jobs created. (That was sarcasm.)

He thinks building and rebuilding schools is a better way to go, if the goal is quick job creation.

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  1. It may not create lucrative jobs, but it would allow parents a slight break from daycare prices. This, in turn, would allow them to spend more money on other things to stimulate the economy, like toys, diapers, big TV’s.(sarcasm here too!) Research says early intervention is one of the best proactive things educators can do to help kids who struggle with reading reading and math. This could do wonders for kids and families.

  2. Except that universal pre-K is unlikely to have the same benefits as highly targeted programs aimed at disadvantaged kids.

    If we as a society are so concerned about the well-being of young children that we want to make a large financial investment in it, I’d MUCH rather see a year-long paid parental leave than universal pre-K. The research showing negative effects of non-parental care on infants is quite a bit stronger than the research about pre-K (which is mixed).

  3. CW:

    Wow! when you leap in, you really leap in. You are absolutely right about the potential benefits of increased access to parental leave. Think it will ever happen here?

  4. Conservatives would have to pay more than lip service to family values and liberals would have to stand up to the militant feminists like Linda Hirschman and Leslie Bennetts who insist upon forcing a traditional “male” career model upon women.

  5. Except the most disadvantaged kids would have the weakest pre-k teachers, just as they now have in k-12. Certainly the inner cities have used the school system (and local government in general) as a jobs program for decades. More of the same won’t have any real effect.