Giving Compass' Take:

· The Hechinger Report explains that children from low-income families usually benefit when their education is mixed with students from a range of economic backgrounds. It is widely known that preschool has positive effects on children, especially those from low-income families, but it comes at a high cost. 

· Is access to public preschool a basic human right? Should the government provide free public preschool to increase  achievements in education?

· Read more about the costs of preschool and daycare.

Here’s something you probably already know: High-quality preschool provides academic and social benefits for low-income children.

Here’s something you may not know: Preschool provides benefits, albeit smaller ones, for middle-class kids too.

And yet, though most countries with developed economies offer public preschool as a standard benefit to all of their 4-year-olds, America does not. Instead, low-income parents here scramble for scarce public spots while middle-income parents scrounge to pay for increasingly costly private preschool.

“Only very wealthy people can afford current decent care and education [for young children],” said Richard Brandon, a political scientist recently retired from the University of Washington and co-author of a 2018 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on financing early education. “Very few can afford what we estimate is the cost of quality care.”

Brandon and his co-authors peg the cost of sending a child to a preschool that has ample, safe facilities, a developmentally appropriate curriculum and well-paid teachers, at about $13,655 per child per year for full-time, full-year preschool. That’s about $1,000 more than the national average per pupil spending in K-12, as calculated by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Read the full article about paying for preschool by Lillian Mongeau at The Hechinger Report.