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Debate aims to define universal preschool

Early Childhood


By Lisa Fine

As public support and awareness of the importance of preschool grows at the federal, state and local level, there is a debate in the early childhood education world over how to achieve “universal preschool” and what form it should take.

In San Francisco, “universal preschool” means access to free or reduced-cost slots in preschools for 4-year-olds based on family income. In New York City, it’s a new program that aims to give preschool seats to all 4-year-olds regardless of income. In Seattle, voters just approved a measure to raise taxes to subsidize slots for lower income 3- and 4-year-olds…

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