Choices, choices, choices

By Diane Addison, Hannibal, Mo.

On Wednesday, I had the honor of representing Hannibal Public Schools’ Early Childhood Programs in Washington, D.C., at a U.S. Senate briefing. This briefing was sponsored by Pre-K Now, in conjunction with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Kit Bond.

The purpose of the congressional briefing was to report what is happening across the country in pre-kindergarten programs, how collaborations are working in communities, what children are being served, and how new federal initiatives can increase services to children.

Seven early childhood representatives from across the U.S. were invited to participate in the presentation.  I addressed Missouri research on the importance of combining evidence-based home visitation (Parents as Teachers) and preschool, strong collaborations currently in place in Hannibal Public Schools–Parents as Teachers, Title 1 Pre-K, Early Childhood Special Education, Missouri Preschool Project, Head Start, and local child care providers–and how these work with an evidence-based home visitation model, local funding, braiding of funds between agencies and programs, what additional services could be provided through additional federal dollars, and early childhood as prevention.

We can choose early prevention…
or….we can choose retention….
or….we can choose incarceration….

Early childhood is life-long education. I think the choice is early childhood!