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Readers Respond

Why universal pre-K is in everyone's interest

Regarding Elizabeth Young's recent letter to the editor in response to the need to expand public early education through high-quality pre-kindergarten programs, I think all early education professionals would agree that loving, nurturing parents are a young child's best teachers ("Loving parents are the best pre-K," Oct. 13).

However, a few realities exist today that interfere with parents' ability to take their children to the library or the park for daily informal socialization activities.

The rate of children under age 6 whose parents both work is approximately 80 percent. Between 30 percent and 46 percent of children age 5 and under are living below the poverty line with parents who are struggling with their own literacy skills and who often are working two jobs to make ends meet.

Those children still deserve to be exposed to high-quality learning and developmental environments to ensure the learning gap is closed by the time they reach kindergarten. Otherwise, taxpayers will pay not only in terms of 13 years worth of K-12 remediation expenses but in human capital as well.

Lauren Sterling

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