When a child is enrolled at Anaheim Preschool, he becomes familiar with the classroom setting making it easier to transition to kindergarten. Childcare facilities help children to acclimatize to a social environment while their parents are at work but preschool provides education features that prepare children for the learning process.
According to national data, early childhood education is the most effective investment that can be made for communities. At present, Pima County Preschool Investment Program is hoping to make the county as the statewide leader in pre-K development.
In most states with universal pre-K programs, funding comes from federal, state and local government. In spite of the growing economy and budget surplus, Arizona Legislature failed to take the necessary action on pre-K education. The lack of funding sources forced Pima County to make a local initiative towards pre-K program.
According to Richard Elias, chairman of Pima County board of supervisors, many communities were successful with pre-K through local funding and support from the local government. There are organizations like Southern Arizona Leadership Council that opposed the Tucson initiative. They favored a county-wide preschool funding program.
Funding is big challenge. While Pima County has the means to start a pilot program, the ongoing operational expenses that a board has to approve every year make the program less likely to survive during an economic downturn. The county cannot do it alone. It needs the support of the business community and prominent organizations and individuals.
High quality pre-K programs use a curriculum that can address the academic, social, emotional and physical requirements of a child. Pre-K programs need teachers with academic specialization in early childhood education to reach the 3 and 4-year olds. Success of a pre-K program depends on the capacity, infrastructure and teachers as well as metrics to measure success. There must be data that will show the results and the achievements of the children.
A positive environment is created by Anaheim Preschool to address the children’s quest for knowledge. Children are encouraged to play, cooperate and socialize with other children in an appropriate manner. Their behavior is effectively managed in the classroom in preparation for their entry to kindergarten.