Thursday, January 30, 2014

Early Childhood Government Programs

Regretfully, I missed the State of the Union speech on Tuesday, but the next day I did read about some of the issues addressed by our president.  One that always upsets me is the mention of federal preschool or other early childhood programs.  Any government program that alleviates or removes parental responsibility and gives it to the State is bad, bad, BAD! 
I have raised five kids past toddler age, and I can tell you with confidence: It does not take a government program to raise a kid. 
Babies, toddlers, and all the way up to five-, even six-, and seven-years old do not need high-tech government intervention programs in order to become well-adjusted, responsible, productive citizens. Children at this age need a mom, a dad, Grandma, or Grandpa, or any other loving family member or relative to provide a safe, calm environment in which to learn to read and write, to play, explore, discover, and even do simple chores around the house.  It does not cost much to do this at home.  
But our government is determined to take these responsibilities from parents, and many parents expect this from their government anyway.  I am in the minority, I know, and it is too late.
After reading The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto, I am even more aware of the funny things our government says regarding its education proposals, such as the title for education on the White House website:
Education: Knowledge and Skills for the Jobs of the Future
Remember: Gatto told us that schools were not designed for learning or education or creating independent and self-sufficient citizens, but rather to train up little soldiers of the State prepared to work for someone else.  Why do you go to school?  To get a job.  Like a robot.
Here are two things I want to highlight from the White House website on education that Obama may or may not have addressed in his State of the Union:
Preschool for All
Politicians do this all the time, and I'm so sick of it.  Four-year olds DO NOT need preschool, and five-year olds do not need ALL DAY kindergarten.  Do not believe the lie that children who attend preschool or kindergarten have higher rates of completing high school, attending college, and avoiding the backseat of a police car.  I am more inclined to argue that children would be more well-adjusted, safer, and happier if they could stay home until they started 1st grade.
Here's a blurb from the website:
The Preschool for All initiative will improve quality and expand access to preschool, through a partnership with all 50 states, to provide all low- and moderate-income four-year-olds with high-quality preschool, while encouraging states to serve additional four-year-olds from middle-class families. The initiative also promotes access to full-day kindergarten and high-quality early education programs for children under age four.
The other dangerous idea is this one:
Empowering Parents 
I read about this in Hillary Clinton's It Takes a Village.  She thought it was so awesome that other countries had government workers visit mothers and their babies for months or even years later, in some cases, in order to oversee the care and raising of the child.  
Moms do not need a government worker visiting them for months or years to see if they are caring for their children according to State standards.  Between doctors, family, books, and the internet, women can get all the answers they need to care for their baby. 
Empowering parents - this program DOES NOT! If they want to empower parents, they would get out of the way and stop creating and growing their wasteful, intrusive, government programs while stealing from citizens to pay for these bad policies.  Read this explanation, and tell me parents cannot figure this out on their own:
President Obama understands that families play the most important role in promoting the healthy development of their children, yet not all families are equipped with the information and support that help them create environments for their children to develop and learn.
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, created under the Affordable Care Act, provides $1.5 billion over 5 years in funding to expand evidence-based home visiting programs in states to serve the most vulnerable children and families. This program makes home visitors available to connect families to a range of services — including health care, early education, early intervention and more — to better ensure that children are healthy and prepared for school and life. In addition, as part of the comprehensive child development services it provides, Head Start also provides services to families to support them in the important role of parent, as their child's first teacher. Head Start's family support approach recognizes that school readiness is a partnership between teachers and families, creating opportunities for parents to get the training and support they need to take a leadership role in the program, and in their children's education.
Unfortunately, I think our government targets low- and moderate-income families for a reason, and they are taking advantage of them while using the taxpayers' money to do it.  Sad story, but true.
To read more, go to [Source]

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