By age 3,
most children are gearing up to learn their ABCs. Where they enroll in preschool, however,
depends on how much money Mom and Dad can pull out of their wallets. For some parents, this means placing
their kids on a two-year wait-list to ensure entry into the perfect preschool. For other parents, it means their children instead will be spending an awful lot of time baking cookies over at
Grandma's house. As a result, many of the latter children are a year or so behind fellow
classmates when entering kindergarten—and they never catch up.
York City, some of the most exclusive preschools (where kids are
learning Mandarin, doing robotics and playing the violin before starting
kindergarten) are charging more than $30,000 a year. That’s more than most people
spend on a new car.
The average cost
for a child to attend private preschool in other cities is around $10,000 a
year, but not everyone has an extra $10K lying around. In fact, only 55 percent
of children—between the ages of 3 and 4—in the United States, are able to attend a formal preschool, according to the Washington Post.
In a recent publication,
experts take a deeper look into the lives of children who have been left behind
academically and address the inequality between the haves and have-nots. According to authors of the book “Cradle to
Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality,” the educational gap between
rich and poor has been growing since the 1970s, and it's only going to get
worse if the United States doesn't step up and do a better job educating its
“Early care and
education in the United States is in a crisis,” education experts and authors Ajay
Chaudry, Taryn Morrissey, Christina Weiland and Hirokazu Yoshikawa write
in the book.
States currently spends $30 billion a year on
early-childhood education and care, according to the Post. The authors would like to bump that number
up to $100 billion and make preschool available for every child, beginning at
age 3. This amount would also leave room to establish a paid parental leave
program and offer greater assistance to lower-income families once a
child is born.
“If I could fund
one single program, it would be early-childhood education,” said John Wetzel,
the longtime head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections who has served in
both Republican and Democratic administrations, in May.
In a country as
demanding as ours, where babies are spoon-fed technology and expected to read
and write before they start kindergarten, wouldn't it make sense to give them
all a proper education? Because if we don't, we all have a lot to lose—developmentally, socially and economically—as one nation.
A push present (or push gift) is given to mothers either right before or after a baby is born. Usually a piece of jewelry, it's mean to congratulate the new mom. The practice has been gaining popularity in the United States—and celebrities are also in on the trend, of course. Here are some of the craziest push presents star moms have been given.