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The Promise of PreschoolFrom Head Start to Universal Pre-Kindergarten$
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Elizabeth Rose

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395075

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395075.001.0001

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Preschool for All

Preschool for All

Building a Movement in the 2000s

(p.131) Chapter 5 Preschool for All
The Promise of Preschool

Elizabeth Rose (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Inspired by the success of preschool in these states, advocates, foundation leaders, and business allies built a movement for universal preschool. Rather than continuing to push for the expansion of targeted programs like Head Start, they shifted to a universal strategy, believing that a program that served middle‐class families would ultimately build more enduring political support. The involvement of the Pew Charitable Trusts served as a catalyst, pouring funding into selected state campaigns, bringing together different constituencies across the country, and focusing unprecedented attention on pre‐kindergarten as a solution to educational and social problems. Support for expanding preschool relied on a strong research base that documented the promise of preschool for improving the life chances of disadvantaged children. But the movement's vision of providing “preschool for all” was challenged, both by those who preferred to target scarce resources to the neediest children, and by critics who feared increasing government's role in raising children in general.

Keywords:   universal preschool, Pew Charitable Trusts, Committee for Economic Development, foundations, business leaders, economic benefits

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