It is known that the successful development of any country depends on the level of education of its citizens. It is very important to pay due attention to the early childhood education because only in the early age it is possible to create a basis for the further personal enhancement. Early childhood education plays a significant role in the constructing of a new sustainable society. Of course, there is an obvious difference between developing and developed countries with regard to this issue. In the developing countries, the government has concern in child’s survival and supporting families while in the developed countries more attention is paid to the quality of early childhood education.
It is know that there are special federally-funded early childhood programs which have the major task to develop basic values and skills, attitudes, behavior and habits of children which will promote further personal enhancement.
In the USA, the federal government pays special attention to the early childhood education. According to the numerous researches which were carried out in all the states of the country, a great majority of families cannot afford to provide a high-quality child care because of low income. That is why many early childhood education programs are federally-funded and support the families with low-income. It is know that the federal government offers more than $18 billion in education grants and several millions of dollars are available through different corporations and individuals, through the states of the country and some foundations. These funds are intended not only for early childhood education programs but also for other services which will help to meet the needs of the families with low income. (Yelovina 19)
Among the numerous federally-funded early childhood programs are the following ones: Head Start, Early Childhood Intervention program, Early Reading First and others.
Early Head Start Program founded in 1995 is a well-known federal-funded early childhood education program which has the main task to prepare children from 0 to 2 years old from low-income families for kindergarten and to inform parents of their responsibilities concerning the development of their child.
Head Start Program which was founded in 1965 is the first federally-funded early childhood education program in the USA which includes children of 3-5 years old in the process of physical, emotional and psychological development. This program provides both educational and health services.
Early Childhood Intervention program is a federally-funded program for those children who suffer from Asperger’s Syndrome. This program provides these children with effective therapy and it gives them the opportunity to get early childhood education which include reading, writing, music, craft and other activities.
Early Reading First is a new federal program which provides the preschool children from 3 to 5 years old from low-income families living in high-poverty areas with reading readiness. It was started in 2002.
It is clear that the above mentioned federally-funded programs have their pros and cons. The pros include the following points:
’ children have the opportunity to get a wide range of learning experiences which they will not get at home;
’ children can develop their communication skills as they can communicate with their equals in age;
’ children have the opportunity to study such subjects as music, dramatic play, storytelling which cannot be studied at home because not all the parents have an appropriate education;
’ children can be prepared emotionally for the kindergarten what will allow them to feel confident;
’ parents who work will not be anxious about their children because they will know that their children are learning and growing in good environment;
’ parents will not pay for their children education as these programs are federally-funded;
’ the federal government guarantees equal early childhood education for all the children who live in the USA.
The disadvantages of the federally-funded early childhood education programs include the following ones:
’ children do not get the one-on-one attention in the group because there are many children in the group;
’ children can fall ill because they can play and communicate with ill children;
’ children spend too much time in early childhood education center and have no opportunity to see their parents very often;
’ the level of education in federally-funded programs is rather low if we compare it to the private early childhood education programs;
’ the investment in the federal-funded early education programs is insufficient to supply the education centers with modern equipment and computers. (Puma 42)
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that federally-funded early childhood education programs play an important role in the development of future citizens of our country. Although there are a lot of disadvantages of these programs, federally-funded programs help to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor and allow parents to continue their work.
Puma, M. Head Start Impact Study. Washington DC: US Department of Health and Human Services Press. 2006. Print.
Yelovina, J. Federal Funding for Early Childhood Care and Education Programs. High/Scope Resource. A Magazine for Educators. Spring. 2003. High/Scope Press.