Could this be the moment to expand and improve early childhood education?

April 8, 2021
Katie Barghaus

With more than $1 billion coming to Pennsylvania as part of the recently passed American Rescue Plan — including dedicated money for improving early childhood education — many are wondering if a transformative change in American childcare could follow.

“That’s the million-dollar question,” Katie Barghaus, executive director of the Penn Child Research Center told the Philadelphia Citizen. “This really is a strategic moment, and we need to build on the good work that’s already underway to support children and families, regardless of race and class or socioeconomic background.”

Barghaus described the importance of high-quality care for young children, and how it affects children’s future outcomes in education, career, earnings, health, and wellbeing. And the potential for societal improvements doesn’t stop with the kids.

“Parents are not just parents—nobody has a unidimensional persona,” Barghaus said. “Parents are our neighbors, our coworkers, our essential service providers and our communities. And so if we provide high-quality early care and education for kids, and their families benefit from that, it also helps support collective well-being and health and our local economy. Absolutely.”

“It’s kind of like one lever that has a lot of dominoes fall into place once it’s pulled.”

Read the full Philadelphia Citizen piece here.