Early Childhood Advocates Say Recent State Investment In Preschool Not Enough

Nov 4, 2013

Early childhood advocates say Michigan is not doing enough to help low-income kids succeed.

Capital Area Community Services, Inc. has added over 275 children to its preschool program this year because of the state’s $65 million expansion of Great Start.
Credit Jake Neher MPRN

That’s despite a $65 million  increase in state spending for low-income preschool programs in this year’s budget.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher.

Advocates say boosting funding for early childhood programs is only one piece of the puzzle. They say Governor Rick Snyder and the Republican-led state Legislature have cut assistance to many low-income families in recent years.

Lucy McClintic directs early childhood programs in and around Lansing. She says those cuts undermine other efforts to help Michigan kids.

   “The family stress and the lack of income just mounds up in terms of losses to the child,” she says.

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows only about one in three Michigan children are developing the cognitive skills they’ll need as adults.

Governor Rick Snyder says he has championed a number of programs meant to help low-income families, including one that puts more social workers in public schools.