In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama made a historic pledge to provide universal, high-quality pre-K education to our nation’s children. He chose to make this one of his administration’s priorities with good reason: Early childhood education has myriad benefits, including better, more equitable long-term outcomes for children of divergent economic backgrounds. Moreover, investments in these programs help cultivate a future workforce, secure long-term economic competitiveness, and develop our nation’s future leaders. Universal high-quality pre-K and child care would also throw a much-needed raft to families across America that are struggling to stay afloat while footing costly child care bills, missing work to provide care, or sending their children—our nation’s future innovators and workforce—to low-quality care centers.
Seattle Parks and Recreation, in partnership with Associated Recreation Council operates half-day preschool programs in neighborhood community centers. Our school-readiness program meets the developmental needs of young children, focusing on emotional, social, physical, and cognitive skills to prepare children for success in school and in life. Classrooms are set up with safe and nurturing environments, fun-filled learning areas, consistent schedules and routines, and both large and small group times. Preschool activities include art, dramatic play, library time, cooking, discovery science, singing, and outdoor play.

Some companies have improved their child-care policies. Earlier this month, Starbucks SBUX, +2.77%  said it would offer 10 subsidized back-up child care days annually to workers, meant to help staffers who find themselves in a jam when care arrangements fall apart. The company is teaming up with Care.com so that workers can pay a dollar an hour for backup care, or $5 for a day’s stay at in-center child care.
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