I couldn’t agree more with your recent editorial, “With pre-K programs, it’s the results that matter” (Nov. 15). While the number of classrooms, days and hours offered varies from district to district, 44 percent of Maine 4-year-olds are enrolled in a public pre-K program. Since we are poised to continue this growth, a key component of our success will be whether we focus on quality. I look at this issue as a parent and a teacher, since I have a child who had a wonderful public pre-K experience last year and I’m an early childhood educator teaching second and third grade.

Public pre-K is part of a larger early childhood education system in Maine, one that begins before birth and continues well into elementary school. We can offer public pre-K in a way that serves working families and values teachers from both private child care programs and public schools. We can expand public pre-K in a way that creates partnerships in our communities with programs that already exist (including home- and center-based early care and education). We can strengthen the quality of our elementary classrooms with increased attention to child development and social and emotional learning through an integrated, engaging curriculum.

I see progress in this area with the Department of Education working with a group of elementary schools to improve and align their pre-K and kindergarten curriculums. They are learning from years of work in Boston public schools to improve their teaching and learning in pre-K through second grade.

We have more work to do, but I know we can serve all families in Maine with high-quality early childhood education.

Selina Greene Warren


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