Council Letter | In Support of Equitable & Quality Pre-K for All

June 22, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

How can we make the world better? One way is for us to advance equity for all children, and that starts by giving them access to high-quality pre-K. Children who attend great programs are more kindergarten ready and tend to have more long-term success in school and life. But the sad truth is that access to early learning is uneven. Attendance varies widely based on children’s race and family income, which means that Black, Hispanic, and low-income children are less likely to attend early learning programs than their more affluent peers. And the programs they do attend often lack the resources and qualified teachers to help the children become kindergarten ready.

So, the Council is doing its part to support all children by giving them the skilled teachers they need. We help serve our diverse body of young learners by giving free webinars in English and Spanish. Our Council Alumni Network (CAN) is offering a three-part series on Building Equity Into Your Curriculum. Our Early Educators Leadership Conference will include sessions on equity for children and the teachers who serve them, including the many men who face roadblocks in our field. So, the 2023 EELC will feature a special panel of men, and this issue spotlights two men who are tackling the big issues that deal with inequity in early education.

Nick Terrones, program director at Daybreak Star Preschool, helps children see life through an anti-bias lens, as you’ll read this month. “Anti-bias education,” he says, “is an approach that leads children to question why things are the way they are. For example, a young child might ask why I’m the only male teacher. Providing an answer is part of anti-bias education. So is responding to a child who wonders why people are living in tents near their house. And it’s up to teachers to be brave enough to have those difficult conversations about injustice. When they do, children learn the importance of advocating for a fairer system that will give marginalized communities more chance to empower themselves.”

Similarly, Mike S. Browne works to empower young Black boys as senior director of Cultivate Learning, a research and training program for teachers. And he doesn’t just work to get the boys kindergarten ready, a typical goal in the early learning field. “My goal is to prepare them for lifelong success and allow them to reach their dreams,” Mike explains. And as he works to guide them into the future, he’s inspired by his own past. “The dreams I had as a poor Black boy,” he says, “are still informing me today.” So, he guides children and teachers in having in-depth conversations about inequity in their lives and in our nation.

And one of the conversations that’s taking place across the country is about how to provide pre-K for all. The challenge that states face is balancing costs, high-quality and resources, according to Dr. Calvin Moore’s new paper. Sure, it’s expensive to provide equity in early learning for all children, but it pays off by helping children become productive adults. So, Dr. Moore urges us to put our all into pre-K for all by investing in teacher training, like the CDA®, and giving deep thought to what goes on in the classroom when designing public preschool programs. In addition, he says, we must redesign K-12 education, so it sustains the many benefits children derive from quality pre-K.

Children also profit a lot from having parents who are involved in their lives. And when we discuss the impact of parents, we should count the ways dads can support their daughters’ success, Dr. Moore also points out in his latest blog. He speaks as the engaged father of two girls, like former President Barack Obama, who always made sure to give his daughters a full dose of their dad. And fathers get something back from investing time in their girls, Obama said in a Father’s Day speech: “I’m inspired by the love people have for their children. And I’m inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better. And they make me want to be a better man.”

With our warmest regards to great dads,
The Council for Professional Recognition


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