TOWNSHIP OF OCEAN – When it comes to education, many experts arrive at the same conclusion. Children who learn early cultivate benefits beyond the classroom. If all goes well, 133 youngsters could soon reap some of those rewards as part of an expansion of the Township’s preschool program.
“There is a push for this in New Jersey,” shared Dr. Christopher Lommerin, Ocean Township Superintendent of Schools. “The state would like children to start public education at the age of three.”
Although the district has applied for funding for the pre-kindergarten program, the timing may seem tight to some parents. Lommerin doesn’t expect to hear whether the Township will receive approval until August 1.
If it does, the wheels of motion will need to move quickly for the start of school on September 3rd. Children aged 3 and 4 would be eligible to enroll as Pre-K students.
Currently, Ocean Township offers half-day sessions attended by 50 four-year-old Pre-K students. Children with special needs also receive an early introduction to public education.
Some lament that sending the kiddies off to school early robs them of their childhood. Others look at it as a cost reduction to daycare expenses in a world where parents need to work to make ends meet. Meanwhile, many are quick to point out the difference between childcare and preschool.
That said, educators have a great deal to say when it comes to early childhood education. More than a decade ago, the National Educational Association (NEA) began touting the benefits of full-time preschool education.
From all appearances, it’s not just about academic development. Children also learn better social skills, including how to express themselves and share with others.
Locally, Barnegat schools have already instituted full-time preschool programs.
Stephanie A. Faughnan is a local journalist and Director of Writefully Inspired, a professional writing and resume service. Feel free to contact her at email@example.com.