Effort to Extend Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program to Full Day

In an effort to do everything possible to support hard working families, State Senator Annette Taddeo and State Representatives Kamia Brown and Angie Nixon are pushing bills which will expand pre-k from 3 hours a day to a full day for pre-kindergarteners in public and private schools. They have also filed legislation which will update the criteria for Florida’s School Readiness Program providing access to quality education to families in low income communities.

“I’m proposing that we expand the prekindergarten to a full day, after all, who works 3 hours a day? This would go a long way towards helping ensure that no child falls behind and parents can get back to work,” Senator Taddeo said. “Study after study has shown the importance of a preschool education but far too many of our children haven’t had this formative education. Florida currently invests $13 dollars a day per student in pre-k, I doubt very much that’s what our voters had in mind when they passed a constitutional amendment guaranteeing universal pre-k.”

The Democratic legislators said making childcare affordable while helping children along in their education is a win-win for Florida.

“As a lawmaker, I understand the importance of early childhood education and am a strong believer that every child deserves the opportunity to build a good foundation for their education,” Orlando Representative Kamia Brown added. “By providing 1,440 hours of free instructional time, our children can receive substantive instruction that would prepare them to enter kindergarten and thrive.”

On the state’s readiness program, the legislators also offered statements that took on Governor Ron DeSantis.

“Access to quality early learning and school readiness programs can make or break the future of every child,” Representative Angie Nixon said. “As the Governor’s unmitigated ambition continues to sideline working families with his people last strategy, I knew I had to file legislation that puts Floridians first. From expanding access to childcare based on Florida’s unique economic trends, to ensuring a level playing field for families and providers regardless of zip code, this bill will help curb the second largest expense for families, ensuring they can focus on housing, food, and other necessities.”

“By changing the eligibility criteria for the school readiness program we would be helping hundreds of thousands of students from low-income families get the support they need to succeed and have a real chance of realizing their own American Dream,” Senator Annette Taddeo added. “Finances should not get in the way of a child’s education.”

The legislation is SB 1922/HB 1417 and SB 1918/HB 1319.


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