Some New Jersey families say Biden’s plan for free pre-K would help immensely
President Joe Biden is expected to lay out a proposal that his administration says will help struggling families.
Many New Jersey families say that they are looking forward to hearing more about the part of the plan that involves free early childhood education.
The president is calling his American Families Plan an investment in the country’s children. Hoboken Dual Language Charter School executive director Jen Sargent says that it is an investment that will pay off big.
“The opportunity to have a free pre-K really promotes equity. It means students can come in with the same access to the same quality of pre-K no matter the family income or background,” Sargent says.
Biden’s proposal directs federal funds toward universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds. Many districts in New Jersey already offer free pre-K, including Hoboken.
Trini Garcia-Villen is raising her two children in Hoboken. She says that the free child care and education is part of what kept her family in Hoboken, rather than moving to the suburbs.
“Paying for a private school was something I couldn’t afford at the time. I had two young children and would have had to put my career on hold to take care of my family,” she says. “They received amazing care. They were so happy to be in school and more importantly, I didn’t have to worry about the cost.”
Biden’s plan invests not only in the children but in their potential teachers as well.
“We are very much celebrating that the plan includes a real push to bring a very diverse range of teachers into teacher training programs and to support and provide professional development for teachers out in the field now,” Sargent says
The American Families Plan also helps older students by offering two years of free community college for those who are interested.
The Biden administration estimates that the universal pre-K program will benefit 5 million children and save the average American family $13,000.