I’d like to share a few thoughts about quality early childhood education today. We know that investments in early childhood are vital to the success of our children. There is a large body of data from economics, biology and psychology that shows that educational equity is more than a social justice issue but is also a building block of a strong economy. Yet thousands and thousands of children across our nation have limited access to quality early childhood programs.
Research has told us that inequality in early childhood experiences and learning produces inequality in ability, achievement, health and adult success. These gaps often persist throughout childhood and strongly influence adult outcomes. What can make a difference? A quality early education program.
When you walk into such a program, you would see developmentally appropriate materials and children moving around the classroom engaging in hands-on activities. Adults would be interacting meaningfully with the children, helping them deepen the knowledge that they are gaining through play. The instructional staff engages in purposeful, reciprocal relationships with families to allow them to understand each family’s culture, values and beliefs. They use this information not only to develop the curriculum but to also build relationships with the students.
The Barber National Institute is now approved for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Businesses can receive a direct reduction of their state tax amount when they choose to make a contribution to the Preschool Scholarship Program. Businesses may receive a tax credit equal to 100% of their first $10,000 contributed and up to 90% of the remaining amount contributed with a maximum credit of $200,000 annually.
I would encourage businesses to make a donation to the Barber National Institute EITC Program which will provide preschool scholarships to eligible children in Erie County. I would be happy to answer anyone’s questions about the program!