H.B. 96 is an innovative approach to financing early care and education. Strengths of the bill include that it ensures high levels of accountability and savings of public funds. The bill also provides a mechanism for public-private partnerships that is flexible and can be tailored to the needs of local communities. Grant recipients will be able to leverage the resources of private child care providers to increase the quality of early education within the private child care business in the community. This will provide families with more choices and greater access to high quality early education programs. HB 96 is an effective way to fund “at-risk” children and families who lack the family and financial resources to assure they can obtain high quality early education. This funding should not detract or take away from home-schooling. It provides for options to best meet families’ needs.
There has never been a time in the history of man where childhood education, particularly in the area of emotional/social development, only occurred at home or singularly by the parents. In our modern day society, this is more true than ever. Parents have always had to work to support themselves and contribute to community well-being. In order to accomplish this, they had to trust their children to the community for support, then and now. Children, and our societies, have benefited tremendously by this communal participation at an early age with children learning necessary social skills, developing better emotional maturity and coping mechanisms, and having greater access to academic/life skills from a larger knowledge base. Now we have much research that resoundingly supports the benefits of a more rounded and expanded learning base; we now have considerable data showing that an interaction with a larger variety of peers and adults is a critical part of a child's healthy emotional and academic development. Since it is still a reality that parents must work outside the home to earn a living and contribute to community well-being, it is still a reality that parents must rely on the community to help raise their children. Thus, our society must count on and fund early childhood education outside the home, as well as in the home, to assure our children truly have the tools to assure their and our society's optimal development.
Vote yes on HB 96 for a brighter Utah future.
Ed Dieringer, Owner, Bennion Learning Center
Teresa Dieringer, Owner, Bennion Learning Center
Shauna Avila, Director, Bennion Learning Center