Wednesday, March 28, 2007
For More Information:
Dean Fiihr, 515-281-0817
In four years, nearly every Iowa four year old will have access to quality, affordable preschool thanks to a plan adopted by the Iowa House on Wednesday night. Currently, 28,000 four year olds in Iowa do not have access to pre-school.
“We know brain development in the early years is the most critical time in a child’s life,” said State Representative Mary Mascher of Iowa City, who managed the bill in the Iowa House. “We know quality preschool is a good investment. It improves the chances of success for our kids and reduces crime. Every Iowa child should have the opportunity to participate in a preschool program with a qualified, capable, and competent teacher.”
Iowa does not currently have a comprehensive preschool plan. House File 877, which was approved on a 56-43 vote, creates a statewide preschool plan and commits an additional $15 million each year over the next four years. The bill does not compete with existing private or public preschools and the program is voluntary. The bill ensures each enrolled child will receive a minimum ten hours of class time with a qualified preschool teacher.
The bill makes good on another promise outlined in the Democrats’ Plan for Prosperity outlined last fall. The bill now goes to the Senate.