The COVID-19 pandemic is already forcing local governments to make budget cuts. Unfortunately, Pre-K programs experience budget cuts that are felt long after the recession or economic downturn is over. To look at some ways that the COVID-19 pandemic could effect Pre-K programs in the U.S., The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) looked back at their data from the Great Recession to look at how early childhood programs would effected.
Here were some of their findings:
- The worst enrollment cuts occurred four years after the Great Recession began
- More than a decade hasn’t been long enough for 25 states to bring their per child spending rates for public preschool programs back to pre-Great Recession levels.
- The best way to prevent long-term problems is to avoid cuts to pre-K programs. States can do this by choosing to make high-quality preschool a public policy priority. Even modest, one-time COVID emergency federal funding for pre-K could prevent short- and long-term cuts.
(Source: Garver, K. (n.d.). Special Report: How Will The COVID-19 Pandemic Impact Pre-K? Retrieved from http://nieer.org/policy-issue/special-report-how-will-the-covid-19-pandemic-impact-pre-k)