- Return to Wisconsin's constitutional commitment that school districts are free to all children between the ages of 4 and 20 years.
- Community perspective - common school for the common good.
- Provides equity since it is available to all children in a community; the child does not have to be labeled as low income or with a special condition to be enrolled.
- Affordable to parents regardless of financial means as cost distribution across community.
- Many families would like school-based services for their children.
- Brings additional funding to school districts and communities as state shares in cost.
- Applies research on early brain development and cost benefits of early learning opportunities.
- Teachers with BA or higher degrees in early childhood education have the experience and training to provide quality learning opportunities.
- Teacher salaries & work environment create more stable work force.
- Support services are available to address special needs: e.g. school nurse, psychologists, specialty teachers, and special education services.
- Access to special resources and quality learning materials enhances curriculum: e.g. libraries, art, music, and technology.
- School standards provide protection and safe environment.
- Availability of older children as peer models/tutors/coaches.
- Sense of continuity for child as they move into the next grade level.
How Schools Can Implement 4K through Best Practices
- Involve the community in the decision to implement 4K and develop community wide approaches that involve the child care industry in the delivery of 4-year-old kindergarten.
- Adapt the school structure to meet the needs of younger children: e.g. providing flexible and open classroom space, reducing travel time on bus, implementing parent outreach activities.
Instruct using curriculum that is developmentally appropriate, with child and teacher directed activities, emphasis on active learning, and addressing all developmental areas.
Strive for consistency with DCF child care rules in relation to needs of younger children.
Provide extended day options through before/after school programs and 4K services in community child care to address needs of working parents.
Develop and share options to support parents who want to keep their child home.