Why DCPS is expanding pre-K education and offering centers for younger students

They are younger and smaller than ever walking into D.C. Public Schools like Ketcham Elementary in Southeast Washington.

“All three of my kids have been to pre-K, I’m not adjusting to it yet,” says Dawn Kee, a parent.

Not only is the District of Columbia expanding universal pre-K this school year, but for the first time ever, the school system is offering infant and toddler centers at three elementary schools.

“I think kids are so advanced these days, it’s really important for working families especially,” says Amira Moore, a parent.

Preschool advantages include a consistent structure and routine, and a focus on early education.

“So this year we added another pre-K and ore school… preschool education at Ketcham,” says Maisha Riddlesprigger, principal at Ketcham Elementary.

The goal for DCPS is to give these children a variety of cognitive, social, emotional, and language skills.

“Research shows and we tell her parents it’s a head start in life, says Riddlesprigger.

Now there are concerns, including a lack of one-on-one time, beginning learning too early, and the challenges of taking a young child out of the home.

“We know that students in communities like ours at times come without that at home learning,” says Riddlesprigger.