Caroline Ashe Your Source in Augusta, GA Real Estate March 29th, 2007
The very first preschool education in the US open to all 4 year olds was in Georgia. This was in 1995, funded by the state lottery. Today, the state typically invests $4,000 per child.
A recent study by the National Institute for Early Education Research found that Georgia’s program is 2nd most accessible program in the Nation and 13th in terms of resources available.
Georgia’s program is offered on an unrestricted, voluntary basis, and has over 73,000 preschoolers enrolled. The Georgia program also has comprehensive standards both for the learning curriculum for the children and the teachers. All teachers must have an Associates degree or higher. The class sizes are 20 children or lower and typically run 10 children to one staff member. The kids get a lunch and a snack every day. Preschools are monitored by Georgia officials with regular monitoring visits.
There are some local differences- in Richmond County a parent may register their child at any school in the county, but in Columbia County the child must be registered at the school they are zoned for.
South Carolina’s spending and enrollment are a bit less. About 20,000 preschoolers are enrolled every year, at about $1,085 per student. The program is available in all school districts, but your child must take a series of screening tests before being accepted. The preschoolers are tested on their motor skills, concepts, and language skills. If your child is determined to be at risk for not being prepared for kindergarten, your child will be accepted into the preschool program. Unlike Georgia, South Carolina teachers are required to have a Bachelor’s degree. The class sizes are the same as in Georgia, usually at around 10 preschoolers. The children are given a meal and a snack every day. The preschools are also subject to regular monitoring visits by state officials.
The National Institute for Early Education Research ranks SC 8th in the nation in terms of accessibility and 38th in terms of resources.
References and more information:
The National Institute for Early Education Study
Georgia is No. 2 state for pre-kindergarten by Julia Sellers and Greg Gelpi, Staff Writers, Tuesday, March 27, 2007 Augusta Chronicle. (Registration Required)