State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), state Senator Sandra Cunningham and Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (both D-31) are all advocating for expanding pre-school programs throughout the state.
“Early childhood education absolutely works. The brain develops between birth and five years old, 85 percent of your brain develops,” Sweeney said during a tour at the Mary J. Donohue School in Bayonne yesterday.
“We’re going to make this an absolutely priority because it saves you money by investing up front because children are learning faster and they’re learning better.”
Legislation looking to bolster full-day pre-school programs throughout New Jersey was introduced in the Senate back in March (h/t NJ Spotlight).
Cunningham, a top Democratic ally of Sweeney in the North, echoed what her Senate colleague had to say on the subject of early childhood education.
“We know, in New Jersey, that early childhood education works. We know that it helps to give our children a first step toward greatness: we know that it is very important. It is especially nice to know that people in the Senate see it the same way.”
Chiaravalloti, who has previously taken a stance against charter schools, said in a statement that he is also in favor of expanding early childhood education, so much so that he plans to co-sponsor legislation in the Assembly.
“Investing in our children so that each student can live up to his or her potential is a priority I will fight for every day in the state legislature. Our children deserve access to early childhood programs and a quality education system,” he said.
“However, simply expressing my support for these priorities, in particular the expansion of preschool programs, is not enough. For that reason, I intend on co-sponsoring legislation that will expand full-day preschool programs for three- and four-year olds in school districts throughout New Jersey – including Bayonne.”