EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

While New Jersey’s history with pre-K can trace its origins to legal proceedings, the successful implementation represents the embrace of a policy that – according to several measures – has strengthened the educational foundation supporting potentially disenfranchised children during a critical stage of development, with benefits accruing both to the individual and society. As such, the state finds itself in an interesting position in the national debate, cited as a model deserving replication as it comes to terms with an outstanding mandate to extend access. At a moment when New Jersey can reflect on the value of its accomplishment, the opportunity also might present itself to consider how preschool could serve broader segments of the population.