Over the last nine months a task force of community leaders met to understand the barriers to high quality, accessible preschool and the potential opportunity of universal preschool. The Preschool for All Task Force Recommendations were released this month. The full report is available here
This report represents important work by many, many people and we are particularly proud of the role our Parent Accountability Council (PAC) played in this effort. Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson took the initiative to partner with the PAC to bring community voice into the process. The report describes the PAC’s role (on Page 10, if you are looking for it) and vision for preschool in Multnomah County. The PAC’s vision for preschool is that it be:
· Affordable so that all families can give their children a great start toward school success;
· Accessible so that families can take their children to the preschool setting that works best for them;
· Culturally relevant so that families are honored and respected and understood;
· Trauma-sensitive so that children and families have the supports they need;
· Inclusive so that children of all abilities are welcome to play and grow together;
· High quality so that skilled teachers support children’s growth and development; and
· Joyful learning environments where children are encouraged to explore and to experiment with the world around them.
Our ELM staff also invested hundreds of hours supporting this work and we are hopeful that this report leads to a significant improvement in the way we support children and families across Multnomah County.