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Cost of early education on the rise

Students, school
Posted at 5:30 PM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 19:30:16-05

PHOENIX — Finding a preschool that fits your family is hard enough. Affording early education is an entirely different story.

"Parents are on their own. Sometimes you have to make the hard choices of what you need to do for your child," says Linda Pauley, Director of Risen Savior in Chandler.

She see's the value of a quality early education in her students everyday adding that by age five, "it's the social and emotional development that's the most important."

Those crucial skills come at a steep price for families to the tune of hundreds of dollars per student, per week.

"I think it's devastating," says Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman on the lack of state funding to help parents pay for preschool.

Soon, there will also be a lack of federal funding. State officials were recently informed Arizona will stop receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Education worth $100 million over five years.

The superintendent's office said the federal funding wasn't cut but Arizona's application was unsuccessful.

"I would expect if we don't see that funding come in we would see less classrooms available, less seats available. Not even that it's more expensive but that you're on a wait list or we don't have room for you, or even shutting down programs all together," says Hoffman.

She hopes Arizona lawmakers are able to come up with a solution to make up for that loss of funding from the federal government, a cost that would trickle down to parents and ultimately Arizona's future generations.

"There's a lot of work that needs to be done in this country about early childhood," Pauley said.