47. Institutionalizing Young Children (5/07)

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Whereas there is a growing movement to institutionalize children at younger and younger ages; and

Whereas this movement takes a variety of the forms including the Birth to Three year old program, Child Find programs aimed at identifying children in need of special services, preschool screening, preschool programs, and kindergarten programs for three- and four-year olds; and

Whereas professionals, corporations, and government have joined together through federal and state commissions and through studies and have identified early childhood education as a good practice and part of the answer to ensuring a strong economy; and

Whereas the National Center on Education and the Economy, the same organization that was central to bringing us national standards in education and the No Child Left Behind program, is calling for preschool for all three and four-year-olds; and

Whereas there is a growing tendency on the part of professionals and their associations to identify families as the cause of children’s problems and to claim that institutional care, education, or treatment are the solutions to children’s problems; and

Whereas homeschoolers know through personal experience the importance of parents being with their children for nurture, learning, and support; and

Whereas policy and/or legal requirements adopted for the larger society put pressure on homeschoolers to follow these practices and approaches to early childhood education;

Be it resolved by members of Wisconsin Parents Association (WPA) that WPA will work to ensure that its members and others understand the positive role and result of parents and grandparents spending time with their young children and grandchildren, the tremendous benefits that result from this investment of nurture and support, the serious mental and emotional costs to children of institutionalizing them early, and the ways that expansion of three and four-year-old preschool can impact homeschooling families. 5/07

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