Educare Preschools Aim to Close Academic Gaps
Public-private model generates interest
As teachers rock babies in their arms, a sense of calm settles over a classroom in a bright, modern building on a side street in the northeastern quadrant of this city, in one of its poorest neighborhoods.
Here at Educare, a $16 million early-childhood school that opened in July with the goal of closing the achievement gap for local children living in poverty, building that sense of security and familiarity is a major component of the program. These infants will spend three years with the same teachers. At age 3, they'll move to a new teacher who will stay with them for two more years.
Funded by Head Start and public and private partnerships, this school is the newest addition to the growing Educare Learning Network's 17 schools in communities across the country, a program that its proponents hope will become a national model for comprehensive early-childhood education. Since 2000, the Chicago-based nonprofit has been combining public and private money to provide early intervention for children deemed educationally and socially at risk and to help build strong bonds between the children, their parents, and teachers. The goal is to ensure that the children start school ready to learn, on par with...
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