Early Childhood Learning; A View from the United States
Unless Congress and the White House take another path, starting January 2, 2013, there would be automatic cuts of roughly 8% to domestic discretionary programs– including Head Start, child care, K-12 education, WIC, early intervention and many others. This would mean roughly 100,000 children losing Early Head Start or Head Start and 80,000 children losing child care assistance.In quite specific terms, US Senator Harkin offers the details of these cuts in his report, "Under Threat: Sequestration's Impact on Nondefense Jobs and Services". The following are specific cuts in the Department of Health and Human Services' budget that will directly affect early childhood learning.
- 96,179 fewer low income children will be served by the preschool Head Start program
- 80,000 fewer children will be served due to cuts in Child Care and Development Block Grants
- 5,000,000 families will lose support for maternal and child health care services
- 211,958 children will not be vaccinated due to cuts in Childhood Immunization Grants
To those viewing this video from the Philippines, it is quite obvious that the US situation is still far way better than the predicament of kindergarten, early childhood learning, and child health care in the Philippines. To hear someone sighing that a child gets to see a pediatrician only 10 times from 6 months to 5 years of age can surely turn heads. Many children in the Philippines do not see a pediatrician, many children in the Philippines do not see any book.
The United States also greatly differs from the Philippines in another aspect. US News reports that the number of foreign born graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and MATH (STEM) is rapidly rising:
Foreign-born people account for 16.5 percent of the U.S. population 25 and older, and a similar proportion of the segment of that population with bachelor's degrees or higher (15.8 percent).The Philippines clearly does not have these numbers. The Philippines does not have the luxury of attracting foreign-born individuals. The Philippines has to rely on its own native born citizens to fill the STEM needs of the nation. It is therefore far more crucial that the country pays attention to early child health and learning.
But 33 percent of all graduates with engineering degrees are foreign-born, along with 27 percent of graduates in computers, math, and statistics, and 24 percent in physical sciences.
|Elementary school children doing laundry in the Philippines|