BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
President Obama is pushing for high-quality preschool for all low and moderate income four-year-old children.
He also wants to expand programs for thousands of middle class children and give incentives for full-day kindergarten.
The President announced the proposal during his State of the Union Address Tuesday night.
23 ABC spoke to local education leaders and parents about the idea.
Yolanda Gonzalez, the director of Head Start for Kern County, said she was pleased with the President’s plan.
“This opportunity for every child to attend a high quality program will benefit them as they move onto kindergarten,” explained Gonzalez.
“Ages 0-5 is such a window of opportunity for children. It’s a time for children to learn and develop their social skills and school readiness to be lifelong learners. Research also shows they are more apt to go to college and graduate and become great citizens.”
Gonzalez also told 23 ABC that Head Start serves over 2,500 families in Kern County and would love to help more but, there are guidelines the group must follow.
“We would love to not have to turn families away.”
Head Start has been around for several decades and Gonzalez hopes the Administration will use Head Start as a model moving forward.
Local parents also think the plan will help better prepare children for the future.
"I think it's great, “said Ashleigh Charles. Charles also told 23 ABC that she wants to learn more about the program and inform other parents about it.
“I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s been a long time and it should have come a long time ago,” said John Collier.
The President said the plan would not add to the nation’s deficit, but he has not given specifics about where the money would come from to pay for it.