Joe Robach recently joined his colleagues in the New York State Senate to approve legislation (S. 5650C) that would improve children’s school readiness by directing the New York State Commissioner of Education to evaluate and report on early childhood education in day care centers.

The New York State Education Department (SED) currently has authority over education institutions serving children ages three and up.  Oversight over child care institutions under three years of age is done by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). While OCFS’ regulations speak to the health and safety of a child, there is no education component. In New York State, early education is not mandated before age 6, but longitudinal studies have shown that children enrolled in structured, early education meet their developmental milestones at a significantly higher rate, compared to those who do not receive early education who often flounder by age 21. Learning begins in infancy and all children should be entitled to be in a clean, safe, healthy environment which will stimulate their growth emotionally, academically and physically. Additionally, it has been found that children enrolled in structured daycare have better mental health outcomes in the long term, than do their counterparts in more informal daycare settings.

The lack of education requirements and oversight by SED of all children starting at birth is of grave concern to a child’s development and preparedness for kindergarten and beyond. The study required in this bill will examine key issues in and roadblocks in overseeing a child care system that places a strong emphasis on education.

Joe Robach was proud to promote this education legislation because of the millions of children in day care in our state deserve the best possible preparation for school. Joe Robach hopes that the Assembly will pass this bill so that the Commissioner can prepare the study on how we can continue to improve on the great education of the students in New York.

The bill was sent to the Assembly. For more information on education legislation, contact Joe Robach office.