A group of pre-kindergarten students took center stage in the State Capitol's rotunda showing their educational skills for all to see.
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
A group of pre-kindergarten students took center stage in the State Capitol's rotunda showing their educational skills for all to see. It's an effort by childcare advocates to show support for Pre-K legislation bills but with one exception.
"As far as curriculum and learning, I'm an educator myself, I do know the importance of education on the primary level," Amy Henderson said.
Henderson, mother of 5-year-old Isaiah, supports the two Pre-K bills and said her son is a prime example that childcare centers that are not involved in the Quality Rating Improvement System, or QRIS, are preparing students for higher learning.
QRIS is a rating system that can require childcare centers to make sometimes expensive upgrades to meet minimum requirements.
The Mississippi Child Care Coalition in conjunction with the Mississippi Low Income Child Care Initiative took the stand and leader Carol Burnett said the groups hope the two bills pass as long as neither includes Mississippi's QRIS.
"It's operational right now, but it's voluntary and so centers can decide to be on it or not. Right now 70% of the centers in the state have chosen not to be it because they can't afford it," Burnett said.
With legislators looking at the two bills they are considering making it a requirement for child care centers to be a part of QRIS in order to receive state grants to better the education for children.
"The child care centers wouldn't get the grants themselves, the would just be a part of the committee in their local community designing the idea that they would put into an application and sit it to the department of education," Burnett said.
Childcare professionals agree centers are already getting children ready for school without being apart of QRIS.
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