That sounds about right, doesn't it? Sure, they might still be sporting their umbilical stump (ew) but in the ultra-competitive world of New York City, it is essential to get your kids in the game as soon as possible. Even when they're barely human yet, just soft blob-like shapes that almost seem like they'll melt under the pressure of your finger tips.
They sure do smell good at that age though. All starchy and clean. Ah! Babies. Don't you just want to eat their faces off? No, you probably don't.
The New York Times reports on Mayor Bloomberg's announcement of this new type of pre-school, as well as other crucial developments in pre-kindergarten education. The pilot program for children as young as 6 weeks is "known as Educare, [and] will open in Brownsville and serve children between 6 weeks and 5 years old, mimicking schools that have been created in 17 other cities." Bloomberg spoke at a news conference and said that "Our goal is to have every city kid arrive in kindergarten ready and prepared for a lifetime of success." The Times says that "Educare centers around the country are financed by several family foundations, including the Buffett Early Childhood Fund and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, though those sources have not yet been identified as contributors for the city."
The news conference also addressed the issue of the 7,500 NYC children who start kindergarten without any earlier experience in a school setting. City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn said, "To have 7,500 children out there, not in prekindergarten, is 7,500 children who start off, on the first day of school, at a deficit." Which is true enough, I guess. It is certainly true of those children who are in a stimulation-poor environment. But it is also depressing that what these schools are supplying these kids with are such basic human needs as being held and talked to while maintaining eye contact. It's depressing to think of all those kids who don't have anyone to hold them and read to them and teach them that the sky is blue and the grass is green. Agh. Maybe school for babies is a good thing after all. And not just something to be mocked. Or at least not something to be totally mocked.
Anyway, study math, kids. It's the key to the universe.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen