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Clinton Pushes Women's Issues to Forefront with Quality Early Ed

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007   


Sen. Hillary Clinton took to the airwaves yesterday, promoting a pre-kindergarten plan for every 4-year-old in the country. Today House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also scheduled early education issues. State women's groups are saying that as women rise into more powerful positions, this and other women's issues will get more attention. Diane Cohen is executive director of the Long Island Fund for Women and Girls.

“By strong powerful leaders like Hillary and like Nancy Pelosi doing this, I just think the stars are aligning, I really do.”

Cohen notes that early childhood education is a top priority for many women, and she says it deserves to be a key part of the nation's education plan, given it's importance in a child's development.

Dana Friedman, director of Early Care in Education-Long Island is glad to see early child education on the national agenda. She believes it's important to remember the role of playtime in a early education, and that regulations like No Child Left Behind take away some of the most critical learning opportunities a child has.

“They're cutting out recess. We're cutting out music and art and, yes, they may know more facts, but that's not what's going to do them well in later years.”

Friedman will be sharing research on children's play and education today at the Long Island Children's Museum.

Women's groups are saying this is a step forward for all issues concerning women. Cohen agrees.

“We take the lion share of the responsibility for organizing early care for our children. Not that men aren't involved, they are. But for the most part women take the lead.”



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