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Bringing the nation's littlest people into focus: Preschoolers




Andrea Castaneda sings to a song about a whale after lunchtime at Options Head Start. The school serves low-income families. With automatic federal cuts, the school is losing all 20 of their afternoon slots.
Andrea Castaneda sings to a song about a whale after lunchtime at Options Head Start. The school serves low-income families. With automatic federal cuts, the school is losing all 20 of their afternoon slots.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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Over the course of his two terms in office, President Obama has had some success, and some failure, pressing for reforms in areas such as immigration, the economy and gun control.

But as he nears the end of his Presidency, he's also trying to gain traction on initiatives that bring the nation's littlest people into focus: Preschoolers.

The President has requested $19.5 billion dollars from Congress in his latest budget - all for early education and care programs.

These funds would expand Head Start --the federally funded preschool program for children in poverty-- as well as open up more money for states to continue building their own preschool and childcare programs.

All of this builds on other policies designed with early year education in mind.

To learn more, we spoke with Deborah Stipek, a professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University.

She says that there are several reasons why Obama may have made preschool a priority when other presidents haven't.

To hear the full interview, press the blue play button above.