A quarter of Boston’s pre-schoolers live in poverty. That’s 10,260 girls and boys age five and younger. Leaders from the president and governor to community workers talk increasingly of the longterm value of investing in young children. But how? The statistics are stacked against them. Stubborn economic and racial disparities don’t lie.
For some years, government agencies have been urged to take a more holistic approach. When a five-year-old shows up for kindergarten unable to express himself, language skill may be only a fraction of what he needs. Poor nutrition, inadequate health care, struggling caregivers and a variety of other factors may contribute to the problem. Only a comprehensive approach gives promise of success.