There has always been a lot of buzz around preschool education. More than ever there is now a push for universal preschool. I have a better idea. Statistically, preschool education is great for low socioeconomic groups. Unfortunately among this group the benefits of preschool has usually disappeared by 2nd grade. Instead of institutionalizing our youngest members of society, we should in fact be educating the parents. We're missing out on a great opportunity. When kids go to preschool and then go home to an environment that is not conducive to learning all benefits are lost. If however we educate the parents on how to provide a natural environment that allows the child to learn by following their creative nature then the need for preschool for will not exist. Our society would benefit by having adults who are well educated in the most important field, child rearing. One more positive caveat would be that we would eliminate the rift that happens between teachers and parents.
I concede that this is a lot more difficult to implement than preschool. You can force a child to go to school (but you cannot force him to learn!) but you cannot force an adult to go to a class that will teach them life long skills, which is why we should be teaching this skill starting in middle school!
If the middle school ball of energy could be harnessed into good, we could move mountains. The middle school curriculum needs to include a child development curriculum. Every middle school should have a preschool and nursery on campus. Every child should be taught one on two (a small child and teacher for each middle schooler) how to care for and create an appropriate learning environment children. These classes need to be scheduled as core units (not electives) throughout high school.
Let's face it, most people will grow up and have kids. Those that can't or choose not to will have nieces and nephews or be around kids at some point. Doesn't it make sense that we should learn to care for our most important resource? Our future awaits and it's begging for something better.