After a long summer of makeshift childcare, my kids just went back to school, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the public investment in my kids’ education: their amazing teachers, the buses that get them there and back, and the after-school childcare program conveniently located at their school. As a full-time working mom, this means I can go to work knowing that my kids are being educated and cared for all day. But why do we believe all children are entitled to a publicly provided, cognitively stimulating daytime environment the day they turn five years-old, but not one minute sooner? Learning doesn’t start at age five. Public education shouldn’t either.
During my five years in Washington’s House of Representatives, most of