Under the Dome

New director of NC Pre-K has advocated against early childhood education

The state's new director of child development and early education apparently doesn't think too highly of early childhood education programs.

Dianna Lightfoot, whose appointment was announced Tuesday by Aldona Wos, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has been the president of the National Physicians Center since 2001.

A policy paper — signed by Lightfoot and two board members — on the nonprofit's website states that early childhood education programs "may actually be inferior to early learning opportunities at home."

The paper also states: "Encouraging parents to entrust their children to an institution may result in some being less responsible and reliable. In the long run, there is great potential for early learning institutions to foster more dependency on the government (i.e. taxpayer) and more of an entitlement mentality."

It also says that demand for childcare is overstated, and cites as proof a 1997 Glamour magazine poll that found that 88 percent of women would want their child at home if they could afford it.

Read the full paper here:

Lightfoot, who starts her new job Monday, will be in charge of the state's child-care program and NC Pre-K, earning an annual salary of $110,000.

In naming her to the post, Wos said: "Her leadership will ensure we meet the State’s longstanding commitment to protect and serve our young children.”

Reacting to her appointment on Wednesday, Clay Clay Pittman, spokesman for the North Carolina Democratic party released this statement:

“North Carolina was a pioneer in early childhood education.  Our development of Smart Start and More at Four set a benchmark for the rest of the country.  ... For Governor McCrory, who stated his support for Pre-K during the campaign, and Secretary Wos to appoint someone who actively advocates against Pre-K, who believes that educating our children will result in “an entitlement mentality,” demonstrates a total lack of respect for the educational process and a willingness to sacrifice North Carolina’s future a political goal.”

In response to questions, a DHHS spokeswoman released this statement: "Ms. Lightfoot was selected for this position because she has extensive expertise in healthcare, child welfare and education. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is committed to outcomes-based, effective and quality early childhood programs and Ms. Lightfoot will work closely with the Secretary to carry out the department’s mission to protect the health and well being of all people, especially young children."


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Yeah She's Crazy too

Sigh... People work. That's a fact of life. People who have jobs or who are looking for jobs work. That's how we provide for our families. If the Republicans plan on creating a boatload of $80K a year jobs and lowering the cost of taking care of a small child so that mother's can stay home and school them, I'd love to hear their policies. Oh and for the Single Moms, I'd really love to hear how they plan on schooling their Pre-K Age Babes.

This Lady is Crazy. Good Old safe McCrory get's more radical by the day. He put her in place and in her mind YOU PEOPLE should be at home with your kids teaching them good old conservative values instead of having them being taught by those scarey nursey school teachers. This is not the America of 50s where the man worked and the wife stayed home with the kids. Present Day if our college degrees, houses, credit cards, car loans, home equity lines, increased food prices, insurance, health care, gas cost, etc, etc, etc could be paid for with one salary... We'd be Glad to do it. But as it stands Miss Ma'am some 2 and 1 income households in this state could use a little early help.

It'd be nice to see how she would react if she had another child next year. But naaa she's probably on Birth Control.

re: "I need to move out of this state!"

I drove into South Carolina on Monday. At that time there were no roadblocks keeping North Carolinians from crossing the border. I may just have been lucky but so far I have not heard of anyone having trouble leaving the state. Best not to wait too long just in case. Good luck.

Sounds crazy

Sounds like one of those nuts who think parents should take responsibility for rearing their own children. We all know the state does a better job of taking care of small children than parents. The nerve of some people to think that parents know better than the state! We better get those Republicans outta there before they change something!

another ideologue

Well clearly the DHHS spokenperson is full of malarkey. All one needs to do is read the policy goals of the National Physicians Center and see that this is yet another position that is ideological. She is anti birth control, anti home visiting and screening for mental health. What could be more perfect?!?!?! I need to move out of this state!

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