Education: Trying to Jump-Start Toddlers

Experts blast the parental push for preschool "hothouses"

Debra Clay, 34, a working librarian in Houston, felt every inch the caring parent. At the pricey Creme de la Creme preschool learning center, her eight- month-old daughter Kendall peered at two red dots on a white flash card held by a teacher, who called out, "Two!" As new cards came up, the teacher chanted the numbers while Kendall acknowledged the exercise with an occasional gurgle. Down the hall, Kendall's four-year-old sister Katie chirped, "Un, deux, trois . . ." mimicking the accent of her Parisian instructor. Elsewhere around Creme de la Creme, 150 other tots and toddlers grappled with art,...

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