Three cheers for State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia for her efforts to clean up the funding mishmas`h [“Access to Pre-K: Elusive on LI,” News, March 20].

I own a quality, low-cost learning center in Brentwood, one of the largest local school districts. While I favor early childhood education, some of the “free” programs offer many variations. Some have 20 to 28 4-year-old children per class, with one teacher and an assistant. That ratio is too high.

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Some educators are certified for kindergarten through sixth grade, but not specifically for early childhood education.

I hope the new state focus will help small schools like mine that have reputations for smaller classes and developmentally appropriate, hands-on learning.

Chris Walerius, East Islip

Editor’s note: The writer owns the Learning Adventures Children’s Center.