At 83, I'm retired from teaching but continue to write on education issues. I am a woman and the product of an immigrant family. Status has never been bestowed upon me -- I earned it!

Like me, each of our youngest has the innate ability to mature into participating adults in their communities, or beyond, when supported early in their educational journeys ["De Blasio: Pre-K needs tax hike," News, Jan. 30].

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Blame for not succeeding is often placed when it is too late. The education community needs to assure that each child is supported, from family to community, through early education and with well-educated teachers to equalize life's hurdles.

I earned a master's degree with a specialty in early childhood education. I pride myself in having been among the first teachers in the Head Start program in Brooklyn in 1965.

It's time to reassess spending and stop the squabbling. We must unite to provide the strongest educational foundation for each child.

Betty Marie Wybenga, Center Moriches