Framingham's B.L.O.C.K.S. preschool program is in many ways the "front line" of education, says director Rosario Alvarez-O'Neil.
"We're able to figure out what we need to do with each child," she said, giving those students a critical head start once they reach grade school.
But up until now, the state's early childhood education infrastructure has been underfunded compared to the K12 system, preschool advocates say. A $131 million package proposed by Gov. Deval Patrick would change that, although like many aspects of his controversial, tax-increasing fiscal 2014 budget, that long-awaited boost is no sure thing.
Regardless of the mood on Beacon Hill this spring, some proponents of early childhood education believe they've already turned a corner in their effort to convince people in the state of the importance of their cause.