President Obama’s recent push for “universal” preschool should worry parents everywhere.

Not only is it an effort to further remove children’s development from the control of their parents, but there’s little reason to suggest that it could provide any real benefit to the kids.

When have you ever known a government program, particularly when it comes to education, to work the way it is supposed to?

A study published in late December by the Department of Health and Human Services found not only does the government’s Head Start program, which was launched in 1965, not provide any lasting benefits, but it actually puts children behind in some ways.

The program is intended to help children from poor families prepare for school. The study commissioned by Congress evaluated 4,667 elementary school children, both those who had gone through Head Start and children from similar circumstances who had not been in the program.

What the study found, or rather didn’t find, was striking.

Not only did the students not show any measurable scholastic advantage by the third grade, but they did worse in math than students who had not gone through Head Start, and they had a more difficult time with social interactions.

The Head Start children also had a notably lower rate of promotion to the next grade level.

One category where the Head Start group did score somewhat higher was in reading and language arts.

Teachers reported more incidents of undesirable behavior. According to the report, “At the end of 3rd grade, teachers reported more problems in their relationship with Head Start children and a lower percentage of Head Start children in the normal category for emotional symptoms. Childrenís own reports showed one unfavorable impact at the end of 3rd grade (peer relations).”

The Head Start program has a budget of $8.1 billion and has served more than 25 million kids.

The government wants to increase its control over children’s lives, but preschool isn’t for everyone, and in most cases, it’s probably pointless.

Far more important than allowing government-approved strangers to have access to your young children is simply being a good, loving parent and giving your child a solid moral foundation.

Knowledge can simply be implanted in young children whose brains haven’t developed enough to retain most of it, and the difficulty level of what’s taught in preschools is so low that most kids can easily pick it up from their parents or when they enter kindergarten.

Parents should say no to government-mandated preschool.