Early Education in the News
Like many preschool programs, District 50's is funded by state grants. Unlike many programs, District 50 has received most of the grant money that is expected from the state.
Reading skills span from pre-kindergarten to the third-grade level. In between are students who work on three-letter words and construct sentences. Some educators say that those gaps in ages and skills are too wide for today's rigorous kindergarten classrooms.
Early-childhood education is not just an education imperative — it needs to be a national security priority. Let me tell you why. Seventy-five percent of young Americans are not qualified to join the military, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. The three primary reasons are inadequate education, criminality and physical unfitness.
Florida's pre-kindergarten program is in financial trouble — facing a nearly $29 million budget shortfall this year and a worse deficit next year. The budget woes are raising fears that a program meant to offer "high quality" preschool classes is on a downward slide.
Countless studies have proven the numerous benefits of this type of early education, including increasing the rates of graduation, helping students perform better on standardized tests, decreasing the rates of crimes perpetrated by youths and reducing the number of special education students.
Gov. Pat Quinn came to Alton on Friday to talk about high-speed rail, but a group of demonstrators had the issue of education funding on their minds. Several parents and children attended the news conference at Alton's Amtrak Station, carrying signs asking for the state to make its payments for early childhood education, which is at risk for elimination in the Alton School District.
As state leaders prepare to write a budget with less cash in the coffers, they have pledged to protect public education from the axe. But Parents As Teachers, a nationally recognized early-childhood education program funded by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, will receive less funding for the second straight year.
Massachusetts is the first state to add toothbrush time to the color-nap-snack-and-play routine of preschools, requiring that all children who eat a meal at day care, or attend for more than four hours, brush their teeth during class and be educated about oral health.
Alabama is in the odd position of having perhaps the best pre-kindergarten program in the nation, but only providing access to that program to a very small percentage of children in Alabama because of funding problems.
It might take 15 years for today's finger painters and "Sesame Street" fans to hit the work force, which is the challenge of arguing for public investment in early childhood education. But preschool saves Michigan taxpayers mountains of money and increases revenues -- about $1.15 billion over the past 25 years, according to the first comprehensive study of the state's programs for children from birth to 5 years old, to be released today by state Schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan.
The University of Toledo is working to help preschool teachers better prepare their young students for a positive educational experience. A new program will help early childhood teachers receive their bachelor's degrees in a fast-track program for which they could receive substantial scholarships.
The Legislature can boost Washington's chances of financial success by signaling the state's long-term commitment to high-quality prekindergarten learning. Lawmakers can do that by including prekindergarten learning as part of the state's definition of basic education.
The Raising A Reader Initiative, a multiyear project, is linking free literacy training with outreach activities in apartment communities to help children 5 years old and younger develop the skills they need to be successful readers.
With permanent money proving elusive, a Sioux Falls public preschool program for low-income children probably will serve fewer students next school year when the initial funding runs out. Meanwhile, supporters of early childhood education again are looking to establish statewide standards for such programs in hopes the state will pay for them when the economy improves.
Community leaders, child advocates and state lawmakers spoke out Friday in support of Gov. Jim Doyle's plan to rate child-care centers in Wisconsin and link their performance to state subsidy payments. While many of the details have yet to be finalized, the plan unveiled Friday calls for rating the centers with one to five stars depending on the education level of the staff, the curriculum for children, the business practices they utilize and other criteria.
The state doesn't have $23.5 million to spend, so the debate is academic. But lawmakers should know that investing in early childhood education is a better and less-costly way to ensure children succeed in school.
New Jersey experienced an increased rate of child poverty at the onset of the nation's economic downturn in 2008, according to a new report by the nonprofit Association for Children of New Jersey.
Thousands of public schools stopped teaching foreign languages in the last decade, according to a government-financed survey — dismal news for a nation that needs more linguists to conduct its global business and diplomacy. But another contrary trend has educators and policy makers abuzz: a rush by schools in all parts of America to offer instruction in Chinese.
The significance of the Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) scheme, which is under way from this month, must not be underestimated. It is a ground-breaking development in the childcare sector and means that children in Ireland, regardless of their parents' income, are entitled to one year of pre-school education free.
With the support of Gov. Charlie Crist and former Gov. Jeb Bush, business and education leaders unveiled a report filled with sweeping reforms that include doubling the funding for the higher education system and raising the standards for the popular Bright Futures scholarship program.