Early Education in the News
The basic requirement to teach at a reputable early childcare center is the Florida Child Care Professional Credential. Referred to as the FCCPC, it consists of a minimum of 120 hours of early childhood instruction, 480 contact hours with children, ages birth through age 8, and at least two methods of formal assessment that offers two areas of certification. While the FCCPC will allow you to work with young children, a movement is underfoot for instructors to get more education.
Even though some towns only have a few students who meet the requirements and none of the South Bergenite towns currently offers a comparable program for the general student body, a new state mandate requires school districts to provide full-day pre-kindergarten classes for economically disadvantaged students. In order to meet the state's new requirement, several of the towns in the South Bergenite area are turning to the South Bergen Jointure Commission (SBJC).
Despite these tough economic times, Gov. Phil Bredesen feels pre-kindergarten education could use state dollars. Law enforcement and education leaders said spending the money could mean saving money and futures later.
Portland voters overwhelmingly renewed a five-year property tax levy that pays for grants to nonprofit organizations that provide early-childhood education, after-school care and mentoring programs. "I think Portland voters have proven that although these are tough times and concerns about jobs and mortgage payments are on people's minds, I think they recognize a good long-term investment in the city's kids," said City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who spearheaded the levy and leads a committee that approves the grants.
A movement to expand Georgia's preschool program and boost its funding is growing, attracting support from lawmakers, child-care providers, children's advocates and even curious attorneys. The proposals largely revolve around clearing up a state waiting list that now numbers more than 8,000 children; expanding the program to include three-year-olds in addition to four-year-olds; and raising the funding to help private providers, in particular, keep offering the services.
Preschoolers with a parent away at war were more likely to show aggression than other young children in military families, according to the first published research on how the very young react to wartime deployment. Children, 3 to 5 years old, with a deployed parent scored an average of five points higher for behavior problems on two questionnaires widely used in child psychology than did the children whose Marine-parents weren't deployed.
As families look to save money during a belt-tightening economy, some preschools in the area said they are seeing record-low attendance numbers. A down economy means preschool has become a luxury that's being put on hold by some parents, forcing some schools to offer deals to make programs more affordable.
A study by the National Institute for Early Education Research found that children who attended [New Jersey's Abbott] preschool program showed substantial gains in language, literacy and math. In addition, recent New Jersey state test scores suggest the gains from preschool extend through primary grades.
Passing new regulations and requiring more staff education and other systemic initiatives are much easier to implement than addressing the fundamental problem of paying early-education teachers a reasonable, living wage that reflects the importance of the work they do. But keeping current teachers and attracting new qualified teachers will not be possible if this issue is not addressed.
Under state law, public schools are required to provide pre-kindergarten to all income-eligible children who turn four by Sept. 1 of the school year. Children who qualify for pre-kindergarten who have birthdays from Sept. 2 to Oct. 15 may enter pre-kindergarten if they have "demonstrated educational needs."
Supporters say an extra grade before first can be a gift of time for certain students who aren't ready. Among public schools, 102 students were enrolled in transition first-grade classes in Virginia last fall.
The use of rating scales as a way to encourage child-care centers and preschools to improve their programs continues to increase in popularity across the states, even as researchers say states need to do more to share what they find and to demonstrate whether rating systems improve children's learning.
Male involvement week is part of all Head Start programs nationwide and is meant to encourage fathers to take an active role in their children's education, particularly at a young age. However, many of the families at Head Start are headed by single mothers, so teachers try to encourage uncles, grandfathers or other male relatives to pick up that role instead.
Outside of the Autism and Communication Disorders Clinic, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development [GUCCHD] currently encompasses 31 other projects and programs, including government-funded Head Start programs, such as Bright Beginnings, a pre-kindergarten day center for children of families living in transitional housing, and Jumpstart, a mentoring and tutoring program powered by student volunteers. The center also offers community outreach programs and promotes grassroots actions and policy changes, advocating for more inclusive policies for those with developmental and special mental needs on the local, national and even international level.
The impressive academic performance of impoverished African American children who graduated from the Perry Preschool program in Ypsilanti, Mich., in the 1960s has become the gold standard for preschool advocates. Those children did significantly better in school and in life than similar children who attended Head Start programs, but they had better qualified and better paid staff, and as you said in a follow-up message, those results have not been replicated.
Rigorous studies in the United States and elsewhere find that pre-K programs with high standards improve the school readiness of children from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Pre-K repeatedly has been found to improve test scores in kindergarten and beyond. Findings include lasting gains in test scores for even highly advantaged children.
Parents in Head Start are eligible to receive a free book, thermometer, measuring spoon and training as part of the project. Emergency room visits decreased by 58 percent for past participants in the program, according to 2007 data from the Health Care Institute.
The Texas School Ready! certification program determines whether children are being prepared for kindergarten in their licensed child care, Head Start or public pre-K classrooms. Once students enter kindergarten, they are tested on their reading and social development, said Layne Waxley, a school readiness project coordinator for the Texas Early Education Model.
Now neuroscientists, using high-tech brain scans, are seeking to answer these questions by examining what goes on in the brain when a person aces or flunks marshmallow-type tasks. They aim to use their findings to figure out how to train people to control themselves better, whether that means focusing on the potential pitfalls of a mortgage broker's pitch or concentrating on the calorie count of a brownie.
"Most of the children who do not master the fundamentals of elementary education will require costly remediation in middle and high school," says "America's Vanishing Potential: The Case for PreK-3rd Education." To reverse this trend and provide kids with the skills necessary for life-long learning, Americans "must take responsibility for guaranteeing a high-quality PreK-3rd education to this and future generations," the report recommends.