Early Education in the News
Recent studies have shown a remarkable return on investment in preschool programs. Perhaps KEES money would be better spent at the other end of a student’s journey — the beginning — building an economic foundation on which higher education can grow and prosper.
Some of Hawaii's business leaders ... believe high-quality and convenient childcare makes for more productive workers now. Plus, they see a future benefit: Children who spend time in good day-care will be better workers tomorrow.
Even though the poor economy has restricted the money available for these early programs, state lawmakers have increased funding for pre-K in the last several years. But as states try to cope with shrinking revenues—a situation expected to last at least a couple of more years—they will find it more difficult to do so.
For years, imagination was thought of as a way for children to escape from reality, and once they reached a certain age, it was believed they would push fantasy aside and deal with the real world. But, increasingly, child-development experts are recognizing the importance of imagination and the role it plays in understanding reality.
Southeastern Wisconsin could benefit economically by increasing the quality of early childhood education centers, but doing so presents a daunting tradeoff: more than doubling the expense of caring for infants and young children up to age 5. A three-year study by Public Policy Forum researchers released Tuesday found that a system of high-quality early childhood education programs would cost about $11,500 per child, per year.
Getting children prepared for kindergarten is a mutual goal for both early childhood providers and schools. But it's a yardstick that Oregon and local officials are having a hard time creating.
The assessment for "school readiness" is an indicator that would show how equipped children are with social and emotional skills coming into kindergarten.
But the delayed decision has spelled disaster for many of the state's Great Start preschool programs, said Andrea Mulder, parent liaison for the Great Start Coalition. Unfortunately many school programs — which provided preschool to hundreds of at-risk students — were canceled.
The state-funded, legislative-mandated program called Voluntary PreKindergarten was created to prepare every 4-year-old in Florida for kindergarten. The program is in its fifth year, yet not one county across the state is anywhere near 100 percent enrollment. Still, enrollment numbers are growing here and across the state.
Many young children in child care centers are not getting as much active playtime as they should, according to new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A study published in the December 2009 issue of the journal Pediatrics found only 13.7 percent of child care centers in North Carolina offered 120 minutes of active playtime during the school day.
To partly pick up where the now-terminated Reading First program left off, Congress authorized and funded a new $250 million literacy grant program to help school districts and school-nonprofit partnerships provide "effective literacy instruction" for children in preschool through grade 12. After certain set-asides, the recently approved appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010 will offer $235 million for competitive state grants.
The Texas Education Agency gives school districts continuous funding for half-day Pre-Kindergarten based on a formula. Only specific children are eligible — those learning English, the economically disadvantaged, the homeless, military families and children who have ever been in foster care. Any school that's got 15 eligible students must offer Pre-K services that meet the state learning standards, and there are seven approved curricula districts can choose from.
When it comes to return on investment, a recent report by the University of Kentucky Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) suggests investment in preschool education is tantamount to academic and economic success.
Nine area school districts, including charter and private schools, have joined the effort, through which 1,668 incoming kindergartners were given the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) test. The results showed a need for more early childhood experiences to help develop young brains to learn.
The Ohio Department of Education calls this skill "estimating and measuring lengths using non-standard units" and it's one of five math indicators related to measurement that first-grade students are expected to learn before they move to second grade. Besides measurement, there are five standards categories that together contain 45 math benchmarks -- and numerous other indicators or skills -- for Ohio students in preschool through second grade.
A report released today by the New America Foundation finds that New Jersey has made tremendous strides in improving disadvantaged children's access to high-quality early learning experiences, enabling some districts to nearly erase the achievement gap. The report, Education Reform Starts Early: Lessons from New Jersey's PreK-3rd Reform, doesn't just focus on New Jersey's pre-k programs: It provides a blueprint for how to create a high-quality, well-aligned education system that helps children sustain their learning gains up through the third grade and beyond.
Sixteen school districts opened 4K programs this year. The 333 districts that provide 4K programs are serving 38,075 children, an enrollment increase of more than 4,000 from last year. Of the districts providing 4K, 101 do so through the community approach, which blends public and private resources to allow more options for the care and education of all 4-year-olds.
Head Start programs nationwide are battling similar rates of obesity as K-12 schools with programs that go beyond the minimum requirements of federal regulations, according to a new study. The study, published this month in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, examines what Head Start programs throughout the country are doing — and not doing — to provide children with healthy food and opportunities for exercise.
Starting next fall, children in all West Virginia pre-kindergarten programs will receive one meal each day, as part of policy changes approved by the state Board of Education Thursday.
An under-financed federal program designed to help low-income families — infants, toddlers, new mothers and pregnant women — will expand in Rhode Island over the next two years because of an infusion of more than $1.6 million in federal stimulus money.
A compulsory set of childcare standards including lower staff-to-child ratios and a quality rating system for parents will be brought in nationwide next year.