Early Education in the News
Teachers of school-age children with autism usually have a good array of resources upon which to draw, said Deborah Schadler, head of the Autism Institute. Teachers of preschool age children, though, often aren't so lucky. And those teachers will probably have more and more children with autism coming into their classrooms, as more parents push to get their children into mainstream preschools.
Expanding high-quality preschool programs in Hawaii would help students land good jobs and ultimately prevent social problems like homelessness and crime, according to a new study. [The report] says preschool teachers need to be paid more and that families, especially poor families, should be informed about the importance of early learning programs for their children.
[C]hildren who start school behind typically stay behind. That's why improving and expanding preschool is critical to ensuring the success of The Kalamazoo Promise and building the area's reputation as the Education Community, Kalamazoo County leaders said.
The school board has unanimously approved forming a task force to investigate building a state-funded, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten magnet school in town. A new inter-district magnet school, [School Superintendent Elizabeth] Feser said, would ease the burden on current facilities, and provide all-day kindergarten for Windsor children.
An early assessment of Tennessee's pre-kindergarten initiative shows the program is beneficial but critics say it's still too early to gauge its effectiveness.
In coming years, all young Maryland children may have the opportunity to attend preschool classes. Making preschool available to all 4-year-olds by 2014 is one of the primary recommendations of a new 46-page state task force report.
Expanding full-day 4-year-old kindergarten would significantly raise the cost of public education in South Carolina. A failure to expand it, however, would produce major long-term costs of its own. A commitment to strengthening early education programs clearly would be a wise investment in our state's economic future.
Outside the classroom, the age-old debate of whether half-day or full-day kindergarten programs are the best approach continues among lawmakers, educators, researchers and parents. For some, it's an issue of necessity. For others it's about maximizing the child's potential through a classroom setting or a nurturing home environment.
The good news is that Alabama has a plan to make high-quality pre-kindergarten available to more families who want it for their 4-year-olds.
The [Parent-Child Home Program] aims to foster literacy and teach parents how to prepare their children for school. It may well become a national model as the effort to close the achievement gap focuses on how young children are being raised at home.
The city's youngest students, those in preschool and pre-kindergarten, would have the biggest gains under the recommendations released yesterday. Gist proposed increasing the "weight" for students in early childhood programs, meaning the programs would receive more money for each student than other grades.
Leaving early childhood education out of the funding formula is like building a house without pouring the foundation. It may hold up for a while, but eventually, the roof is going to fall in.
Elite preschools — such as the experimental Perry Preschool in Michigan, where researchers followed the poor and minority children who attended that school well into adulthood — return more than $16 to society (in the form of lower crime and higher employment) for every dollar invested, according to the non-profit High/Scope Educational Research Foundation. Even decent-quality preschools produce gains in the $4 to $10 range, other researchers found.
Calling educating youths the state's most important job, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. John Carney on Tuesday outlined his plan to improve Delaware's early childhood education system.
The Alabama Power Foundation has awarded $30,000 to the Alabama School Readiness Alliance—a coalition of early-childhood organizations—to help promote the state's prekindergarten program and to lobby the state legislature for more money.
A news conference with some of Denver's top leaders took place in Michael Conlon's preschool classroom to announce an expansion of Denver Public Schools' preschool and kindergarten programs. The district wants to increase the number of preschool slots by as much as 40 percent and full-day kindergarten slots by up to 30 percent.
Tuscaloosa's pre-K program could soon serve as the model for such programs statewide, Riley said. Riley said he plans to expand pre-K to up to 20,000 more children in the next five years, but gave few specifics on how to fund it.
Just last month, Head Start supporters were celebrating the passage of a five-year reauthorization bill they say will strengthen the 43-year-old preschool program for poor children. The $6.8 billion program, which serves close to 1 million children, is actually underfunded by $1 billion because spending on the program has remained flat for six years and its budget was cut by more $10 million in the fiscal 2008 appropriations bill that passed Congress in December, according to the National Head Start Association.
If Maryland offered free preschool to all children, the state would reap millions of dollars in savings — from fewer students repeating grades to more going on to college — an economist says. "We need to think of this as a long-term investment that keeps on giving," said Daraius Irani, director of the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University.
The challenge in finding qualified caregivers comes down to money -- or lack thereof. In 2007, child care workers in Dubuque County on average earned $8.32 per hour, according to a Child Care Work Force Study funded by Dubuque County Empowerment.