Early Education in the News
It is noteworthy that Alabama has not yielded to the temptation of balancing the budget by turning its back on young children and the state's future. Quite the opposite: the state recently announced that 27 more classrooms have been selected to become First Class Pre-K sites and are receiving at least $45,000 each to deliver high-quality pre-K.
The interactive Born Learning Trail's 10 signs wind through the park and list about three ideas, each designed for parents to engage their pre-kindergarten children in a variety of activities to develop such skills as language and reading, problem solving, imagination and motor skills.
In the Senate's plan, the Great Start program, which provides preschool for 30,5004-year-olds, faces $103 million in reductions. Child care for low-income working families would see $135 million less.
[Education Secretary Gerald] Zahorchak said the gains were made with the help of state aid for early childhood education, tutoring and other programs that are threatened by the budget ax.
Children as young as 3 years old show early, age-adjusted signs of clinical depression, says Joan Luby, M.D., professor of child psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. While clinical depression is not common in preschool children, it is important that parents of preschoolers be tuned in to any abnormality or change in a child’s behavior especially among young children who come from families with a history of depression, Luby says.
For the first time, the state Department of Education is venturing into early childhood education by launching a small, high-quality pre-kindergarten program designed to level the playing field for low-income children who now start school at a significant disadvantage compared with middle- and upper-income students.
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Friday that Gov. Jan Brewer and state officials violated the state Constitution earlier this year when they took money from an early-childhood-education fund to help balance the state budget. That fund, known as First Things First, was created by state voters in 2006 with their passage of a ballot proposal that increased tobacco taxes to fund a variety of education and health programs for children.
The Harmony House Centre for Autism Research and Education Society is unique because of its integrated classroom. Harmony House readily welcomes kids with developmental disabilities, but its main goal is to help all children strengthen their social skills.
Bemidji School District Curriculum Director Kathy Palm's vision of starting new programs aimed at reading and preschool can now become a reality. On Monday, July 20, the Bemidji School Board approved $687,191 in stimulus money to go to Title 1 schools in the Bemidji School District.
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found one of seven low-income preschool children is obese. However, obesity rates have not changed significantly in the past six years.
But even as preschool becomes the norm for an increasing number of children, access to free, public preschool in Texas remains reserved primarily for children from poor families. Now, in the midst of the recession, parents who pay for preschool are being forced to rethink that decision, which in Texas can mean tuition rivaling that at a public university.
State government will spend $2 million to bolster preschool programs in communities big and small, including Minto, Huslia and Kaltag. More than 400 preschool-age children are expected to benefit from the grant-funded programs.
The state's vaunted early-childhood program took the biggest hit, losing a third of its $380 million budget.
In a study to explore the link between early education programs and adult health, and how early educational interventions affect health outcomes, researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that early education reduces health behavioral risk factors by enhancing educational attainment, health insurance coverage, income, and family environments. Considered a critical window for children's intellectual and socioemotional development, these prekindergarten years are thought to be especially important for children whose parents have a limited amount of education.
At the same time that local officials are looking at ways to create universal preschool in Kalamazoo County, Michigan legislators are discussing whether to eliminate funding for a highly regarded state preschool program that serves more than 600 4-year-olds in Kalamazoo County and more than 1,700 children throughout the region.
While disadvantaged seniors with state-subsidized home care can breathe a little easier following last week's state budget compromise, about 12,000 Ohio kids and their parents may be at the point of hyperventilating. Those children will be diverted to subsidized child care after Ohio's Early Learning Initiative was axed from the state budget.
Under Virginia's new voluntary system, state-trained consultants evaluate child care facilities on a five-star scale. Mentors then are assigned to help the facilities work on improvements, and the centers are eligible for a new rating two years later.
Q: What is your reaction to the recent study showing good results from the pre-K program?
KEAN: Pre-K, particularly in urban areas, is absolute vital. It's the one thing we've done in New Jersey that has followed the research around the country, and it worked.
Most children in urban schools in this area of the state enter kindergarten needing extra attention in some areas of literacy. Children entering kindergarten are given the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment for Literacy known as the KRA-L, to get a snapshot of their literacy skills upon starting school.
To ensure that the children and their families in south-central Kansas succeed, more than 60 organizations from 13 cities have worked together as part of the Visioneering Wichita Birth to Kindergarten Strategic Alliance.