Early Education in the News

SCV News
October 2, 2014

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and State Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) announced Thursday that the California Department of Education has allocated $67 million to add 7,500 preschool slots for low-income Californians. “This is a great investment in our future. The expansion of high-quality preschool gives more children the opportunity to obtain the emotional and social skills they need to become lifelong learners,” Torlakson said. “It will help them succeed in school, at the workplace, and in their communities.”

These funds are part of the $264 million that will be spent on expanding early childhood education this budget year, which includes adding a total of 11,500 preschool slots and 1,000 slots with priority given to infants and toddlers. Eventually, the state will be creating preschool opportunities for an additional 31,500 young children.

WTHITV
October 2, 2014

 Lily Endowment Inc., Early Learning Indiana and United Way of Central Indiana will continue their longstanding commitment to early childhood education in Indiana. The organizations are working together to improve the quality of programs for children from birth to age five. Lily has made a grant of $20 million to Early Learning Indiana to allow an increase in the quality and quantity of early childhood education opportunities across Indiana.

Salt Lake Tribune
September 30, 2014

The commission also set as a priority the placement of young children in safe and developmentally appropriate settings. "Children, regardless of income, should be cared for in settings that will offer quality care to ensure children develop appropriate social, emotional and behavioral skills to prepare them for school and life," the report said.

And the commission highlighted the preparation of young children to enter kindergarten. "Expand opportunities for young children in poverty for enrollment in high-quality preschool settings in all areas of the state, including rural communities," the report recommended.

September 30, 2014

Several pages on the NIEER website are malfunctioning. We are aware of the issue and working to bring them back online. If you are looking for a page that has disappeared, please email us at info@nieer.org. Thank you for your patience!

DNAinfo New York
September 29, 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged that this year's free pre-K classes would all be "high quality." But what does that look like? DNAinfo New York asked experts—including those who've spent years in classrooms teaching 4-year-olds as well as professional development experts responsible for training pre-K teachers—what parents should consider when choosing or evaluating a pre-K program.

Roll Call
September 29, 2014

While 14 million American families have a child younger than school age, child care and preschool are quickly becoming a luxury only the rich can afford. Child care costs exceed nearly every other household expense, and for families with two or more children, child care costs exceed the median rent cost in every state. On average, families pay anywhere from $4,000 to $16,000 per year for a child care center, depending on the geographic location and the age of the child.

Huffington Post (Education)
September 29, 2014

We must continue to raise quality in order to provide children with the kind of early experiences that are proven to boost high school graduation, increase college enrollment and completion, reduce crime and prepare a skilled workforce for the 21st century. Unfortunately, California falls short compared to so many other states -- we meet 4 of 10 quality benchmarks as defined by the National Institute for Early Education Research. The state's $50 million investment in supporting quality at the local levels is one important way we can begin to change this.

Sioux City Journal
September 27, 2014

Preschool teachers in districts participating in the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program must obtain a bachelor’s degree in education and must also have an early childhood endorsement. The program, established in 2007, provides funding to participating districts to ensure area students have access to early childhood education programs. According to the Iowa Department of Education, 320 of the state's 346 districts were expected to participate in the program this year. . . 

“I think that early childhood isn’t something that every college has because they may have not had the numbers,” she said. “But now some colleges are adjusting.”
 

The Commercial Appeal
September 27, 2014

 Four urban Indiana counties selected for a state-funded preschool pilot program will launch it in early 2015, officials said Wednesday during a day of meetings among state and local officials and educators.

Marion (Indianapolis), Allen (Fort Wayne), Lake (Gary) and Vanderburgh (Evansville) County preschools will begin enrolling low-income children receiving state vouchers in January, with rural Jackson County in southern Indiana following later in 2015, WIBC-FM reported.

Wyoming Public Media
September 26, 2014

Wyoming spends a lot of money educating its children. The state comes in sixth place in per-student spending for K-12. But when you look at outcomes—like graduation rates—we’re stuck in the middle of the pack. Some educators say the key to boosting student performance is to put more focus on children before they start kindergarten. Wyoming is one of 10 states without state-funded preschool. And statewide survey data from 2009 showed that only slightly more than half of all kindergartners were considered “kindergarten-ready.” Recent efforts to expand and improve early education in Wyoming have been rejected by lawmakers. Research like Berry’s makes clear that what we experience in our first years of life--interactions, stresses, trauma—that all impacts our ability to think and learn throughout school and beyond. “We see that investing in early interventions and programs is more effective and more efficient than investing later in remediation and treatment,” Berry says.

Houston Chronicle
September 25, 2014

Access to preschool programs - and their quality - varies widely across Texas. A broad coalition of Houston-area executives, educators and nonprofit groups assembled by Houston's premier business organization is working to change that, though a major hurdle remains: securing funding in a state that ranks toward the bottom in pre-K spending per pupil. . . 

W. Steve Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, said he's seen big cities increasingly take the lead in pushing states to improve pre-K. He said the benefits of a longer day depend on the effectiveness of the instruction. Texas' pre-K program meets only two of the institute's 10 benchmarks of quality, but it ranked in the top fifth in terms of access.
 

Inside Indiana Business
September 25, 2014

An early education initiative supported by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and local business leaders has received a pledge of $500,000 from the PNC Foundation. Indiana is one of only 10 states without state-funded preschool program for underserved children. Central to this initiative is a commitment to address some of the "root causes" of poverty and crime through investments in quality early childhood education programs for at-risk children.

The Tampa Tribune
September 24, 2014

As Early Head Start celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and the Head Start program is about to mark its half-century, a timely reassessment of the program’s effectiveness and the problems it sought to address is overdue. . . 

Studies differ as to the extent of the benefits of this federal investment; some report that children benefit well into their twenties, while others suggest the benefits disappear by third grade. When teamed with high-quality, evidence-based and performance-oriented pre-K programs, however, public funding has been successful.
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 24, 2014

The second time around, there's no more denying early childhood education a place on the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce's "Big 5" goals. The future social and economic health of the region depends on strong education, and schools are increasingly strained in playing their part, superintendents said. "Early intervention is absolutely critical," Shawnee Mission Superintendent Jim Hinson said. That means boosting not only pre-kindergarten classroom programming, but reaching out to parents and the communities raising children from birth to 3.

Evansville Courier & Press
September 24, 2014

Four urban Indiana counties selected for a state-funded preschool pilot program will launch it in early 2015, officials said Wednesday during a day of meetings among state and local officials and educators.

Santa Fe New Mexican
September 24, 2014

Advocates of using part of New Mexico's $14 billion land-grant endowment to fund early childhood education will announce their newest campaign Wednesday in Albuquerque.

The want to expand early childhood programs by using at least $110 million a year from the endowment's earnings.

Similar proposals have failed in each of the last four legislative sessions.

The Kansas City Star
September 23, 2014

As national discourse, fueled by President Barack Obama’s new campaign for universal pre-kindergarten, begins anew with billion-dollar questions to be answered, know this: Parents such as the Griners want preschool — badly. More than 1,000 children across the Kansas City area sit on public preschool waiting lists, a survey by The Star shows. . . 

Kansas City Public Schools, in announcing an ambitious vision to create a district-community network to reach 6,000 preschoolers in its neighborhoods by 2015, put its price at $40 million. Missouri Sen. Joseph Keaveny hasn’t yet figured the fiscal note that would be tied to his legislation that proposes letting school districts count their preschool enrollment in the daily attendance counts that determine state funding allotment.

 

AL.com
September 22, 2014

Sixty-five percent of Alabama kids under age 6 have both parents in the work force.

So while their parents work, many of those children spend their days at child care centers, preschool or kindergarten.

The child care and early education industries are critical not just to those 192,000 children, but also the state's economy, contended a new report released by a group arguing for more investment, and higher standards, in early care programs.

AL.com
September 22, 2014

Megan Carolan, Policy Research Coordinator at NIEER explained how her organization developed its quality standards (p. 24-25). NIEER is an independent research-based organization out of Rutgers University.

"We actually review the research base on each of the ten benchmarks," Carolan said. "We've selected these 10 standards which are highly supported by the research."

NIEER's standards are only meant to be a baseline for state pre-k programs.

"Our hope was never to have the 10 benchmarks serve as a ceiling; rather, we want states to use them as benchmarks to track their own progress in achieving quality, first by meeting them and then by going even beyond them," Carolan said.

Chalkbeat Indiana
September 22, 2014

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s ambitious preschool program is in danger of being scrapped altogether after being stripped of its proposed funding method with no alternatives on the table.

City-County Council Democrats have said they are working to find another way to pay for Ballard’s $50 million preschool program — besides an elimination of the local homestead tax credit.

But nothing was unveiled at tonight’s council meeting except a statement from the council’s top Democrats that they would work to find an approach to fund preschool for 2016 — nearly two years from now. Until then, Council President Maggie Lewis and Vice President John Barth said children could be served next year by the state’s much smaller pilot program, which will reach nearly 800 economically disadvantaged four-year-olds in Marion County.

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