Early Education in the News
In the coming months, leaders from across the world will agree on a new set of global development goals that will set the agenda for United Nations (U.N) member countries through 2030. To achieve the long term benefits envisioned by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, these goals must include a focus on early childhood development. . . . Children's experiences in their early years have a profound influence on their subsequent academic achievement and lifelong economic productivity. Investing in early childhood development therefore represents an extraordinary value.
The prosperity of Idaho’s businesses depends largely upon the preparation we provide to our children. All of our children need access to learning opportunities that will help them become good citizens with strong minds. And we must start in the early years. . . . Because quality early childhood education is critical to the development of our children, it is also a critical investment in the future of our state and our country. To remain globally competitive, we must have a highly educated, skilled labor force. As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stated, “No economy can succeed without a high-quality workforce, particularly in an age of globalization and technical change ... formal K-12 and post-secondary education, as important as they are, do not alone build better workforces.
There has been an uneven spotlight on our youngest learners recently. First, leaders around the state visited pre-kindergarten programs to read to 4-year-olds as part of Georgia Pre-K Week 2013 in September. Then, some of these very children were literally furloughed as their school closed for a day – a direct result of the shutdown of the federal government. The schools re-opened, temporarily funded by a philanthropist.
These children and the programs that launch their education deserve more than a fleeting spotlight. Supporting these young learners will have a long-term impact on their future success.
Offering universal preschool is a key goal for the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, board members agreed Saturday....The school system currently provides preschool education to about 2,500 students in 146 classrooms. But there are another approximately 1,100 students who entered kindergarten this year without going through any kind of quality preschool program, whether public or private.
Spin the arrow and hop the boxes. Maybe even climb a few ladders. You may remember the game chutes and ladders from your childhood. Well now, it's life size. Saturday, kids became the board pieces at the statehouse, representing the need for affordable, early learning opportunities in Vermont. "With early childhood investment the children can climb the ladders and then we have big starbursts of things that will happen when they climb the ladders. And with lack of investment they'll fall down the chute and they slide into the abyss," said event organizer, Courtney Stout.
The quality of pre-k education in those classrooms will be among the nation's highest. That's according to the National Early Education Research Institute, which says Alabama is one of just four states with "10-out-of-10" high-quality pre-k. The initiative is backed by results, too – students in a southeastern Alabama town have shown remarkable results after graduating from a pre-k program.
Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and first lady, early Thursday posted an op-ed to the website of Too Small To Fail, an advocacy campaign coordinated by former Clinton staffer Ann O'Leary. The campaign, Clinton wrote, will help educate parents and push for more workplace flexibility. Clinton is framing the expansion of early childhood education as a question of equity, playing off profound "word gaps" between rich and poor children before they even start school. According to this research, by the time they turn four, kids growing up in upper- and middle-class homes hear 30 million more words than tots whose families are on welfare. "Coming to school without words is like coming to school without food or adequate health care," Clinton wrote. "It makes it harder for kids to develop their creativity and imagination, to learn, excel, and live up to their full potential. It should spur us to action just like child hunger and child poverty." The op-ed accompanies the release of a report Too Small calls a "roadmap" laying out the research behind and campaign for early childhood education improvements.
For the short term, most schools will likely be unaffected by the federal government shutdown that went into effect....The biggest immediate impact could be felt in Head Start programs, though, which are still reeling from federal sequestration cuts that pushed 57,000 children out of the preschool program for low-income children. According to the National Head Start Association (NHSA), an advocacy group, 23 programs in 11 states with grant cycles that begin Oct. 1 are poised to lose grant money due to the shutdown.
Museums were shuttered, national parks closed, panda cams were switched off and some low-income students stayed home from preschool on Tuesday as the closure of the federal government went into effect. In Talladega, Alabama more than 700 preschoolers couldn’t go to class. During an interview with NPR, Dora Jones, the director of the regional Head Start Program in Talladega, said she began receiving phone calls around 5:00am on Tuesday from concerned parents who rely on the program to look after their children during work hours. . . . In all, 23 similar programs in 11 states have run out of federal grant money and educators fear more closures will come as alternative sources of funds run dry. Ironically, October is Head Start Awareness Month.
Education programs funded with mandatory spending—including Pell Grants and federal student loans—will continue to operate as normal. And most of the big K-12 programs, namely Title I grants to low-income students and IDEA special education grants to states, have already seen a substantial portion of their funding disbursed....Some other programs won’t be so lucky. About 20 Head Start programs, enrolling nearly 19,000 children, have grants that expire on October 1 and won’t receive new funding to continue operating until the shutdown is resolved.
For 770 preschool-aged children in eastern Alabama, school is out indefinitely. Thanks to the government shutdown which began Tuesday morning, Cheaha Regional Head Start (CRHS) has had to close all 16 of its locations, furlough its 240 employees without pay, and tell parents to keep all of the program’s students at home. . . . Head Start programs like Jones’ provide an alternative to private preschool for children from low-income families. Although such programs operate locally, they run on federal grants which are awarded annually. The Cheaha region’s most recent annual grant was awarded on September 30, 2012, and expired on Monday. The next day, the federal Department of Health and Human Service’s Administration for Children and Families closed its doors as a result of the government shutdown; as a result, there is no one around to send CRHS more grant money.
In order to see children achieve their dreams and goals, investing in them from a young age is key to their ultimate life path. When we don't invest in children, they simply cannot flourish. . . . The Brookings Institute found that a comprehensive national early childhood education program would add $2 trillion to the annual gross domestic product within a generation. In a 2010 report, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce found that for every dollar invested in pre-K today, savings range from $2.50 to as much as $17 in the years ahead.
More state money is needed to support early childhood education in Iowa, members of the Des Moines school board said Tuesday. Participation increased this year in the district’s Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program, which provides 13 hours of classroom lessons a week for 4-year-old students. But many children need more instruction to be prepared for school, said Teree Caldwell-Johnson. Opening up the program to 3-year-old children and offering more full-day classrooms would better prepare Iowa’s youngest students for success, she said.
More than 630,000 New Jersey children lived in low-income families earning too little to meet their needs in 2012 — a 19 percent increase since 2008, according to new U.S. Census data. In Cumberland County, 51 percent of children were found to be living in low-income households — a 19 percent increase since 2008. And, in 2012, nearly a quarter of Cumberland County children were found to be living in families below the federal poverty level — roughly, $23,000 annually for a family of four.
The report titled "Asia-Pacific Pre-Primary Education and Childcare Industry Outlook to 2017- India and China to Lead Growth" presents a comprehensive analysis of the industry covering aspects including market size in terms of enrollments and establishments. The report also entails a detailed description of the prominent and emerging geographic markets of the region including India, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia. South and West Asian regions have witnessed the emergence of a burgeoning pre-primary education and childcare industry in the span of the last ten years. The gross enrollment ratios have shown a tremendous improvement from a growing number of children taking part in the preschool programs or receiving child care benefits.
Japan and Germany, two countries long considered laggards in the child care area, are now increasing their spending. In the United States, President Obama is keeping the issue atop his domestic agenda, where it is gaining traction despite slim chances of Congressional approval. Many states and several big cities have developed innovative and successful pre-K programs.
Here's the problem: Too many children arrive at Kindergarten already behind. Some are 18 months behind, two years behind, or more. What's worse, far too many children will keep falling further behind - and never catch up....So please allow me to share an "investment tip" from Omaha: If you're looking for the biggest return on your investment in education, invest in high-quality learning during the first five years of life - before kids enter school.
A new early childhood center planned in the Park Place neighborhood looks, from an architect's rendering, like a typical school. But when it opens next fall, it will be tasked with the unusual mission of educating policymakers as well as children. A product of Elevate Early Education, a statewide advocacy group, the E3 School is part of an effort to grow public investment in preschool. The new school's advocates hope more comprehensive research will help build a case for additional support. . . . Lisa Howard, Elevate Early Education's president, also served as president of Smart Beginnings South Hampton Roads, a successful nonprofit that worked to improve child care. As part of the E3 school, Howard wants to partner with Norfolk Public Schools to track how students enrolled in the pre-K program do over time. The results, she said, will prove "investment in early childhood education is the best investment in our education system." It's easy to find critics of some early childhood programs like Head Start, but the National Institute for Early Education Research wrote that pre-K does produce "substantial long-term gains" for students enrolled in high-quality programs.
Children who participate in the [San Francisco's] Preschool for All programs have a huge advantage when they get to kindergarten, according to a scientific study released to The Chronicle. The report showed the preschoolers had a three- to four-month advantage over kindergarten classmates who didn't participate in the program.
Lawmakers heard last week that more than 80 child-care centers have closed since the state began slashing subsidies in April. . . . Brooks estimated that as many as 25,000 children could be dropped from the subsidy program over the next year. Lawmakers were told that Kentucky ranks dead last among states in spending on child care assistance. That last-place ranking has implications not just for the welfare of children but also for the quality of the state's work force.