Early Education in the News
The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce released new findings Thursday showing how big of an impact early childhood education has on the economy. "Our children need to be receiving a better education in order for the business community to profit as much as we would like to from their continuing education and contributions to the workforce," said John Gonzalez, president and CEO of JDG Associates.
A committee of Louisiana’s top school board Tuesday approved new oversight rules for 2-year-olds in child care centers despite arguments that the standards will be too lax. The requirements are expected to be approved Wednesday by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which is grappling with the issue as part of the state’s overhaul of its pre-K system. Backers said the regulations strike a balance between safe practices and affordability. A higher teacher-to-toddler ratio would force huge fee hikes that have to be shouldered by parents and guardians, backers of the committee-endorsed plan said.
This September, 51,000 4-year-olds filed through the doors of 1,655 preschool programs across New York City. For many of them, everything may have been new: new teachers, friends, cubbies, and a strange phrase, “crisscross applesauce, hands in your lap.” The children may not have sensed it, but for the city, lots of things were new, too. These children are a part of a broad-scale experiment with historic implications, unfolding in real time. They are part of Year 1 of universal pre-kindergarten in New York.
Public preschool programs come with very small chairs and massive expectations. Mayor Bill de Blasio has staked a great deal on universal pre-K as a tool for reducing economic inequality. He made the initiative a key element of his campaign. In his first month of office, the mayor engaged in a closely watched standoff with the governor about funding, eventually securing $300 million from the state as the first installment in a five-year commitment. After a hectic summer of health and safety inspections, the program launched.
In an open letter to policymakers, more than 500 researchers have urged the expansion of and increased public investment in early-childhood education.
Arguing that critics of greater investments in early education "ignore the full body of evidence," the letter says: "Existing research findings are sufficient to warrant greater investment in quality programs now."
Children who lack these early interactions enter kindergarten with a vocabulary 18 months behind where they need to be to succeed. Without vocabulary proficiency the child risks falling so far behind that his or her prospects for graduating high school or finding a meaningful job are greatly diminished. This is very much a ‘get this right now or pay later’ proposition for society.
Central to a child’s keeping pace in vocabulary development is the parents’ active role, so learning takes place in the home long before school begins. Parents must talk, read, sing and play with children from birth. A strong vocabulary is the end result of these dynamic exchanges.
Though several weeks remain before the 2015 Minnesota Legislature convenes, advocates of early education are pushing to expand support for state-sponsored preschool. It’s a worthy goal: Lawmakers should move to bolster what they’ve begun. . . . In 2012, Minnesota spent about $500 million in state and federal funds for early-childhood development and education services for 84,000 children, leaving 72,000 children unserved, based on Wilder Foundation research. Cuts to the federal Head Start program have left about 5,500 state children on waiting lists.
Republican lawmakers in North Dakota are throwing their support behind pre-kindergarten funding in a big way, reflecting broadly held views in support of such programs.
On Tuesday, a handful of local Republican lawmakers including the chairman of the Senate Education Committee joined state Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler in announcing a plan to cover half the pre-K education cost of an estimated 6,000 children, according to the Forum News Service. With just 36 percent enrollment among 3- and 4-year-olds, the state ranks fifth from the bottom in early childhood education, Baesler said.
A new study from UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute shows that moving a child to different day cares can negatively impact their social development.
Many parents choose child care as a way to help develop their child's skills while being able to work, but sometimes life gets in the way.
Douglas Community Services Assistant Director Faith Carr says the children are learning to form stable and secure relationships in early years to serve as a model for social connections. She says keeping a child in the same setting helps them develop trust, which is essential to developing social skills. Carr says changing up the child care can keep a child from learning right and wrong.
Oregon parents spend more on of their income on child care than parents in almost every other state, and they could start paying even more, according to an audit released Wednesday by the Secretary of State's Office.
The Beaver State ranks first in the nation for average annual child-care costs as a percentage of income for married couples and second in the nation for single mothers. A single mother with an infant spends 62 percent of her income on child care; if she has a 4-year-old, that number is 47 percent.
After their party was criticized last session for not providing state funding for preschool programs, several Republican lawmakers joined the state’s top education official Tuesday in announcing a $6 million plan to fund early childhood education for 4-year-olds. The state funding would cover about half the cost of pre-kindergarten education for an estimated 6,000 children through annual grants of $1,000 per student, said Sen. Tim Flakoll, R-Fargo, chairman of the Senate Education Committee. . .
North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota are among the 10 states that don’t provide state-funded preschool, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. Minnesota spent about $13.8 million in state funds on pre-K education in the 2012-13 school year, the institute reported.
After months of acrimony in which the chances of passage seemed bleak, plans for a $40 million early childhood education program in Indianapolis are on the verge of becoming reality. The proposal, which cleared a council committee with a unanimous vote, establishes the program's framework but puts off some significant decisions to next year -- namely, how to fund it.
More than 1,000 poor Indianapolis children will have access to high-quality preschool starting in 2016 after an Indianapolis City-County Council vote tonight to approve a $40 million public-private partnership between the city, business and philanthropic leaders.
The solid 19-8 vote margin to approve a compromise between Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and council Democrats follows nearly six months of debate in the city about how to pay for it. The vote was uncertain enough that Ballard led a rally at Indianapolis City Market earlier today to whip up support before the meeting.
With the holiday season full upon us, most of us are thinking about the children in our lives and how to share the wonder of Christmas. So it might be a good time to think about one thing we could do as a nation and as a state that would significantly improve the lives of America's youngest children: make a serious commitment to early childhood education.
A recent poll conducted for the bi-partisan First Five Year's Fund found that 71 percent of Americans of all political stripes support increasing the federal investment in high quality early childhood programs. Over 9 in 10 support making early education and childcare more affordable, and 67 percent support ensuring access to affordable childcare. So this is one of those rare issues upon which most Americans and both parties actually agree.
A vast majority of California registered voters believe attending a high-quality preschool is important to a student’s future success in school, according to a Field Poll conducted in partnership with EdSource.
Of the 1,010 registered voters surveyed, 61 percent consider a high-quality preschool experience “very important” to a student’s later success and 22 percent said it is “somewhat important.”
“What these findings show is a clear recognition of the critical importance of high-quality education in the lives of children, and to their future success,” said Deborah Kong, president of Early Edge, a preschool advocacy group in California. “With 83% of the public believing that a quality early experience is critical, there can be no mistake that this is a core public value.”
A group led by some of Alabama's top business executives is pushing for another expansion of the state's voluntary pre-kindergarten program and is trying to make it accessible to 17 percent of the eligible 4-year-olds. . .
In May, the National Institute for Early Education Research said Alabama is one of only four states with pre-K programs that meet all 10 of its quality benchmarks. State test results from 2013 showed that every third grader who had been through the pre-K program scored proficient or above in reading.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology puts “a high value” on early chldhood education. So said Minister of Education, Jerome K. Fitzgerald earlier this week during the official regrading of Naomi Blatch Primary School to Naomi Blatch Preschool. Fitzgerald informed on Monday that approximately $368,832.54 was invested to upgrade the facility and he deemed the exercise a testament of the priority of education at all levels. The minister pointed out that the Ministry and its Department of Education have placed “a high value” on early childhood education.
Making reference to the National Institute for Early Education Research, Fitzgerald quoted, “children who attend a high-quality preschool enter grade school with better reading skills, richer vocabularies and stronger basic math skills than those who do not.”
On Monday night our City-County Council will vote on a proposal to offer high-quality preschool to thousands of children over five years. The proposal is the result of a compromise between the council’s Democratic leadership and a Republican mayor. . .
For families of the children of Indianapolis, however, this program would mean much more. Parents don’t need a lot of convincing about the importance of preschool. Nearly every parent wants to give their child a great start to school, and they know preschool works. The problem, as we know, is the high cost of tuition and limitations of programs like Head Start that can only serve so many children. Nearly every parent wants the best for their child, but so many are on the outside of good preschool classrooms looking in.
As the state Department of Education continues to take control of early childhood education across the state, local educators say they’re keeping a watchful eye on proposed changes. Last month, education department officials proposed so-called streamlined licensing regulations for child care and Head Start centers.
Local educators, however, have downplayed the proposal, noting similar regulations have been in place in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes for several years. The three major components of the licensing regulations include more intensive criminal background checks, increased transparency for schools that requires them to post their licenses and daily schedules, reduced paperwork and more relevant training.
Gov. John Kitzhaber's education spending proposals for 2015-17 would deliver huge gains for early childhood education and primary school reading instruction while holding the rest of K-12 education at a relative standstill.
The No Child Left Behind education law could be making a political comeback.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who is the incoming chairman of the Senate committee overseeing education, says his top education priority is fixing the landmark Bush-era law. His goal? Get a bill signed by President Barack Obama early next year.
Doing so will require bipartisanship that’s been elusive since the law, primarily designed to help minority and poor children, came up for renewal in 2007.