Volume 1, Issue 3

October 24, 2002

NIEER Activities

NIEER Director W. Steven Barnett and Scientific Advisory Board member Barbara Bowman of the Erikson Institute spoke jointly at the New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children conference on October 18th in East Brunswick, N.J. They discussed the prevention of reading difficulties in preschool children and answered questions on education policy. The theme of this year's annual conference was, "We teach. We touch the future."

Calendar

October 27, 2002 - October 29, 2002
Atlanta, Ga. -- A major training vehicle for service providers, policymakers, parents, and volunteers working to improve the lives of African American children.
November 4, 2002 - November 6, 2002
Washington, DC -- Conference for those involved in providing services for young children with special needs and their families.
November 20, 2002 - November 23, 2002
New York City -- The world's largest early childhood education meeting.

Early Education News Roundup

October 23, 2002
Boston Globe
Despite the tough economic climate, a coalition of early childhood education leaders will launch an ambitious campaign for universal preschool and kindergarten in Massachusetts tomorrow that calls for system wide standards, as well as recruiting quality teachers, paying them better, and training them more. The Early Education for All Campaign will unveil draft legislation that calls for every 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old in the state to have access to pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten through a mix of private and public programs and a state commitment to improving the training and salaries of early education workers.
October 23, 2002
San Jose Mercury News
Despite research showing the long-term benefits of good early care and preschool, California continues to lack licensed child care slots relative to the number of children in working families. At the same time, the cost of high-quality child care continues to eat up a larger portion of family income in the state than in the rest of the country, according to the California Report Card 2002 published by Children Now, an independent research and advocacy group.
October 21, 2002
Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, Fl
Voters will go to the polls next month to decide whether the state should pay for pre-school for all Florida 4-year-olds at an estimated cost of $425 million to $650 million. Most agree a universal pre-kindergarten program would benefit young children, giving them a leg up in reading and classroom skills.
October 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Kindergarten teachers nationwide say the test-driven education reform at state and federal levels is leading to changes in kindergarten that set unrealistically high achievement goals. The instruction techniques that early childhood education experts say are ideal for learning frequently are derided as "just play" by administrators and policymakers pushing what they consider to be more academically oriented curricula, according to some teachers.
October 15, 2002
Press Release from Pennsylvania Governor's Office
Gov. Mark Schweiker unveiled the findings of a report by the Governor's Early Childhood Care and Education Task Force, charged with evaluating ways to improve educational opportunities for Pennsylvania's children, even before they step foot in a classroom. The report – "Early Care and Education: The Keystone of Pennsylvania's Future" - details research findings and recommendations that will lay the foundation for the future of Pennsylvania's early care and educational delivery system.
October 14, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times
Why, if we know how important it is to begin preschool education for 3- and 4-year-olds, is it not available to all parents? Because it is not seen as a responsibility of government, someone needs to explain why it should be now, to step up and spearhead an effort to help taxpayers understand that this is not a boondoggle to baby-sit somebody else's kid, but vital mental nutrition that goes to build good citizens, good workers and good neighbors.

Resources

Child Care: States Have Undertaken a Variety of Quality Improvement Initiatives, but More Evaluations of Effectiveness are Needed

U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO)

States report a variety of initiatives to improve the quality of child care, such as training caregivers, raising compensation, and increasing safety. However, few states have studied the effect of their initiatives on children.

View the full report

Understanding Research: Top Ten Tips for Advocates and Policymakers

The National Association of Child Advocates has produced a fact sheet on how to critically evaluate the credibility of research reports.

View the full report

Language Growth in Low-income Children in Economically Integrated Versus Segregated Preschool Programs

St. Joseph College

A new study finds low-income children attending preschool alongside more affluent children learned vocabulary and language skills six times faster than if they were schooled exclusively with other low-income children.

View the full report

Inside the Pre-K Classroom: A Study of Staffing and Stability In State-Funded Prekindergarten Programs

Center for the Child Care Workforce

A new study of state-funded pre-kindergarten systems finds that teachers in publicly-operated settings are better educated, better paid, and more likely to stay in their jobs than teachers in private settings.

View the full report

Vast Majority of Eligible Children Did Not Receive Child Care Assistance in FY 2000

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

New study estimates the states served about 14 percent of the low-income children eligible for federal child care assistance in fiscal year 2000.

View the full report