Volume 1, Issue 6

December 13, 2002

NIEER Activities

National early childhood education experts, including Linda M. Espinosa, Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), presented information about France’s internationally recognized, creative, high-quality, free preschools, December 12 and 13 at a French-American Foundation conference in Chicago.
Searching for just the right gift for that special three- or four-year-old on your holiday shopping list? Looking for something that is fun, promotes learning and keeps the child’s interest long past the holidays? The National Institute for Early Education Research released tips recently on selecting books and technology products to help gift buyers find presents that will put the sparkle in their eyes and enrich their learning capacities at the same time.
The National Institute for Early Education Research released its findings of the benefit-cost analysis done on the landmark Carolina Abecedarian Project in North Carolina. The findings--that every dollar paid generates a four dollar return to the children, their families and society as a whole--was reported in media outlets nationwide, including "The New Yorker" magazine. Additional news stories can be found in the News Roundup section.

Calendar

January 7, 2003 - January 11, 2003
Washington, DC -- The conference will be held to provide information for early childhood educators and program directors.
January 14, 2003


New York City, NY -- Chancellor of NYC Department of Education to speak at luncheon.
January 26, 2003 - January 29, 2003
Greensboro, NC -- National three-day conference promoting and teaching about the development of local or state early childhood initiatives, including over 125 available workshops.
January 27, 2003 - January 29, 2003
Santa Ana, CA -- Dr. Mel Levine, nationally known education expert, pediatrician and author will present a conference on how young brains vary in their ways of learning and producing.
February 15, 2003 - February 18, 2003
Washington, DC -- Join 1,200 other college and university presidents, chancellors, senior administrators, and other higher education leaders at ACE's 85th Annual Meeting on competition, collaboration, continuity, and change.
March 5, 2003 - March 8, 2003
Washington, DC -- The 15th annual symposium is intended to encourage dialogue and debate around policy issues affecting the fields of resource and referral, child care, early childhood education and out-of-school time services, children and families.

Early Education News Roundup

December 12, 2002
The Sacramento Bee
California proposes to give children an additional boost by ensuring access to free preschools at ages 3 and 4, and by requiring kindergarten classes to be mandatory and at least four hours long.
December 11, 2002
Education Week
For every $1 spent on high-quality preschool, society receives a $4 return, concludes a longitudinal study recently released by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. The research shows that when young children receive nurturing care in small groups from well-trained teachers, their mothers are able to find better-paying jobs and earn more in their lifetimes.
December 11, 2002
The Washington Post
Clearly, Head Start is working. If the administrators of the Montgomery County public school system cannot put the necessary priority on funding for Head Start (perhaps because, say, roads are more important), then they should just say that.
December 10, 2002
The Arizona Republic
Children who start kindergarten without basic skills fall far behind and never catch up, says a new report about early education released Monday. Targeting those skills, which range from using the restroom independently to sitting attentively while listening to a story, could reduce the state's dropout rate and boost the skills of the future workforce.
December 10, 2002
Arizona Daily Sun
Arizona businesses need to pony up cash and resources if they want to improve child care and preschool programs, Janet Napolitano said Monday. The governor elect said it is clear that making sure kids are ready to learn by the time they hit kindergarten pays off in the long run.
December 10, 2002
The Times, London
Nursery places will be provided next year for every three-year-old whose parents want one, under spending plans announced by Charles Clarke yesterday. The Education Secretary said that £300 million would be transferred to local education authorities to create 250,000 new childcare places.
December 9, 2002
The Times
A new study released last month documents the savings taxpayers reap when states and school districts invest in preschool, according to a recent story in the Star Ledger of Newark. The National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University said that for every dollar spent on quality, full-day preschools, $4 comes back to children, families and all taxpayers.
December 9, 2002
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
After a six-month study of 372 child-care centers, preschools and home-based programs plus interviews with 1,005 families, researchers learned, among many other things, that: Fewer than 20 percent of the centers provide the kind of early-learning foundation that prepares children for school. The report, "Early Care and Education: The Keystone of Pennsylvania's Future," was produced for the governor's task force by the Universities Children's Policy Collaborative, a group of researchers from the University of Pitt, Penn State and Temple University.
December 8, 2002
The Herald Sun
Last month, Smart Start advocates put out a press release announcing another round of research findings from the Abecedarian Project, which is run by UNC Chapel Hill's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. The study, by two Rutgers University researchers, concluded that the Abecedarian model likely saved taxpayers $4 for every $1 spent, with school districts saving $11,000 per child due to lower special education and remediation costs.
December 4, 2002
New York Times
The Bush administration intends to require each of the 500,000 4-year-olds in the federal Head Start program to sit for a standardized examination measuring such information as how many letters and numbers they can recognize, and whether they know how to hold a book right side up. They will then take the same exam the following spring, to see how much progress they've made.
December 4, 2002
The Fayetteville Observer
Researchers from Rutgers University in New Jersey found that for every $1 spent on early-childhood education, taxpayers reaped $4 in savings and benefits. The cents should follow common sense.
November 29, 2002
The Washington Post
[I]t is only a matter of time before the movement for universal preschool education reaches the U.S. Capitol. In fact, some 42 states and the District of Columbia now offer some form of pre-kindergarten education, even if it is only to supplement Head Start, the federal program designed to bring early education to lower-income students.
November 27, 2002
The Washington Post
The Abecedarian Project was expensive, as preschool programs go -- $13,000 per child, about twice the cost of the average Head Start program. But it paid off in multiples, the researchers said.

Resources


The ERIC/EECE Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education focuses on evidence-based research terms and concepts that may be used in the upcoming years in its Fall 2002 newsletter.
The 1996 welfare reform legislation will be debated in Washington during 2003 for reauthorization of the measure. Read RAND's synthesis of research on the impacts of welfare reform.
The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) newsletter examines school readiness issues. They review efforts that advance infant and toddler well-being and increase income security.
Head Start's quality was significantly higher than all other forms of early care and education in Pennsylvania, according to a release on The Pennsylvania Early Childhood Quality Settings Study -- completed for the Governor's Task Force by the Universities Children's Policy Collaborative (UCPC). The report cites research findings and recommendations to establish a baseline of early-childhood program quality in Pennsylvania across all program types.
The Public Education Network offers a guide for community leaders, parents and educators on how to use the No Child Left Behind law to advocate for improved public education.