Volume 14, Issue 17

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hot Topics

Last year’s preschool development grant competition awarded 18 states with an opportunity to raise quality and increase the number of low-income children participating in highly effective preschool programs. The federal government provided over $226M in grant money to incentivize states to launch or expand high-quality preschool programs. A year and a half later, these grants are on the verge of being cut by the end of the fiscal year, on October 1st. In a press release, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan warned that "Congress is moving forward with a plan that would take critical early learning opportunities from the children who need it the most—delaying their learning by a year and missing an opportunity to chip away at the educational gaps that exist for children from low- and moderate-income families." Pulling funds away from states in the last two years of the grant would hinder plans to serve more than 60,000 children. When lawmakers return to Washington in September, they will have just 10 days to come to a conclusion on the fate of these grants. Congress should heed the bipartisan plea from Governors Bentley and Tomblin in Forbes Magazine, for a commitment to invest in quality preschool education. They write: “Now more than ever, the nation is looking to its leaders on all levels to roll up their sleeves and get things done. Communities thrive when leaders invest in smart, evidence-based programs with proven success. Quality early childhood education is a shining example.” 

September 10, 2015 - 1:00pm

Join us for a Webinar providing an overview of the results of the 2104 State of Preschool Yearbook survey. We will discuss the major cross-state trends in the 2014 yearbook and highlight major policy changes related to publicly-funded preschool. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of NIEER staff following the presentation.

Preregistration is required. Register here

 

New on Preschool Matters...Today!

In our series on leadership, Maxine M. Maloney of the Arlington County Department of Human Services in Virginia writes about her experiences building leadership in the community.

Check out the latest post in our leadership forum from Stacie Goffin, discussing early education as a profession.

Resources

Frank Porter Graham shared findings from a study on A Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Vocabulary Approach for Young Latino Dual Language Learners “The authors compared the effectiveness of delivering a single evidence-informed vocabulary approach using English as the language of vocabulary instruction (English culturally responsive [ECR]) versus using a bilingual modality that strategically combined Spanish and English (culturally and linguistically responsive [CLR]). . . . The results provide additional evidence of the benefits of strategically combining the first and second language to promote English and Spanish vocabulary development in this population."

A new report from the Committee for Economic Development, Child Care in State Economies, “examines the child care industry’s effect on parents’ participation in the labor force, and provides extensive details regarding the industry’s state economic impact, including: usage rates, the role of public funding, revenues, and business structure.” 

The Center for American progress shared a report, Harnessing the Child Tax Credit as a Tool to Invest in the Next Generation. “This report offers proposals to strengthen the CTC by addressing these shortcomings and leveraging the credit as a tool to better invest in the next generation by:

·       Eliminating the minimum earnings requirement and making the credit fully refundable to ensure that it reaches all low- and moderate-income families with children.

·       Indexing the value of the credit to inflation so that it does not continue to lose value over time even as the costs of reaching or staying in the middle class are rising.

·       Enhancing the CTC with a supplemental Young Child Tax Credit of $125 per month for children under age 3. The Young Child Tax Credit would be made available to families on a monthly basis through direct deposit or the Direct Express card, in recognition of the fact that child-related costs do not wait until tax time.”

From ChildTrends, a report on Understanding and Addressing the Early Childhood Origins of “Mean” Behavior and Bullying: Resources for Practitioners.

From the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, eNotes highlights recent resources on topics ranging from Suspension and Retention to data systems.

NIEER

Early Childhood (EC) STEM Education Specialist

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University is seeking an Early Childhood (EC) STEM Education Specialist to join our research team beginning in September 2015. The successful candidate would participate in an efficacy study funded by the National Science Foundation to evaluate the effects of our PD model, SciMath-DLL, on educators and children.  The model supports preschool teachers around science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with supports for dual language learners (DLLs).

The EC STEM Education Specialist is a 1-year, part-time position with the possibility of extension for 1-2 more years, and possible increase in hours.  The successful candidate should have experience providing support to early childhood educators (e.g., professional development; coaching), have knowledge of early childhood STEM development, teaching, and learning; have a car, and be willing to travel to key NJ sites.  The primary responsibility for the EC Specialist is to support preschool teachers in their delivery of STEM lessons based on our model. This is a unique opportunity to be involved with a federally funded, high profile educational research study with the potential to influence practice and policy in early childhood education on a local and national level.

Interested candidates should send a resume/CV and a cover letter describing relevant qualifications, skills, and experience to Hebbah El-Moslimany, hel-moslimany@nieer.org. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

 

CLASP

CLASP is seeking a Research Assistant to join an enthusiastic and committed team of experts working to improve access to high-quality child care and early education for low-income children and families. This position requires a recent and relevant Bachelor’s degree and demonstrated interest in low-income policy issues. The ideal candidate has interned or worked at a nonprofit organization or has experience directly related to relevant policy issues, such as child care and early education, K-12 education, poverty policy, and/or issues facing immigrants and children and families of color. Click here to learn more about the position and the application process. 

CEELO Update

This year CEELO is focusing on Excellence in Leadership, and to that end, sponsored a Roundtable on Leading for Excellence, recently completed a Leadership Academy, and is featuring a blog forum series on leadership, with contributions from a range of leaders. Here’s where you can find some helpful resources on our site:

The Academy is based on Building Capacity Through an Early Education Leadership Academy, the policy brief from Dr. Stacie Goffin commissioned by CEELO. The paper incorporates information gathered from a broad survey of leadership needs among state early learning specialists, along with targeted interviews with specialists at varied levels of leadership within their agencies and organizations.

The Leadership Roundtable includes the 2015 Roundtable Meeting Package, a Padlet page on Big Ideas, and a Roundtable Storify, which provides a high-level summary of tweets sent out using the conference’s #Lead4ECE hashtag, and links to the following resources as recommended reading:

·       Early Childhood Education for a New Era: Leading for Our Profession, by Stacie G. Goffin

·       Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading,  by Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky

·       Trying Hard is Not Good Enough; How to Produce Measurable Improvements for Customers and Communities, by Mark Friedman

·       Theory of Aligned Contributions: An Emerging Theory of Change Primer, by Jolie Pillsbury

·       Change Leadership: Innovation in State Education Agencies, by Sam Redding

·       Creating the Container to Achieve Results: A Guide for Leaders, Teams, Project Managers, and More, by Patton Stephens

·       Results Based Facilitation: Moving from Talk to Action–Meetings that Matter, by Jolie Pillsbury

Other resources on leadership are available at CEELO’s website, including Building the Next Generation of Inclusion Leaders, which  explores the qualities of great leaders and leadership, types of leadership, pathways and pitfalls to inclusion leadership, and building leadership within a program and state, as well as Vermont’s experience, presented at the 2015 National Inclusion Institute. Supporting Principal Leadership for Pre-K through Third Grade Learning Communities is a webinar addressing ways to enhance SEA and LEA leadership capacity for building P-3 communities, cultivate standards of effective practice for P-3 principals and related leaders, develop practical implementation strategies as described by an elementary school principal and state education leaders, and consider implications for state and local policymakers, technical assistance and professional development providers, and higher education. What Do We Know About Principal Preparation, Licensure Requirements, and Professional Development for School Leaders? describes findings from a CEELO review of data on 21 states’ principal licensure requirements, interviews with experts on principal preparation and professional development in seven states, and interviews with staff at the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Institute for School Leadership. Our research reveals an array of administrator licensure titles assigned to grade-level authority across states, some permitting principals or administrators the flexibility to oversee programs ranging from early childhood through high school. 

Calendar

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - 2:00pm
What are the consistent supports needed to focus state early learning policy and approaches on great teaching? How can we bring coherence to early childhood quality improvement policies?

Join the Build Initiative and the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes as they discuss the results from a year long project focused on state policy to promote effective teaching that improves children's learning. This "Learning Table" began with the convening of a "Think Tank" of experts in a face-to-face meeting, resulting in the development of key resources and launched an in-depth peer-learning exchange between six states.  The states embarked on a path of action planning to strengthen their state policies in support of teaching and learning.

During the webinar, we will share innovations and key resources that emerged from the learning table and hear from the participant states that are integrating a greater focus on teaching quality into early childhood accountability structures.  Please consider the following materials in preparation for the webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Register now!

Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 1:00pm

Join us for an overview of the results of the 2104 State of Preschool Yearbook survey. CEELO and NIEER are hosting a discussion of the major cross-state trends in the 2014 yearbook and highlight major policy changes related to publicly funded preschool. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of NIEER staff following the presentation.

Preregistration is required. Register here

Monday, September 14, 2015 - 1:30pm

Please note changes in date and time

Individuals from State Education Agencies (SEAs)and related agencies responsible for (or who will have a role in) completing the 2015 State of Preschool Yearbook survey are invited to participate in a webinar that provides an overview of the process for completing the revised survey. It will include an introduction to the new survey platform, new survey topics, and frequently asked questions. This webinar is strongly recommended for both new and experienced survey participants.

Preregistration is required. Register here.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 1:00pm to Friday, October 2, 2015 - 5:30pm

ReadyNation, a membership organization working to strengthen business and the economy through effective investments in children and youth, is hosting the first Global Business Summit on Early Childhood Investments, October 1-2, 2015 in New York City. This free event will inspire and equip executives to take actions at the community, company, or policy levels that support young children. The event is for businesspeople, policy officials/staff and funders only. Others may attend with a team of business people. For more information and registration visit www.ReadyNation.org/2015Summit.

Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 3:00pm to Friday, October 16, 2015 - 4:00pm

The Research Symposium will address a range of critically important issues and themes relating to the health and wellbeing of young children. Plenary speakers include some of the leading medical and scientific thinkers, as well as workshop presentations and a poster session.

The annual Symposium will focus on the health, education, and developmental of young children, particular in terms of: Physical Health and Wellbeing; Mental Health and Executive Function; and Epigenetics and Environment.

Friday, October 16, 2015 - 7:00am

The Center for Early Education Evaluation at HighScope will hold its 4th Annual Conference for Early Childhood Research and Evaluation on the theme "Assessing Children’s Progress in Early Education and Intervention:  Challenges and Innovations in Diverse Contexts.”
Registration is now open and the conference is seeking sponsorships

Opening Speaker: Linda Espinosa, PhD
Discussion Panel:
• Mike Lopez, PhD, Abt Associates (Discussant)
• Sherri Oden, PhD, Oakland University (Discussant)
• Richard Lower, MA, Michigan Department of Education (Moderator)
• Rachel Brady, PT, DPT, MS, Georgetown University (Panelist)
• Hiram Fitzgerald, PhD, Michigan State University  (Panelist)

Presenters:
• Kyle Snow, PhD, NAEYC Center for Applied Research
• Christina Weiland, EdD, University of Michigan
• Christine A. B. Maier, PhD, Oakland Schools
• Beth Marshall, MA, HighScope and Lisa Wasacz, Michigan Department of Education
• Tomoko Wakabayashi, EdD, CEEE at HighScope and Sheri Butters, Early Childhood Investment Corporation
• Maria DeVoogd Beam, LMSW, Oakland University; Lisa Sturges, PhD, Macomb Great Start Collaborative and Cynthia Schellenbach, PhD, Oakland University
• Kate McGilly, PhD, Parents as Teachers
•  Matthew Fifolt, MEd, PhD, Evaluation and Assessment Unit, Center for the Study of Community Health; Julie Preskitt, MSOT, MPH, PhD, University of Alabama, Birmingham and Tracye Strichik, EdS, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education
 

Early Education News Roundup

Thursday, August 20, 2015
(Politico New York)

Republican presidential candidate and former Florida governor Jeb Bush criticized New York City mayor Bill de Blasio's universal pre-kindergarten program on Wednesday, accusing de Blasio of creating the program to appease teachers' unions.

Speaking at an education-themed candidate forum in New Hampshire, Bush lauded Florida's early childhood education system as a cheaper alternative to what he called "the de Blasio [system]—you know, we'll hire union teachers, expand, make this into another thriving business for the bureaucracies and for the unions."

Bush said Florida's early childhood program is "privately driven," and that between 80 percent and 85 percent of early childhood education providers in the state are private.

De Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell issued the following response: "Sorry Governor, but quality matters when it comes to early education," Norvell said in a statement. "What we’re investing in New York City is going to ensure our kids have the edge they need to compete and succeed.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
(National Center for Policy Analysis)

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) was reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act 2001. NCLB was supposed to be reauthorized in 2007 but was not until now.

The House version, Student Success Act, was passed on July 8th. The U.S. Senate passed its own version, Every Child Achieves Act, on July 16th. . .

Early Childhood

Early Learning Alignment and Improvement Grants (Sec. 5610) are left intact, expanding federal control over all public school students, including preschool.
Head Start programs and all state pre-K programs are required to fully align to the Head Start Child Outcome Framework, a set of national early childhood standards correlated to Common Core.
 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
(IBJ.com)

Despite criticism from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that Indiana’s preschool pilot program should not shut out children who are in the country without permission, Gov. Mike Pence’s office said the rule is needed to stay consistent with the way federal preschool programs work.

Chalkbeat reported earlier this month that the state’s new preschool pilot program, open to about 2,300 children in five counties, blocked children of immigrant families from enrolling if they are not U.S. citizens.

Federal rules that require K-12 public schools to be open to non-citizen children don’t apply for preschool. After Education Week magazine reported on Chalkbeat’s story, Duncan issued a statement recently saying it doesn’t make sense for Indiana to bar children because of their immigration status.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
(New York Post)

Two-year-olds who can say more phrases tend to have better math and language skills and fewer behavioral problems when it’s time for them to start kindergarten, according to a new study.

“Certain groups of populations at 24 months are more likely to show lower levels of vocabulary, and helping those kids who may be at risk is important,” said lead author Paul L. Morgan of The Pennsylvania State University in University Park. “Having a smaller vocabulary even at this young age is predictive of lower kindergarten readiness,” Morgan told Reuters Health by phone.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
(Huffington Post)

How do we prevent bullying? Despite decades of study and numerous programs claiming to be the solution to bullying, few programs have actually been shown to be effective. One of the main issues is that "bullying prevention" is often a misnomer; instead of trying to stop the behavior before it begins, the focus of many programs is on reducing already high rates of bullying. By the time students enter sixth grade, the earliest grade for which nationally representative data is collected, nearly 28 percent report having been targeted in the past year. For younger children, data are far more limited, but suggestive. The National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence found that 20.4 percent of children ages 2-5 had experienced physical bullying in their lifetime and 14.6 percent had been teased (verbally bullied).

To actually prevent bullying before it starts, we need to focus on how bullying behaviors develop--for those engaging in bullying behaviors and those being targeted--starting in early childhood. Child Trends recently conducted a literature review and convened an expert roundtable, which NAEYC took part in, to document current understandings of the roots of bullying in early childhood. We identified key contextual factors linked to bullying behaviors, promising and evidence-based programs that help address emerging behavior, and the need for further research.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
(Chicago Tribune)

"My cry as a single mother to the government system is to implement something…so parents like myself will be able to go to work, take care of our children, pay our bills, and not just have to be single parents leaning on the state," Harris said at a press conference organized by SEIU Healthcare Illinois, a union representing child care and healthcare workers, State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, and State Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan.

Bush, Mayfield and area childcare providers urged lawmakers to provide more funding for the Child Care Assistance Program while reversing changes they said would leave 10 percent of families once considered eligible able to qualify.

Previously, a family of three earning about $37,000 a year or less would be eligible, according to the Illinois Department of Human Services. While families already enrolled in the program will continue receiving subsidized childcare, a family of three applying after the changes took effect July 1 wouldn't qualify unless they earned less than about $10,000 a year.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
(New York Times: Well)

A little more than a year ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement saying that all pediatric primary care should include literacy promotion, starting at birth.

That means pediatricians taking care of infants and toddlers should routinely be advising parents about how important it is to read to even very young children. The policy statement, which I wrote with Dr. Pamela C. High, included a review of the extensive research on the links between growing up with books and reading aloud, and later language development and school success.

But while we know that reading to a young child is associated with good outcomes, there is only limited understanding of what the mechanism might be. Two new studies examine the unexpectedly complex interactions that happen when you put a small child on your lap and open a picture book.

Friday, August 14, 2015
(Jackson Free Press)

Most 4-year-olds are learning more basic skills before entering kindergarten due to Early Learning Collaboratives, the Mississippi Department of Education is reporting.

Fifty-nine percent of 4-year-olds assessed at the end of their year-long participation in ELC programs met or exceeded the expected performance level and will enter kindergarten more prepared. Over half the students gained a reading level through the program.

The Mississippi Legislature passed the Early Learning Collaborative Act in 2013, but this past school year was the first full year the program could be assessed for outcomes. Mississippi's previous plans to start a pre-K program were assigned to the state's Department of Human Services, but the 2013 bill handed that power off to the Department of Education.

The law was specific from its outset. Funding went to the Department of Education to disperse, and communities had to write joint applications that included a public school in Head Start and could also include other public schools and private child-care centers throughout the whole community.

Friday, August 14, 2015
(NJTV News)

Forty-five thousand New Jersey children attend state-funded preschool in 31 poor or Abbott districts.

But Advocates for Children of New Jersey and Pre-K Our Way say it’s time for Trenton to expand pre-K to the entire state.

“There’s a lot support for preschool but no one who appears to be willing to make it their top priority. I think what we needed is a champion,” said Pre-K Our Way Leadership Group member Cecilia Zalkind. . .

Maher says having a skilled workforce and a productive state start with pre-K. In January, Maher put even more of his money in to Pre-K Our Way, a heavy-hitting non-profit of former governors, business executives and foundations. They’ve crisscrossed the state to urge everyday people to join the campaign because Maher says a poll shows more than half of those surveyed support preschool for three and four year olds.

Friday, August 14, 2015
(New Hampshire Union Leader)

Hillary’s record speaks for itself. As first lady of Arkansas, she helped establish the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program to promote early childhood education. This program now operates in 21 states and in Washington, D.C. While President Clinton was in office, Hillary helped establish the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a program that expanded health coverage to millions of uninsured children, known in New Hampshire as the Healthy Kids program. And when Hillary was in the Senate, she joined efforts to extend child care benefits for the children of parents who died serving in the military.

But it isn’t just about what Hillary’s done. It’s about what she is going to do. Hillary understands that strengthening and expanding access to early childhood education sets our children up for success. Right now, only half of three and four year-old children in America are enrolled in pre-kindergarten education. That’s why Hillary is pushing for universal pre-K — a call she first made here in New Hampshire — for all children by the age of four, a move that will strengthen our families and communities and give every child a head start in lifelong educational achievement. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015
(GoLocalPDX)

Twice as many children in Oregon now qualify for publicly funded preschool beginning in the fall of 2016. This is due to House Bill 3380 signed by Gov. Kate Brown in July providing $27 million to expand access to preschool. The bill provides funding for children from families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the poverty level. In 2013, the federal poverty level was $23,624 for a family with two adults and two children, and in Oregon that included about 54.7 percent of children in Oregon, according to the American Community Survey.

Thursday, August 13, 2015
(The Washington Post)

Save the Children, the century-old child-welfare organization, has spun off a new political arm that is crusading to make early-childhood education a top-tier issue in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) is running a multi-pronged strategy in the early-

voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina designed to convince candidates from both parties that preschool is a winning issue among swing voters.

Mark Shriver, SCAN’s president, formed the 501c(4) organization last year to “turn up the heat” on legislators and policymakers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
(Bloomberg Business)

With the job market improving and the millennial generation born after 1980 reaching its prime child-bearing years, demand for daycare will probably continue to outstrip supply, driving costs up faster than overall inflation. That could have wide-ranging economic repercussions, including limiting consumers’ ability to spend on other goods and services and, in the extreme, preventing some parents from joining the workforce. . .

Childcare providers are finding it difficult to keep up as scant public funding and more expensive food and rent propel costs. That crimps their ability to hire staff, with payrolls in the industry rising 3.7 percent since the start of the expansion in June 2009, compared with an 8.5 percent gain for all employers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
(iBerkshires.com)

Mayoral candidate Linda Tyer is calling for the creation of a new model to provide preschool programming.

The candidate held a press conference at her East Street headquarters on Tuesday to discuss her plans to service the nearly 900 pupils who are not enrolled in early education programs. She said she wants to expand the capacity of care providers both in the private sector and in the public schools.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
(Bellevue Reporter)

The Bellevue School District has received funding for an additional 60 state-funded preschool slots for the 2015-2016 school year for low-income children. The district was awarded 60 ECEAP preschool slots for low-income 4 year olds, as well as receiving funding for 151 Head Start and 20 Bellevue School Foundation funded slots.

Altogether, 231 low-income 3 and 4-year olds will be able to attend preschool in Bellevue this fall, tuition-free. It is a 26 percent increase over last year, in which there were just 171 tuition-free spots in the district. Twenty of hose spots were ECEAP-funded, and 151 received federal Head Start funding. A full (school)day program in a Bellevue School District preschool is $860 per month. An extended day program ranges from $1,130 to $1,150 per month.

“Achievement gaps start early, and although nationally and locally pre-kindergarten enrollment has been growing recently, low-income children participate at lower rates than children from higher-income families,” said Duitch. “High quality, public provided preschool education has been found to produce improved knowledge and skills. The effects tend to be largest for children at the lowest income levels.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
(NOLA.com)

If the state's top education board approves, Louisiana's preschools will soon receive more public money for low-income children. Their parents would no longer have to worry about children being removed from a day care center at mid-year because of changes in income, and the most impoverished eligible parents would no longer have to pay for child care.

The changes, which the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will consider this week, are welcomed by child-care providers who have long clamored for more state funding in the wake of tougher academic requirements. Too, parents struggling to pay rising day care costs will likely herald the moves.

Monday, August 10, 2015
(Washington Monthly)

Long relegated to the back bench of “mommy issues,” child care may finally get its chance on the national policy stage.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has made child care access a signature plank of her nascent agenda, urging middle class tax cuts to make child care more affordable and endorsing universal preschool. The Washington Post also recently devoted rare front-page space and a poll to this topic, finding that more than half of all parents (including three-quarters of moms and half of dads) have passed up job opportunities or even switched careers to help take care of their children.

Surveys show that millennial workers especially treasure work-life balance. And as more of the oldest members of this cohort - now entering their mid-thirties - become parents, child care access and affordability will increasingly become a concern.

These are all welcome developments for those of us who’ve long believed that child care is a universal economic concern - not just for mothers, but for fathers, grandparents, non-parents and employers, regardless of income or education. The cost and quality of child care have enormous impacts not just on parents’ career choices, but on a family’s quality of life, the productivity that employers see and - of course - the wellbeing and future success of a child. Nevertheless, policymakers have consistently treated child care as a niche-within-a-niche inside larger agendas around “women’s issues” or poverty.

Monday, August 10, 2015
(Styrk)

As funding and interest in preschool grows, some education reformers say charter schools could be a model for providing early education programs.

In Washington, D.C., charter and traditional public schools have offered early childhood education for years. Innovative programs include Montessori, bilingual immersion programs for preschoolers and AppleTree, a charter school focusing on early childhood education. Preschool is optional for families in the District, and it’s also one of the most popular programs. About 40 percent of families on the charter waiting list are for pre-k 3 and 4 programs, according to data from DCPCSB.

Both sectors receive about $13,000 per preschool student each year. Overall, about 86 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds in D.C. attend a publicly funded preschool program. But in some states, education laws prohibit charter schools from teaching preschoolers, Mead said.

Friday, August 7, 2015
(The Washington Post)

More than three-quarters of mothers and half of fathers in the United States say they’ve passed up work opportunities, switched jobs or quit to tend to their kids, according to a new Washington Post poll.

While it has long been clear that finding affordable, dependable child care is a daily challenge for parents of young children, the new poll provides rare data on the breadth of the problem and how it’s shaping careers for millions of American parents.

The poll also signals that the issue will figure in the 2016 presidential campaign, with about twice as many Americans saying Democrats would more reliably ensure access to child care than Republicans.

For many parents, scaling back at the office has become a necessity when the cost of child care strains even a middle-class salary. Roughly three-quarters of parents with children younger than 18 say care is expensive in their area, The Post’s poll shows, and a little more than half say it’s hard to find.