Volume 14, Issue 23

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hot Topics

A recent report published by a new project at Brookings called “Evidence Speaks” claims that advocates exaggerate unmet need as well as the cost of universal pre-kindergarten (UPK). Steve Barnett reviews the report here. From the National Education Policy Center press release summary: “Unfortunately, the report vastly underestimates unmet need and costs; both estimates are based on serious factual errors and unfounded assumptions. Access to high-quality preschool (as opposed to attendance in any preschool classroom) for four-year-olds is under 25 percent, not 69 percent. High-quality UPK could enroll more than 90 percent, not 80 percent, of children. Enrollment rates go up with better policy design. Also, the Brookings plan would leave one in five children in low-income families with no access to any preschool education and, since the plan ignores dosage and quality, would leave many more in weak or ineffective programs. The report’s conclusions regarding needs and the costs to meet them are invalid and misleading, and it should not be used as a basis for policymaking.”

The Brown Daily Herald featured an in Op-Ed this week from economist Glenn Loury, The Political Inefficacy of Saying Black Lives Matter on developing the political will required for transformative change in which he includes universal early childhood education as one part of a “massive step in the direction of ‘social justice’ in America” that includes demands for criminal justice system reform and asking politicians to do more than just talk the talk.

The New Haven Independent covered recent efforts to encourage access to early education for all children, encouraging readers to contact their legislators.

The Seventy Four asks whether education is a natural monopoly that needs to be broken up; noting that it does not exactly fit the definition, and providing education from preschool through 12th grade means catering to very varied needs of different kinds of learners.

This week, the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE) released a new brief, Early Childhood Higher Education: Taking Stock Across the States. The paper uses the Early Childhood Higher Education Inventory, “a research tool for describing the landscape of a state’s early childhood degree program offerings at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels,” and describes “findings from inventories conducted in seven states to date--California, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island--on the extent to which ECE teacher preparation is currently integrated across the birth-to-age-eight continuum, and on variations in field-based practice opportunities for teachers of young children.”

Meanwhile, The Economic Policy Institute released an analysis of child care workers, covering demographics, wages and benefits, and related family budget issues. The report was discussed in Think Progress, and The Nation reported that child care workers make 40% less than the median average salary. Feministing recently addressed raising wages for child care workers while cutting the cost of care, and Jezebel asks why does child care cost so much if carer wages are so low? As long ago as 2003, NIEER was addressing the issue in a policy brief, and last year, Preschool Matters blogged about the issue, following the release of another Berkeley report, Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages. Time for policymakers to step up on finding ways to pay child care workers living wages for their important work.

Due to the upcoming holidays, we are revising our publishing schedule slightly. The next three newsletters will be released December 4, December 18, and January 8

Resources

An October report from The Century Foundation, featured in Pennsylvania Early Education news, finds that “children from middle-income families are more likely to attend preschool than their peers from low-income families, but less likely to attend than children from high-income families.”

 

EdWeek has released a new report on formative assessment, described in detail here.

 

Pennsylvania Early Education news identified the report, The Impact of Discrimination on the Early Schooling Experiences of Children from Immigrant Families, part of a research series supported by the Foundation for Child Development. It addresses discrimination experienced by children at schools and their families, and the consequences.

The BUILD Initiative has issued a report considering: To what extent do the states’ Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS) reflect the current research and address the learning needs of preschool-aged dual language learners (DLLs) and What next steps can states take to better meet the needs of DLLs?

 

The Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) and Office of Early Learning (OEL) have released a Fast Fact on English Learners (ELs) and Early Learning.

 

Slate has released a report on expulsion and retention of young children in Texas schools.

The Ounce of Prevention Fund and the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth have developed a state guide and a state self-assessment to help states improve access to child care for homeless families.

A new study supported by the William Penn Foundation examined the effectiveness of Keystone Stars, the Pennsylvania QRIS, in improving program quality and child outcomes, and makes recommendations for next steps.

Pennsylvania Early Education news highlighted a report from the US Department of Education outlining work going on in the Early Learning Challenge grantee states so far.

CEELO Update

Early childhood administrators from eight states gathered Nov. 2-4 in Washington, DC, to participate in the second CEELO Leadership Academy. The year-long academy is designed to strengthen leadership and management competencies of individuals with responsibilities for early childhood education programs in SEAs and related state early childhood education agencies. Fellows benefit from engaging with national experts on leading-edge thinking, working with an individual coach, and undertaking a self-designed job-embedded policy project to apply new learning and skills. This first session focused on Results Based Leadership to ensure Fellows learn how to better understand, manage, and lead by always keeping the "why" of their work front and center. A report on how it worked is available here.

 

Measuring Child Outcomes in the Early Years provides information to inform decision-making regarding the assessment of young children’s learning, development, and wellbeing (LDWB) for state and national assessments designed to influence early childhood education (ECE) policy and practice. This report draws from a scholarly discussion paper The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) produced for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that presented the pros and cons of various instruments used for reporting on international data of children’s cognitive and social outcomes.

Early Education News Roundup

Thursday, November 12, 2015
(National Education Policy Center)

A recent report published by a new project at Brookings called “Evidence Speaks” claims that advocates exaggerate unmet need as well as the cost of universal pre-kindergarten (UPK). It estimates that 69 percent of all four-year-olds already attend preschool and that universal access tops out at 80 percent enrollment. To close this modest gap, the report proposes a means-tested subsidy for half-day preschool that fully funds only those in poverty. The estimated cost is $2 to $4 billion per year. Unfortunately, the report vastly underestimates unmet need and costs; both estimates are based on serious factual errors and unfounded assumptions. Access to high-quality preschool (as opposed to attendance in any preschool classroom) for four-year-olds is under 25 percent, not 69 percent. High-quality UPK could enroll more than 90 percent, not 80 percent, of children. Enrollment rates go up with better policy design. Also, the Brookings plan would leave one in five children in low-income families with no access to any preschool education and, since the plan ignores dosage and quality, would leave many more in weak or ineffective programs. The report’s conclusions regarding needs and the costs to meet them are invalid and misleading, and it should not be used as a basis for policymaking.

Thursday, November 12, 2015
(EdSource)

Lopez’s class is part of the Sobrato Early Academic Language, or SEAL, program that aims to help English learners starting in preschool so they don’t struggle in school later. SEAL classes stress vocabulary, talking and role-playing among students, while their teachers undergo extensive training and their parents are encouraged to get involved. The program, founded in 2008, is seen as a model of how to educate young English learners and has won awards from the California School Board Association and the California Association for Bilingual Education.

Children who participated in the first SEAL classes began preschool with limited skills in both their native languages and English, but by the time they entered kindergarten their scores were equal to or higher than a comparison group of peers on language, literacy and mathematics tests, according to findings from a Sobrato-funded evaluation. By the end of preschool, 82 percent of children were at grade level on math tests.

“We were able to bring it to life in real schools,” said Laurie Olsen, a researcher specializing in English learners who developed the SEAL program. “I knew there had to be a prevention piece or we’d constantly be playing catch-up.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015
(Hattiesburg American)

The state’s pilot pre-kindergarten program is in its third year, and the 4-year-olds’ test results are testament to why so many tout the power of early childhood education.

Each of the 11 collaboratives across the state increased its average score on a test measuring kindergarten readiness over the last school year, and all but three met or exceeded the target score of 498.

“That was our goal, to make sure our children were growing, especially with literacy development,” said Jill Dent, who oversees the collaboratives as the director of the office of early childhood at the state Education Department. “We went through a process of determining what we considered to be … on the national level of a child exiting pre-K that would’ve learned what they needed to learn, basically.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015
(EdWeek )

"The Raising of America," a documentary TV special about early care and education in this country, launched online on Monday. It has been showing on public TV stations across the country since Oct. 9, and both TV broadcasts and live screenings will continue into 2016.

The documentary, produced by filmmakers Larry Adelman and Christine Herbes-Sommers, explores why America ranks 26th among the 29 richest nations in childhood well-being. One in four American children are born into poverty, and 70 percent of children live in families with two working parents, according to the opening scenes of the documentary trailer. The trailer uses those two statistics to make the point that we ignore the care and education provided for parents and young children at our own peril.

Thursday, November 12, 2015
(KATU.com)

Farm to preschool works to improve child nutrition and connect early care and education programs to local farmers.

Since the launch of farm to preschool programs in 2011, The National Farm to School Network has provided young children across the country with access to local fresh food and food education.

Similar to farm to school programs for older children, preschool programs include three key elements: procurement, education and school gardens.  

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
(Politico)

Every election cycle, candidates assiduously court the women’s vote—but fail to show us what they are going to do to materially improve women’s lives. Child care now costs more than in-state college tuition or housing in most states, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute think tank. That high cost means that it’s no surprise that child care is out of reach even for many middle-class families and downright impossible for low-wage workers. Unfortunately, that conclusion isn’t much of a surprise to any mother or father who has tried to go back to work.

What might be a surprise, though, is that giving America’s working parents access to safe, high-quality child care didn’t used to be a controversial, partisan idea on the campaign trail. A Republican president came close to solving this problem a few decades ago—President Richard Nixon almost signed a comprehensive child care bill in 1971 after a bipartisan Congress passed it. The Comprehensive Child Development Act would have established a network of nationally funded child care centers to provide quality education, nutrition and medical services. The centers would have been locally administered and open to families of all income levels on a sliding scale basis. For the first two years, the bill authorized $2 billion, or $10 billion today, after adjusting for inflation.
 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
(WestEd)

WestEd, a national nonprofit research, development, and service agency, today released the findings of a study that measured the impact of PBS KIDS content and family involvement on preschool children’s math learning.

Study findings suggest that PBS KIDS resources, coupled with family engagement, can help narrow the math achievement gap for children from low-income families and better prepare them for kindergarten. The study is the third in a series of research studies that analyze and report on the positive effects of public media’s television, interactive content, and hands-on activities on early learning and family engagement.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
(William Penn Foundation)

The Penn Child Research Center and the Consortium for Policy Research in Education today released a new study, funded by the William Penn Foundation, to identify opportunities to improve Pennsylvania’s Keystone STARS rating system. The goal of this research was to support the continued advancement of quality early learning programs state-wide to ultimately strengthen student outcomes.  In 2003, Pennsylvania implemented Keystone STARS, one of the first state-level Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) in the country, as a tool to improve access to quality early learning programs for young children.  Now, more than a decade later, improving the quality of early childhood programs remains important because high-quality early learning opportunities are strongly associated with positive developmental outcomes including enhanced communication skills, better academic abilities early in life, healthier social-emotional outcomes, and improved cognitive functioning. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
(The News Tribune)

Advocates of early learning throughout Washington state will host a series of meetings designed to help align childcare licensing and standards for ECEAP, the state-funded preschool program, under the state’s Early Achievers system.

“The historic legislation will ensure that children in all of Washington’s diverse communities have equitable access to the same high standards of quality care and education,” DEL Director Ross Hunter said in a news release.
 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
(The Nation)

 In a sector where the cost of care is rising yet wages have stagnated for over a decade, she knows that, after more than 15 years in the field and still earning just $8.50 an hour, neither her family nor those of her students are getting what they deserve.

“We’re struggling,” O’Neal says. “We’re taking care of other kids all day long, and then when we come home we can’t even take care of our kids.” Sometimes, when parents can’t afford the fee, she adds, the center will take their children anyway, just so they can work. “It’s hard on the teachers, and it’s hard on the parents,” she says. . .

 Earning typical hourly wages of about $10.30, childcare workers earn some 40 percent less than the nationwide median wage, well below typical wage range in comparable professions, according to the left-leaning think tank Economic Policy Institute (EPI). About one in seven childcare workers lives below the official poverty line. In many regions, preschool and childcare workers earn a fraction of what’s required for a minimally decent standard of living. In Atlanta, childcare workers like O’Neal may earn just short of what is needed to support a local family of one.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
(WMTV)

What is your child's development worth to you? It's a question families in Dane County ask as some spend over $1,000 a month on preschool.

Wisconsin is ranked as one of the least affordable states in the country when it comes to child care costs. While some argue cost shouldn't matter for child development, others say the cost of care out-prices a child's change at quality education.

Just when you thought your mortgage would be your largest monthly expense, you decide to have a baby. "Well, quality costs money, and high quality is expensive," Jody Bartnick, Executive Director of 4C, said. Annual costs of child care in some cases is higher than college tuition and its showing no signs of decreasing. "A child's brain develops most rapidly in the first 1,000 days of their life," Bartnick added. "These are our children, and there's not a more valuable asset that I can think of, and so we really need to think of it in a sense: this is critical development, this is the time that it's important to pay for quality."

Monday, November 9, 2015
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Utah government officials, community advocates and investment bankers joined together last month to tout the early success of a preschool program funded through a private loan.

Out of 110 at-risk students who were academically behind their peers when the program started, only one required costly special education services during kindergarten.

That led to a $267,000 check for Goldman Sachs, which paid preschool enrollment costs for 600 students through Utah's first social impact bond and, along with J.B. Pritzker, will receive 95 percent of any special-education savings to the state until their loan is repaid with interest.

Then came The New York Times with a big wet blanket.

"Here they seem to have either performed a miracle, or these kids weren't in line for special education in the first place," said Queens College professor Clive Belfield, one of nine early-education experts who reviewed Utah's pay-for-success program for The Times.

 

Monday, November 9, 2015
(Cincinatti.com)

Early childhood education isn’t a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Tea Party issue. It is a critical component to our community’s long-term success, and should be treated that way, regardless of your political persuasion.

If you are under the belief that early childhood education, (pre-natal care, quality childcare, all day preschool and kindergarten) is a waste of time and money, and that efforts to improve early childhood learning are lost by the age of 9, I want to ask you this question, “Who have you been listening to?”

While it’s easy to get caught up in political passions during the campaign season, now is the time to put rhetoric aside and hear what our local experts say about the importance of early childhood education.

Randy Poe, the superintendent of Boone County Schools, the third-largest school district in the state of Kentucky (responsible for educating over 20,000 kids), will tell you that school districts often spend a lot of time and taxpayer dollars playing catch-up for a large group of kids that come to kindergarten unprepared. Poe told me, “Early childhood education provides the opportunity to narrow the education gap for all children entering school.” He explained, “It provides the pathway for greater learning that also reduces remediation cost for school districts.”

Monday, November 9, 2015
(Kansas City Star)

Everyone here loves their universal, publicly funded prekindergarten. The setup seems perfect. Oklahoma pays for every 4-year-old statewide whose family wants in. And in Tulsa, zealous philanthropic support has poured millions of dollars more into preschools to lift the neediest children. Georgetown University researchers praise Tulsa’s work. Accolades rain down from as high as the White House.

Look closer, though, and you’ll see a city still struggling to put more children on a clear arc to success.

As Kansas City moves toward a vote next year to raise property taxes for early childhood education, it can turn to Tulsa for a lesson in how hard it is, even with universal pre-K, to achieve results.

Monday, November 9, 2015
(The Seventy Four)
Democrats and early learning advocates are focused on protecting small gains for early childhood education included in the Senate’s No Child Left Behind rewrite as they work toward a final deal with Republicans often skeptical of a federal role in preschool programs.  
 
The Senate’s version of the bill would provide grants to help states and schools increase the quality of existing early childhood programs, target those programs to low- and middle-income families, and better coordinate the many existing streams of federal and state dollars for preschool programs.
Monday, November 9, 2015
(Press Telegram)

Child-care providers are among the lowest-paid workers in the nation, leaving many unable to make ends meet, a study shows.

Many child-care workers’ wages are so low that they could not afford to put their own children in child-care programs, according to the study by the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute.

In Los Angeles County, a child-care worker’s median annual income in 2014 was $22,000, according to the study. By contrast, a pre-school worker earned about $30,000.

The Economic Policy Institute has calculated a one-person family budget for Los Angeles County to be about $35,000, which is considered the cost of a “modest, yet adequate” lifestyle, including housing, food, child care and transportation costs.

About 90 percent of child-care workers across the county do not meet the $35,000 budget.

Monday, November 9, 2015
(Valdosta Daily Times)

 Less than half of the children in South Georgia attend preschool and the links between lagging education and poverty have state officials concerned about the region.

Fifty-five percent of children between the ages of 3 and 4 years old in Region 11 of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services do not attend preschool, said Vicki Townsend at a Nov. 2 town hall meeting at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.

Townsend said more than 40 percent of third grade children in the region do not read at grade level.

Friday, November 6, 2015
(Think Progress)

Tolanda Barnette has spent the whole day caring for other people’s children, only to come home to a homeless shelter and worry about how to provide for her own three kids. She currently makes $12 an hour at a daycare center, a job she’s had at different centers for 13 years. “I love children,” she said. “There is nothing more pleasing to be around than kids… I’ve always had a love for kids since I was a child.” That passion brought her into this line of work, but it hasn’t made it any easier when the low pay presented challenges for her own children. She lost her housing voucher last summer when she had to leave her apartment of seven and a half years and wasn’t able to secure a new one within 90 days. Her family bounced around, staying with different friends and family until they were able to get admitted to a shelter this past June. . .

arnette is one of the millions of people who go to work everyday and care for the country’s youngest citizens. As more and more children live in families where all the adults hold jobs — both parents work in nearly half of two-parent households, and the vast majority of single parents work — the work they do has become even more vital. Yet their pay is outrageously low. According to a new analysis from the Economic Policy Institute, the median wage for child care workers is $10.31. That’s not just a small figure on its own; it’s also very low compared to what these workers could make elsewhere. Even when compared to other workers with the same gender, race, educational attainment, age, geography, and a number of other factors, EPI found that child care providers make 23 percent less. And even those figures are likely underestimating the problem, given that any provider who is self employed and working out of her own home — providers who are likely to earn even less than those in, say, centers — aren’t counted.

Friday, November 6, 2015
(Viewpoints)

Connecticut has some of the nation’s largest achievement gaps between white students and students of color. That’s the lesson from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results released during the last week of October. These results provide Connecticut residents a clear picture of how the state’s schools perform, for different student groups, compared to other states, and over time.

To close these gaps, Connecticut’s schools must do a much better job of serving low-income, black, and Hispanic students. But, because one-third to one-half of the achievement gap exists before children start school, efforts to close those gaps must also start earlier, in the preschool and early childhood years.

Research shows that high-quality pre-k programs can help to narrow achievement gaps for low-income students, improving their school and long-term outcomes. This is crucial for a state like Connecticut that has struggled with persistent achievement gaps between student groups for decades.

Thursday, November 5, 2015
(Erie Times News)

Erie County's poverty rate for children fell by the thousands when the U.S. Census Bureau reported its most recent estimates in September.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., is hoping to not only wipe out child poverty across the Erie region, but also to eliminate it throughout the United States.

Casey is part of a team of senators that last week introduced the Child Poverty Act, a new bill that aims to eliminate child poverty across the country in 20 years.

Thursday, November 5, 2015
(CBS Moneywatch)

LiAnne Flakes, 40, has worked in the child care industry for 22 years, and after all that time she says she still can't afford health insurance and struggles at times to buy groceries.

"I've been taking care of other families, making sure their needs are met, but you can't even take care of your own needs," she said of her hourly rate, which until recently was $10.75 an hour. "It is a struggle from day to day. Going to the grocery store is a luxury after I pay my bills."

Despite all this, Flakes is doing better than many other child care workers because 15 percent of them live below the poverty line, or double the poverty rate for workers in other occupations, according to new research from The Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank.

Thursday, November 5, 2015
(Christian Science Monitor)

Even Janet Yellen, the head of the Federal Reserve, has chimed in, highlighting research that points to preschool attendance's correlation with later-in-life success, particularly for poorer children, as measured by degrees, income, and imprisonment. 

What worries Seattle outdoor educator Andrew Jay is who's not going to preschool. Families in what he calls the "forgotten middle" are often forced to forgo ECE, he says, as childcare becomes outrageously expensive. Washington couples making less than $29,000 per year receive free ECE, but on the open market, the average preschool bill runs to $12,000.

Mr. Jay is the CEO of Tiny Trees, a preschool design launching in September 2016, which he says can lower costs and build young children's social and mental skills. There's just one catch: it's outside.

 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
(DealBook)

Goldman said its investment had helped almost 99 percent of the Utah children it was tracking avoid special education in kindergarten. The bank received a payment for each of those children.

The big problem, researchers say, is that even well-funded preschool programs — and the Utah program was not well funded — have been found to reduce the number of students needing special education by, at most, 50 percent. Most programs yield a reduction of closer to 10 or 20 percent.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
(Ed Central)

There is growing consensus that access to pre-K is important and that governments should invest more in early education. But should services be available to all children or just those who policymakers have determined need them the most? When resources are limited, is it better to provide more generous supports to a select group or modest services to all? There is less consensus around the answers to these questions. As more states and districts create and expand pre-K programs, policymakers continue to wrestle with the best way to provide it. We’ve recently seen programs unfold using both approaches–from New York City’s new universal pre-K program to Minnesota’s recent decision to fundtargeted scholarships rather than universal access.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
(89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio)

The process grew complicated back in 2010 when the California legislature changed the age for getting into kindergarten to 5 by Sept. 1. Parents were left wondering if their child was old enough for kindergarten. Now new research suggests that waiting until the child is a little older might lead to mental health benefits as the students advances through the grades. According to Thomas Dee of Stanford’s Center for Education Policy Analysis, starting kindergarten at age 7 leads to children who are better able to focus and control their emotions. “Delaying kindergarten virtually eliminates the probability that a child is at risk of ADHD,” he said. . .

Waiting until children are older to start school, known as "redshirting," is not a new concept. Dee points out there is little evidence that delaying the start of school improves educational and economic outcomes. However, his study highlights important mental health benefits that can ultimately impact school performance. Yet these benefits may not apply to all children. “We found that the gains for delaying kindergarten tended to be concentrated among more affluent kids,” Dee said. Why? “Kids who come from more affluence are more likely to be in high-quality PreK, maybe ones that stress a more play-based curriculum.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
(The Columbia Chronicle)

Presidential campaign education platforms primarily focus on college tuition and student debt. However, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders support the implementation of universal prekindergarten education, which would increase access to high-quality preschool education to families of all socioeconomic backgrounds. In the past, preschool has been out of reach for lower-income children, as private preschools are expensive and public programs are limited. State-funded preschool is available in 40 states and the District of Columbia, but only three in 10 of the nation’s 4-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality prekindergarten program, according to the White House’s website. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015
(Duluth News Tribune)

Minnesota voters will decide more than 100 school levies Tuesday, and nearly all of them will address one of four concerns: school building improvements, security upgrades, classroom technology or operating revenue. . .

Besides the debate over whether state education funding is keeping pace with inflationary costs, it's clear that new educational programs and tools are driving many of the requests for new local taxes. The Legislature's decision to fund all-day kindergarten in 2013 set in motion a classroom space squeeze that many districts are still trying to address. And Gov. Mark Dayton's latest push to provide universal preschool for 4-year-olds has exacerbated space concerns in many communities. "Districts understand the importance of early learning," said Kirk Schneidawind, executive director of the Minnesota School Boards Association. But Schneidawind said districts need time and resources to find the space and teachers to accommodate more young learners. "There's nothing worse than an overcrowded classroom or an overcrowded school," he said.

Monday, November 2, 2015
(The Journal Gazette)

All children deserve a strong start in their educational journey. But in far too many Hoosier communities, many children living in poverty miss out. Without access to high-quality early-learning programs, they fall behind in literacy, math and social skills. Unfortunately, far too many never catch up. Last year, our state spent nearly $22 million to remediate 4,500 kindergartners because they entered unprepared and had to repeat the grade. And in Allen County alone, only one in four children was kindergarten-ready. Not only is this an avoidable misuse of time, resources and money, but it brings to light a cyclical issue – missed opportunities to educate our youth, in whom rest the future of Indiana. . .

Up until this year, we were one of only 10 states to not offer state-funded pre-K for 4-year-olds. Now we finally have begun. On My Way launched this fall as Indiana’s first pre-K program to serve children, starting at age 4, from families who are below 127 percent of the federal poverty level. PNC Bank joined United Way of Allen County early on to match funds for this three-year program. Together with the state match, our seed money has helped begin the process of improving quality curriculum, teacher training, facility upgrades and family engagement.  

Monday, November 2, 2015
(All Africa)

Like Favour, over 10 million school age children are out of school in Nigeria because their families cannot afford to fund the fees, especially pre-school, which is presently not state-funded. There is an urgent need to expand the access of early childhood education, as the importance cannot be over emphasised.

Past governments have only always spent a fraction of the United Nation's recommended national investment on education, and this has had a negative impact on the quality and accessibility to education, especially pre-schools. Most high quality pre-schools in the country are privately owned and inaccessible to disadvantaged families because of the cost.

Children are made to stay at home at an age (0-5 years), where research has shown that the human brain is developing - therefore representing a critically important window of opportunity to develop the child's full potential and shape key academic, social, and cognitive skills that determine a child's success in life and in school.