Volume 3, Issue 4

June 11, 2004

Hot Topics

Cynthia Esposito Lamy, Ed.D.’s presentation, Measuring Early Literacy: Assessing Children and Classrooms to Improve Practice, displays 5 years of research findings measuring children’s early literacy skills and the quality of preschool classrooms in New Jersey’s 30 poorest school districts. Dr. Lamy, a research associate at NIEER, presented these findings to the International Reading Association in Reno, Nevada, in May.
Walter S. Gilliam, Ph.D., and Edward F. Zigler, Ph.D., have updated State Efforts to Evaluate the Effects of Prekindergarten, 1977-2000. This update includes summaries and analyses of the results of all reported state evaluations of state prekindergarten programs.
The Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign now offers a Prekindergarten Research in Progress database. The database provides descriptions of ongoing or recently completed studies of state-funded prekindergarten programs, and studies that use state-funded prekindergarten programs as one of several settings for research. This new resource for researchers and policy makers is funded in part by NIEER (with funds from The Pew Charitable Trusts) and the National Prekindergarten Center (with funding from the Foundation for Child Development).
The Annie E. Case Foundation’s 2004 KIDS COUNT Data Book, with its “state-by-state statistical portrait of the educational, health, and economic conditions of American children,” is now available online.

NIEER Activities

NIEER has produced a new video demonstrating the benefits of high-quality early education. The video, Preschool: America’s Best Investment, will be available this summer.

Calendar

June 20, 2004 - June 23, 2004
Baltimore, MD – Learning from Assessment is the theme of the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s 13th National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development.
June 28, 2004 - July 1, 2004
Washington, DC – Participants at Head Start’s 7th National Research Conference have the opportunity to explore the many factors that promote positive development in young children.
July 13, 2004 - July 16, 2004
Orlando, FL – Join state and national policymakers from across the country at the Education Commission of the States’ national forum.
July 14, 2004 - July 15, 2004
Aurora, CO – This workshop provides an introduction to the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) Scaffolding Early Literacy professional development program.

Early Education News Roundup

June 10, 2004
The New York Times
In anticipation of a walkout, the city issued emergency care certificates over the last week to the 27,000 low-income parents who rely on the city's day care centers, nearly all of which were closed yesterday. Still, many parents were not able to find alternative arrangements on such short notice and were struggling to get through the day.
June 7, 2004
Wisconsin State Journal
To make a significant difference, we really only need to help out poor kids warehoused in substandard child care. UW-Madison research shows that poor kids who get quality child care and preschool programs show lower delinquency rates, fewer special education needs and higher educational achievement later in life.
June 1, 2004
The Arkansas City Traveler
Arkansas City is part of a lawsuit claiming that the state's school funding method is unfair.
May 31, 2004
Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis school district officials say the state Legislature's failure to pass an education finance bill this year has forced them to cut back a popular preschool program. The funding hangup could eliminate as many as 11 sites for the program known as High Five.
May 28, 2004
The New Zealand Herald
Every 3 and 4-year-old in New Zealand will be entitled to 20 hours' free education each week under "landmark" early childhood plans announced yesterday. In the biggest change in early childhood education since 1989, Education Minister Trevor Mallard promised the $483 million injection over four years would make it easier to claim entitlements and more profitable to work while children are in early learning.
May 24, 2004
Los Angeles Times
Hoping to create a groundswell of support statewide, the nonprofit Preschool California — which promotes publicly funded preschools for 4-year-olds — met recently with educators, businesspeople and community representatives in six cities, including Anaheim. The meetings are a way to share research and create strategies for developing support for a billion-dollar education initiative that Preschool California said, though costly, is necessary to meet families' needs.
May 23, 2004
Times Union, Albany, NY
We believe that early education -- prekindergarten in particular -- must be central to the school funding debate. The debate focuses instead on whether free public pre-k serves as a necessary foundation for all 4-year-olds, or whether it's a luxury that New York can afford to provide only to a few.

Resources

This paper, from the Center for Law and Social Policy’s (CLASP) Jennifer Mezey, discusses the positive effects of federal and state child care assistance to low-income working families in the past as well as the effects of recent cuts in that assistance.