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Recent early education news and updates

In the News

Pre-K Expansion, the Silent Partner in the Dem’s School-Funding Scheme


June 23, 2017
John Mooney

The possibility of nearly $150 million in new aid for New Jersey schools may be stealing the political spotlight right now, but there’s another school item in the fiscal 2018 budget debates that could have bigger consequences. A central part of the Democratic package put forward last week was $25 million in aid for the…

New study backs academic rigor for preschoolers. Oh, please.


June 23, 2017
Valerie Strauss

Here we go again. A new study finds that preschool classrooms — those in which teachers provide “high doses” of activities “emphasizing language, preliteracy and math concepts” — give “positive” academic benefits to children as measured by standardized tests, and that black students generally get a bigger boost than others. Think flashcards. According to the study,…

Should preschool concentrate on building forts or math skills?


June 22, 2017
Maureen Downey

Many parents bemoan academically oriented preschools, contending the trend squelches the natural curiosity and creativity of young children and tethers them to their seats when they should be running through meadows and building blanket forts. The argument is children learn through play and formal lessons in phonics and math can wait until kids are older. But…

US Trails in Early Childhood Education Enrollment


June 22, 2017
Lauren Camera

States across the U.S. are taking more seriously the importance of early childhood education and ramping up their offerings, but compared to the rest of the world, the U.S. has a long way to go. While enrollment rates for children under age three hover just below 30 percent – the middle of the pack compared to…

Come Together: New Poll Finds High Bipartisan Support for Improving Early Education


June 21, 2017
Carolyn Phencie

Seventy-nine percent of voters in a new poll want Congress and the Trump administration to work together to improve the quality of child care and preschool and make it more affordable, according to a  new poll from the First Five Years Fund , an early childhood education advocacy group. “Voters understand that birth through age 5 is a critical time in a child’s…

How the 2017-18 funding increase for California education will be spent


June 21, 2017
Justin Allen, Daniel J. Willis, & John Fensterwald

The Legislature passed a $183 billion state budget for 2017-18 last week that includes a $3.2 billion increase in funding under Proposition 98, the formula that determines how much of the General Fund will go to K-12 school, community colleges and state-funded preschool programs. The additional $3.2 billion represents an increase of 4.4 percent over…

Funds to Expand Pre-Kindergarten in High-Need School Districts


June 21, 2017

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $5 million in funding is available to establish pre-kindergarten programs for three or four-year-old students at high-need school districts across New York. A preference in funding will be provided to high-need school districts that do not currently have a State funded pre-kindergarten program. “Every child deserves access to a quality education and this funding…

World Refugee Day: Child Education Suffers as Millions of Children Unable to Go to School


June 20, 2017
Josh Lowe

Millions of refugee children around the world have either fallen out of education or are at risk of doing so, while the people violating their rights are confident they will go unpunished, a leading charity CEO has warned. “You’re basically looking at an entire primary school generation losing the opportunity for education before the international…

Positive engagement in preschool key to developmental gains


June 20, 2017

Many interventions and programs designed to improve low-income children’s lives focus on providing high-quality early-childhood education. Preschool classrooms that are emotionally supportive, well-organized, and cognitively stimulating can help boost children’s learning and development. Yet for the most part, focusing on the quality of early-childhood education has emphasized teachers, often missing the central role that children…

Sweden’s gender-neutral preschools produce kids who are more likely to succeed


June 19, 2017
Lisa MacLellan

Inside a handful of public kindergartens in Sweden, toys are never divided into traditional gender camps. Dolls and baby strollers mingle freely with cars and wooden blocks. In posters, dump trucks haul around beaded jewelry, a bionic robot wears a tutu, and it’s not a female or male Barbie who does the dishes—that’s left to…