Early Education in the News

The State-Journal Register
April 28, 2016

Some Illinois business leaders said Wednesday the state needs to invest more in early childhood programs to ensure students will be prepared for future careers in fields requiring math and science education.

Members of ReadyNation Illinois called on lawmakers to support a $75 million increase in early childhood programs that can help prevent children from falling behind early in academic areas that can prepare them to take jobs in fields related to science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

Mountain View Voice
April 28, 2016

When it comes to education, the first five years of a child's life are in many ways the most important. Early brain development is in full swing, making it a critical time to cultivate cognitive and emotional skills that will put kids on track to succeed when they hit kindergarten.

But for most families of young children in California, important resources for early childhood development remain out of reach. Most families are unable to pay for child care and preschool on top of the high cost of living, meaning many kids are going into kindergarten well behind their peers, a cascading disadvantage that follows them into middle and high school.

Star Tribune
April 28, 2016

Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday urged legislative leaders to approve additional funding to hire school counselors, among other professional staff, and a grant program to improve the state's preschool facilities.

Dayton said he wants $13.1 million for a grant program that would increase the number of school counselors, psychologists, social workers and other staff. Minnesota has 1 counselor for every 792 students, a high ratio that advocates say leaves students under-served.

The governor also wants $40 million for a grant program that school districts could tap into to pay for facilities expansion for Dayton's goal of eventual universal preschool.

Dayton's request comes with about a month left in the legislative session. House Republicans on Monday approved a supplemental budget for education that had no new spending. The legislation paid for new programs through savings -- about $55 million -- the state expects once some school districts repay outstanding state loans by the end of the year.

Medical Daily
April 27, 2016

A child’s brain is designed to absorb information at a fast pace: During the first few years of life, they create 700 to 1,000 new neural connections every second, making their early years integral to how their brain functions for the rest of their childhood and adolescent development. Knowing this, a team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine studied parental impact at each stage of development, and discovered the earlier parents invest in their child’s brain structure growth, the better.

The Manchester Journal
April 26, 2016

In Vermont, teachers who work in early learning tend to have satisfaction with their jobs. What they don't have is good pay unless they work in the public schools, according to a report from the Department for Children and Families.

The report is based on three surveys of those who work with children in day care and preschool up through third grade as well as those in after-school programs up to age 14, according to Murphy.

Workers in public school programs and private centers as well as family child care providers were surveyed as part of Vermont's Early Learning Challenge grant. The idea was to take a snapshot of what is happening in the field to get a baseline and see what is working and what could be changed to support high-quality early care and learning.

The results showed that public school programs had the most-qualified and best-paid instructors, while child care that is based in family homes had the least-educated and lowest-paid workers.

Now Decatur
April 26, 2016

Baby TALK has been recognized by ExceleRate as a top early learning and development provider.

Baby TALK Early Head Start received the Gold Circle of Quality designation from ExceleRate Illinois. ExceleRate is a comprehensive system that allows early childhood programs to apply to be recognized for the services that they offer to their families. Gold was the highest designation that could be given. The award was available to all early childhood programs in the state of Illinois.

MPBN News
April 25, 2016

Before her family moved closer to the city, where they could afford more living space, she attended the more affluent Upper Moreland district, which is predominantly white and, according to state and local records, spends about $1,200 more per student than William Penn. That difference adds up, Jameria says, to better buildings, smaller class sizes, take-home textbooks and less teacher turnover. "It's never going to be fair," she says, comparing her life now to her former classmates. "They're always going to be a step ahead of us. They'll have more money than us, and they'll get better jobs than us, always." So Jameria's parents have signed onto a lawsuit, arguing that Pennsylvania's school funding system is unfair and inadequate. To the Millers, money matters. But not everyone agrees. . .

A new study from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University is just the latest to suggest that preschool, when it's high-quality, can narrow achievement gaps before they grow too wide. With strong support from the state's then-new governor, Mike Easley, the program grew quickly. At peak enrollment, in the 2008-09 school year, it provided free preschool to roughly 35,000 at-risk kids at a cost of $170 million.

Allied News
April 25, 2016

Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Robert Casey joined early childhood experts and 200 business executives in Hershey this week to discuss how investing in quality early education reduces public costs in health and education at the Early Learning Investment Commission’s 2016 Economic Summit on Early Childhood Investment. The summit highlights early learning investment strategies that promote workforce and economic development.

“Children who participate in high-quality pre-kindergarten perform better in school, graduate at higher rates, and earn more throughout their working lives compared to peers that do not have access to early learning programs,” said Governor Wolf. “My 2016-17 budget proposes a $60 million increase in high-quality early childhood programs, which will help pave a path for Pennsylvania’s children for life-long success in school and the workforce.”

Tribune Herald
April 25, 2016

According to numbers released last week by the Economic Policy Institute, the average cost of full-time child care for a 4-year-old in Hawaii, either in preschool or at a daycare center, is $9,312. The average price of in-state college tuition in Hawaii was $8,216. The institution’s estimates vary somewhat from those generated by Child Care Aware of America in May of 2015, which tabulated average child care costs in the state at between $7,600-$9,300 yearly and the average annual price tag to attend a four-year, public college at about $9,700. But the conclusions of both studies are essentially the same: Early childhood education is now effectively as hefty of a financial burden as college. 

UNICEF
April 21, 2016
In a remote community in Timor-Leste, a new preschool gives children like Roque and Domingas a place to play and learn. UNICEF and partners are working together to build more preschools throughout the country, so all children will have access to early childhood education. 
 
Early childhood development and education programmes give children the best possible chance to succeed and stay in school, and playing is an integral part of learning and developing, as well as a basic right for every child.
 
Unfortunately, few children in Timor-Leste have a chance to attend preschool, which contributes to difficulties in education later in life, such as dropping out of school.
WFAA
April 21, 2016
As enrollment for next school year begins, there’s a new push across DFW to get children in pre-K. Irving ISD is starting a new program aimed at boosting enrollment. For a group of eager four and five years olds inside, every new lesson was a reason to celebrate.
 
At pre-K, they’re learning not just shapes, colors, and numbers. Teachers say they’re building a foundation for a lifetime of learning and working with others. Pre-K shows kids how to make friends and work as a team. It show them how school works, and it’s important to start early.
 
Research shows 80 percent of brain development happens by the time a child is five years old. Studies show children who attend pre-K are more likely to graduate from high school, and do better on state assessment tests than their peers who did not attend pre-K.
PR Newswire
April 21, 2016
Recognized as the No. 1 digital learning resource for young children, the award-winning ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy has become a trusted curriculum for millions of parents and more than 65,000 teachers across the United States. To further support families and early childhood educators in preparing children for kindergarten, Age of Learning, Inc., the creator of ABCmouse, today released an unprecedented, comprehensive analysis of Kindergarten Readiness standards across all 50 states. The Kindergarten Readiness Report, available at www.ageoflearning.com/KR, reveals substantial common ground among state Kindergarten Readiness standards, with 15 specific skills that 85 percent or more of states would like to see children acquire before entering kindergarten.
 
Based on the common standards identified in the Kindergarten Readiness Report, Age of Learning has developed and today also announced the launch of an in-depth Kindergarten Readiness assessment, which parents can use with the ABCmouse curriculum to help better prepare children for kindergarten. With more than 7,000 learning activities and 650 lessons, ABCmouse is available on computers, tablets, and smartphones and is used by millions of children at home, in more than 65,000 U.S. classrooms, and in more than one third of all U.S. public libraries. Large-scale research studies assessing the effectiveness of ABCmouse have concluded that ABCmouse accelerates learning and helps children make significant gains in early literacy and math skills.
 
Available in a new ABCmouse Assessment Center, the easy-to-use Kindergarten Readiness assessment was developed with guidance from the leading education and assessment research organization SRI International, and from the independent research institution NORC at the University of Chicago.
 
Academic areas covered in the assessment include Language, Literacy, and Math—domains in which 100 percent of the 50 states have established specific Kindergarten Readiness standards. 

 

Huffington Post
April 21, 2016

In a recent article for the Brookings Institution, Ruth Curran Neild, acting director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), argued that educational research is on the right track. The one thing it lacks, she says, is adequate funding. I totally agree. Of course there are improvements that could be made to education policies and practices, but the part of the education field working on using science to improve outcomes for children is very much going in the right direction. Many are frustrated that it is not getting there fast enough, but we need more wind in our sails, not a change of course.

What has radically changed over the past 15 years is that there is now far more support than there once was for randomized evaluations of replicable programs and practices, and as a result we are collectively building a strong set of studies that use the kinds of designs common in medicine and agriculture but not, until recently, in education.  We recently published a review of research on early childhood programs, in which we located 32 studies of 22 different programs. Twenty-nine of the studies used randomized designs, thanks primarily to funding and leadership from a federal investment called Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research (PCER). 

Philly News
April 21, 2016

Philadelphia's soda tax battle has gone full-on presidential.

Following comments former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made in Philadelphia Wednesday in support of Mayor Kenney's a proposed tax on sugary drinks to universal fund pre-K education, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Thursday he's against the tax.

Kenney's proposal calls for a 3-cents per ounce tax on all non-diet sodas, sweetened teas, sports drinks, sugary juices and other beverages that contain sugar.

Clinton on Wednesday said, "I'm very supportive of the mayor's proposal to tax soda to get universal preschool for kids. I mean, we need universal preschool. And if that's a way to do it, that's how we should do it."

PR Newswire
April 21, 2016

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES), a leader in developing Digital Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum and school design, has been named a partner in the Federal government's new Early Education STEM initiative.

TIES is the first organization to deliberately build a Fab Lab – a maker space that uses digital design and fabrication to build STEM skills and creativity – for early childhood. In March 2016, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, in partnership with TIES and FableVision, launched the world's first Fab Lab for young learners (ages 3 to 10) to help them navigate the design process from concept to production, and turn their ideas into reality.

Alaska Dispatch News
April 20, 2016

According to the Department of Defense, 71 percent of all young Alaskans between the ages of 17 and 24 are unable to join the military, primarily because they are too poorly educated, too overweight, or have a record of crime or drug abuse. This matches the national rate. The National Commission on the Future of the Army recently warned of a “small pool of talent, and it is likely to shrink even more,” leading to “potential future challenges for military recruiting.” While there is no single solution to this problem, research highlighted by the national security organization Mission: Readiness shows that high-quality pre-K can address the major disqualifiers for military service by helping to boost graduation rates, deter youth from crime and reduce obesity rates. Long-term studies of early-education programs show impressive education and crime prevention outcomes. For example, children who participated in Michigan’s Perry Preschool were 44 percent more likely to graduate from high school. Another study found that children left out of the Chicago Child-Parent Centers program were 70 percent more likely than participants to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18.

Since quality is the key to early education’s benefits, the good news is that Alaska’s state pre-K program meets all 10 quality benchmarks from the National Institute for Early Education Research. The bad news is that the state Legislature has cut funding for this program, which currently serves only 3 percent of Alaska’s 4-year-olds. I urge state lawmakers to restore the $2 million for pre-K to help ensure that young Alaskans can “be all they can be” in college, the civilian workforce or the military for those who choose to serve.

89.3 KPCC
April 20, 2016

A new report estimates that the economic toll on Los Angeles County from the loss of funding for thousands of preschool seats later this year will be almost $600 million annually. Funding for nearly 11,000 preschool seats is going to run out in June when Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) loses its backing from the public early years agency First 5 L.A. But the report, by the independent research organization the Institute for Child Success, looked at the impact beyond lost educational opportunities. “The cost of cutting high quality pre-K in Los Angeles county will exceed the program dollars saved,” said ICS executive vice president Joe Waters.

LAUP currently spends $59.1 million on preschool contracts that fund 11,000 seats. After the First 5 LA funding expires, LAUP's budget will drop from $93.5 million to $29.9 million. . . “By 2020, two-thirds of U.S. jobs will require at least some post-secondary education," the report states. "But, at present, only 19 percent of L.A. County 11th graders are ready for English coursework at a California state college and only 13 percent are prepared for college coursework in math.” Without preschool, children may be even less successful in school leading to a future of low paying jobs, which also impacts economic activity and productivity.

Star Tribune
April 20, 2016

During the next few weeks the Minnesota House and Senate will hear from both parents and children’s groups urging support for a successful effort to ensure that more young children start school “ready to learn.” First instituted in 2007, that effort brought what’s known as a Quality Rating System (QRS) to child care and preschool programs — enabling parents to select programs that offer the nurturing and high-quality teaching their children deserve. High-quality child care and early-learning programs are a vital first step toward solving these challenges. Study after study shows that participation in quality preschool can lead to a range of positive outcomes, including fewer behavior problems, improved school readiness, reduced special education, and academic benefits that may last well into elementary school, high school and beyond. This research is based on state programs similar to those offered here in Minnesota, and on two studies that followed children who participated in quality programs in Michigan and Illinois and found that they were far less apt than nonparticipants to become involved in crime and more likely to graduate from high school.

For these reasons and more, Minnesota’s law enforcement and retired military leaders are longtime advocates for quality early-childhood experiences. Right now, our efforts are focused on sustaining the QRS system, because it can lead to better outcomes for children while also helping providers to boost the quality of their programs.

wral.com
April 19, 2016
Child care is an incredibly common expense for American families. According to a 2015 report published by ChildCare Aware of America, an advocacy group supporting access to high-quality child care, 11 million children under the age of 5 are in child care for an average of 36 hours per week in the United States. Though the arrangement can vary from in-home care to the aid of grandparents and neighbors, 35 percent of children receive center-based care at child care centers, preschools and Head Start programs. 
 
The team at Credio wanted to see how child care costs vary for families in every U.S. state. To do this, Credio analyzed data from ChildCare Aware of America's "Parents and the High Cost of Child Care" report -- which details the cost of full-time child care in centers -- along with 2014 median household income from the U.S. Census Bureau, which includes income generated by all members of a household.
 
Depending on the state, the percentage of median household income spent on child care for two children annually ranged greatly, from below 20 percent to north of 45 percent. Credio ranked the 50 U.S. states by this metric, and included the percent of median household income for one child, the average cost of care for two children, as well as the cost of one, as well as median household income for each state.
 
 
Yahoo! Finance
April 19, 2016
In more than half of the United States (33 states and Washington, D.C.), paying for child care is more expensive than college tuition.
 
That’s right. Depending on where you live, it’s cheaper to send a young adult to college than it is to send a 4-year-old to day care (or preschool).
 
The Economic Policy Institute recently released data about the cost of child care in the United States. The left-leaning think tank found that child care costs vary across regions and family types, accounting for the greatest variability in family budgets.
 
The Department of Health and Human Services considers child care affordable if it eats up less than 10 percent or less of a family’s income. According to the EPI, just two states — South Dakota and Wyoming — provide “affordable” child care for infants. Overall, in 40 U.S. states, the average child care expense for a family of four exceeds the 10 percent threshold.

Pages