Early Education in the News
Which would you rather have, smart kids or roads without potholes?
At the heart of the wish list is funding for children in the state's neediest school districts to attend preschool.
An estimated 130,000 new students could enroll when the program begins in August, mostly at existing preschools and private day-care centers.
When Gov. Tom Vilsack addresses lawmakers this month, expanding and improving preschool education across Iowa will be at the top of his priority list.
All the teachers in Francisca Sofia's school, run by the Ironbound Community Corp., are college graduates with special training in early childhood education.
Research shows that children who receive a high-quality pre-kindergarten education do better in school and in life.
While legislators gave final approval to a statewide pre-kindergarten program Thursday, they also acknowledged many details are still uncertain. No one is sure how many 4-year-olds will show up for the free classes when they start in eight months.
Judging Florida's new pre-kindergarten programs by how well 5-year-olds do on standardized tests could shortchange the state's neediest youngsters and wouldn't properly assess the quality of pre-K providers, critics argue.
Most three- and four-year-olds go to preschool these days — a big switch from 1960, when just 10 percent of them did, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. More working mothers and a wide acceptance of the benefits of early education have fostered the growth of preschools. But there's a downside: Many aren't very good.
The state now spends about $10 million per year on such programs, which Gov. Bredesen said have proven their worth in preparing youngsters for school.
Florida legislative leaders unveiled the outline for a new statewide pre-kindergarten program.
There's a noticeable difference between children who attended preschool and those who didn't, according to Donna Smith, a kindergarten teacher at Okatie Elementary School.
Preschool isn't just about providing a better education for Iowa's children. It promotes economic development.
Florida lawmakers will consider creating an education program for 4-year-olds that would fall far short of the nation's leading prekindergarten systems.
While many studies have shown preschool's short-term academic effects, the High/Scope Perry Preschool Study offers a rare glimpse into how far-reaching the gains can be.
The second annual survey of state preschool programs found a huge disparity in availability from state to state and even within state boundaries.
A new study finding that Tulsa's publicly funded pre-kindergarten program has produced academic gains for all students, regardless of race and income level, should serve as a serious boost for early education efforts in Oklahoma.
An intensive preschool program for low-income children in the early 1960s has made a huge difference in their lives, its benefits felt nearly 40 years later, a study shows.
Gov. Tom Vilsack promised nearly 300 Iowa early-childhood professionals on Wednesday that his budget proposal to the Legislature this year will include a considerable increase in money for early-childhood programs. Vilsack has proposed improvements to children's dental care, a rating system to monitor the quality of child-care facilities and accreditation programs for more of Iowa's preschools.
An experimental preschool program attended by a small group of needy Michigan children in the 1960s still is paying big benefits, according to the latest assessment of their lives.