Early Education in the News
The long-range hope is that the Indiana General Assembly will put the state in the same ranks with the majority of other states that support preschool. The need for such a measure is obvious and one that has been demonstrated in vivid detail in this community.
[Officials] talk about an initiative to rate Columbia's early-childhood private centers. They also share plans to implement a statewide universal pre-kindergarten program years from now, among other ideas for improving access to early schooling.
To enhance early educational opportunities for Kansas children, Governor Mark Parkinson has created the Kansas Early Childhood Advisory Council. Early childhood education and developmental programs have shown to enhance children's cognitive, social, and emotional development to better prepare them for kindergarten.
Following another push in Rapid City this month to start a pre-kindergarten pilot program in the state, opponents continue to argue that a state-funded program would unnecessarily reinvent the wheel and pour money into programs that have not been proven successful.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sandy Garrett said Friday that Oklahoma's programs for 4-year-olds, programs that are rated the country's best, won't be eliminated as a result of budget cuts.
Efforts are under way to create a child-care rating system in California that would assess quality based on staff education, parent involvement, adult-child interaction and other factors that advocates say are important in supporting learning and development among very young children. A child-care business that simply meets basic health-and-safety regulations, for example, would receive a lower rating than one in which caregivers also hold advanced degrees in child psychology.
Some advocates for early childhood education are worried that the budget for public 4-year-old programs will be cut by the state Education Department after the Legislature changed how it allocated agency funds.
As a law enforcement professional, I understand that when we invest in preparing our children to succeed in school, at work and in life, we not only help our children but we also make our communities stronger and safer by reducing crime and saving tax dollars. Research demonstrates that access to quality early learning programs, including quality pre-kindergarten programs, makes future unemployment and crime much less likely, especially among low-income, at-risk children.
The Department of Early Education and Care is developing new quality standards for preschool programs, which will use the educational attainment levels of staff as a quality indicator.
Gov. Chet Culver said Wednesday the state is getting closer to meeting a goal of providing access to preschool for all 4-year-olds living in Iowa. Culver said another 4,500 Iowa children will be able to attend a quality preschool in the coming year thanks to legislative approval of the fourth-year of a preschool initiative that eventually will total more than $60 million.
The economic health of the Hampton Roads region rests in the hands of infants and toddlers. That was the message shared at an early childhood education summit on Wednesday at Christopher Newport University.
These are the children of the Great Recession, a cohort that will experience a decline in fortunes that erases 30 years of social progress, the report contends. Known as the Child and Youth Well-Being Index, the report predicts that in the next few years, the economy may recover and the unemployment rate may drop, but the generation growing up now could feel the harsh impact of the recession for years to come.
Kids who had a consistent bedtime at the age of 4 scored higher on a number of tests, including some that measured literacy and math abilities. Earlier bedtimes and parental rules about keeping bedtime routines also were associated with higher scores on developmental measures.
The D.C. Council restored millions of dollars for children's programs, a move praised by advocates. A politically popular effort to expand free, voluntary pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds in the city received its full funding -- about $18 million.
Children at the Laconia Early Learning Center have been taking a non-traditional way to learning, through the use of music, a tool which has helped the development at a younger age. Music has been deemed a highly engaging mental and physical activity, which has the potential to develop the specific behavioral, emotional, and academic skills needed for all learning as it engages and motivates students.
A pre-kindergarten program in South Dakota would not only ensure that students in poverty begin kindergarten as prepared as other students, but would also save the state dollars in the long run, according to a group of education and business leaders. Through grassroots efforts, the members of the task force hope to develop a pilot program for Rapid City children by the fall of 2011.
Each year since 2006, more children have entered Cincinnati Public Schools kindergartens ready to read, a strong predictor of future academic success, local early childhood experts say. But as they plan for a new school year, many early childhood educators worry that after four years of solid progress, this fall's entering kindergartners may instead lose ground.
As our federal leaders look for the best possible investments to jump-start our economy, I have a suggestion that may surprise some people: Consider early learning programs. New research from the business leader group America's Edge shows investment in high-quality early learning is among the most effective ways to infuse millions of dollars into local and state economies, while creating new jobs in our communities and building a foundation for sustained economic security.
Pennsylvania has made attracting science, technology, engineering and math jobs to the commonwealth a key strategy for our economic health. If we really want a workforce that can fill these jobs, we need to continue our investment in quality early education programs such as Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, Keystone STARS, Child Care Works, Early Intervention, Nurse-Family Partnership, Head Start Supplemental and Parent-Child Home Program.
Despite unprecedented national recognition of the importance of early childhood education, efforts to expand programs remain hamstrung by limited funding and decades of conventional thinking about education timelines and structures, said state and national experts during a Thursday conference on the topic. The funding challenges for pre-K in Louisiana and across the country come at a time when scientists and economists have amassed more evidence than ever before on the value of early childhood programs.