Early Education in the News
Any discussion of investments in education with the goal of preparing the workforce of the future needs to begin in early childhood. In the first five years of life, children undergo tremendous development. If children receive support for growth in language, development of motor skills, social skills and emotional support, they are more likely to succeed in school subsequently and to later contribute to society.
Child care centers often operate on wafer-thin margins, so it doesn't take many parents pulling their kids out of day care for some centers to see their meager profits evaporate. Pam Leffers, program director of the Early Childhood Alliance, worries that if accredited child care centers start to close during this economic downturn, some parents won't be able to find quality care for their children.
Inspired by research showing investments in early education provide more bang for the buck, the Akron Community Foundation will make funding programs for prekindergarten through third grade a priority.
Is an uneasy economy affecting local child care providers? Area licensed daycare center directors and state registered in-home caregivers have a mixed reaction to that phenomenon.
Kentucky offers free public preschool for 4-year-olds whose family income is below 150 percent of the federal poverty level -- for a family of four, that's about $32,000 a year. It also is available to 3-year-olds with disabilities. But [Gov. Steve] Beshear and advocates at yesterday's gathering said they would like to initially expand preschool to include all 3- and 4-year-olds with family incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level, or about $42,400 for a family of four.
As the District is in the midst of cost-cutting to fill a budget shortfall, and the economy throughout the region and the nation are in bad shape, I want to highlight a program that education advocates and the Council of the District of Columbia believe remains a sound investment that will have significant lasting pay-offs for our children.
I am pleased that my Pre-Kindergarten Enhancement and Expansion Amendment Act, that was passed by the Council and became law just before the school year began, is in practice in public schools, public charter schools and community-based programs.
It is critical that we provide quality tools for endless learning, and in Maryland we are accomplishing that – starting at birth, through elementary, middle, high school, college, and well into adulthood. Maryland's average 2008 SAT score ranks second in the College Board's Middle States region and, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research, Maryland ranks seventh nationwide in prekindergarten quality.
The city will reduce funds for 21 day care sites in January as part of efforts to close a yawning budget deficit, city officials said on Wednesday. While officials made it clear that the sites would not be closed, critics charged that the reductions would have the same effect, by destabilizing the centers to the point that they would be forced to shut down.
Studies have shown even the youngest students have a high capacity for learning. But when it comes to what kindergarten program to choose, the question goes from how much can they learn, to how much can they handle?
Fact- For every dollar spent on early childhood education, the return is 12-fold. This is figured on the additional financial strain on society for special tutoring, probation, court services, law enforcement, chemical dependency counseling, and incarceration.
Educators and some state lawmakers are calling for significant increases in funding to expand such early childhood education programs and make them available to more schools where students are struggling academically. But a proposed change in the way the state distributes pre-kindergarten grants could shift money to other districts and schools, making it harder to sustain existing programs.
Alaska has handicapped its young children by being one of only 12 states with no state-funded education system for pre-kindergarten students. But it's worth noting that other states, not as wealthy as ours, do offer state-funded pre-school, for example.
One of Tennessee's most popular and successful initiatives may be in jeopardy — again. The $80 million state-funded pre-kindergarten program could be on the chopping block as a result of a projected $780 million budget shortage, but Gov. Phil Bredesen vowed he would cut in other places before touching pre-K.
The presentation described a state that does not necessarily provide quality birth through age 5 educational opportunities for children attending daycare, or resources for stay-at-home parents. [Junior program officer for education Joyce] Medina said "early childhood education is generally underappreciated in America," and, even in instances where resources might be available to parents, "families that could benefit the most from early learning resources tend to have the least access to them."
Should preschool be more about ABCs or learning to play with others? With the help of Twiggle the Turtle, scientists found out that youngsters do better if they do both.
State prekindergarten programs reserved for low-income students are squeezing out thousands of middle class families unable to afford early education, according to a national study released Wednesday. The study by the Washington-based advocacy group Pre-K Now shows that 700,000 middle-income families in 20 states are feeling the "pre-k pinch" as the economy spirals toward a recession.
Access to books can have a critical impact on the future of low-income children. Ms. Neuman's studies of 100,000 school-age children nationwide found that access to books - and not poverty - is the critical variable affecting learning to read.
The School Funding Reform Act, which the state Legislature passed in January, expands public preschools beyond New Jersey's 31 Abbott districts to any school district serving low-income children. Under the expansion, eligible districts with low-income students will receive $7,000 to $13,000 per pupil to implement the program.
The day care scene is a microcosm of what's happening in some places in the City of Buffalo, as educators and community leaders search for new and effective ways to fight child poverty here. Right now, these efforts focus on education — specifically, on literacy skills. And increasingly, they focus on pupils in the earliest grades or — better yet — on youngsters not yet in school.
The basic requirement to teach at a reputable early childcare center is the Florida Child Care Professional Credential. Referred to as the FCCPC, it consists of a minimum of 120 hours of early childhood instruction, 480 contact hours with children, ages birth through age 8, and at least two methods of formal assessment that offers two areas of certification. While the FCCPC will allow you to work with young children, a movement is underfoot for instructors to get more education.