Early Education in the News
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.
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.
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."
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.
Even though some towns only have a few students who meet the requirements and none of the South Bergenite towns currently offers a comparable program for the general student body, a new state mandate requires school districts to provide full-day pre-kindergarten classes for economically disadvantaged students. In order to meet the state's new requirement, several of the towns in the South Bergenite area are turning to the South Bergen Jointure Commission (SBJC).
Despite these tough economic times, Gov. Phil Bredesen feels pre-kindergarten education could use state dollars. Law enforcement and education leaders said spending the money could mean saving money and futures later.
Portland voters overwhelmingly renewed a five-year property tax levy that pays for grants to nonprofit organizations that provide early-childhood education, after-school care and mentoring programs. "I think Portland voters have proven that although these are tough times and concerns about jobs and mortgage payments are on people's minds, I think they recognize a good long-term investment in the city's kids," said City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who spearheaded the levy and leads a committee that approves the grants.
A movement to expand Georgia's preschool program and boost its funding is growing, attracting support from lawmakers, child-care providers, children's advocates and even curious attorneys. The proposals largely revolve around clearing up a state waiting list that now numbers more than 8,000 children; expanding the program to include three-year-olds in addition to four-year-olds; and raising the funding to help private providers, in particular, keep offering the services.
Preschoolers with a parent away at war were more likely to show aggression than other young children in military families, according to the first published research on how the very young react to wartime deployment. Children, 3 to 5 years old, with a deployed parent scored an average of five points higher for behavior problems on two questionnaires widely used in child psychology than did the children whose Marine-parents weren't deployed.
As families look to save money during a belt-tightening economy, some preschools in the area said they are seeing record-low attendance numbers. A down economy means preschool has become a luxury that's being put on hold by some parents, forcing some schools to offer deals to make programs more affordable.