Early Education in the News
Today, we're happy to report the Denver Preschool Program now has 5,100 children enrolled — well ahead of projections. Voters in 2006 took a leap of faith when they narrowly approved a sales tax for the program, deciding that every $10 purchase in Denver would include a 1.2-cent tax for the preschool program.
A new statewide poll released recently reveals that six out of 10 Arizonans would vote "no" on a measure opening the door for the Arizona Legislature to redirect funds from the state's early childhood education and health program known as First Things First. The release of this poll comes on the heels of a ground-breaking report by Save the Children showing that Arizona is among the bottom five states in preparing children for elementary school.
A Rand Corp. study in California found that children from all income strata attended poor-quality programs unless they could get into state-funded preschool. This says that government should help give families access to effective preschools.
Staff at Illinois pre-schools are singing a sad tune after seeing the governor's plan to cut funding. If the state takes those funds away 100,000 Illinois children would be affected.
According to Mary Lynn Redmond, director of foreign language education at Wake Forest University, young children pick up a foreign language easier than older children and adults. "[Children in] elementary grades and preschool are very much in development stages. Their linguistic, cognition and emotional ability changes over time," she said, emphasizing the teaching approach is more "playful" and conversational.
A new study, published in the journal Child Development by researchers from University of Virginia and Ohio State University demonstrates that classmates and peers play a role in the formation of both receptive (listening) and expressive (speaking) language skills. The researchers found that when a child's classmates had more advanced language skills, the child would be able to speak and understand words at a faster pace.
The state would also raise income taxes on people earning $400,000 to $500,000 and those earning over $1 million and cancel the expansion of a preschool program as part of Gov. Jon Corzine's plan to close a multibillion-dollar budget gap, the treasurer said.
What we do know is that high-quality early childhood education has been proven to save up to $17 for every dollar it costs because it leads to better academic success, fewer special-education expenditures, greater chances for employment and productivity, and less risk of ending up in jail. We have known for decades that the key to school readiness and becoming a lifelong learner lies in the early experiences that help develop important qualities such as persistence, perseverance, curiosity, the capacity to tolerate frustration and the self-esteem to keep on trying even after making a mistake.
Early childhood advocates say planned cuts to Ohio's pre-kindergarten programs will shortchange children at the most critical time in their development, but the Ohio Senate says it simply has no more money to offer.
A plan to overhaul Washington's K-12 education system was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Chris Gregoire, but she vetoed parts of the measure focusing on preschool and gifted education.
Two Wilfrid Laurier University professors have found that when parents play with their young children, they hardly spend any time teaching them about amounts and numbers. Yet if parents knew how to talk about math concepts, they'd give their children an advantage that would last all through their school years.
The early bird catches the worm, but Mississippi remains one of the few states in the nation without a state-funded pre-kindergarten program, which likely would go a long way toward moving the state up from the bottom rankings of educational progress.
Children participating in CPC were less likely to be held back in school, to be identified in special education, or to drop out than their control group peers, and they also have better outcomes as adults. It's hard to argue that such a program-which was run by the Chicago Public Schools, hardly an agency known for its unique effectiveness-isn't scalable given sufficient public resources.
While some portions of Gov. Deval L. Patrick's ambitious eight-year education reform proposals might have to wait - including a plan to make community colleges free for all high school graduates - the push for universal preschool education must not lose momentum, even in the face of the economic downturn. Statistics show that children are 30 percent more likely to graduate from high school if they have an early education experience, according to John B. Kagan, president and chief executive officer of Square One.
Underlying all this activity and interest is the proposition that government -- state and federal -- should pay for at least a year of preschool for every American 4-year-old. One rationale is to boost overall educational achievement. Another is to close school-readiness gaps between the haves and have-nots.
Are you ready to receive some really good news? West Virginia is one of the national leaders in providing preschool opportunities.
Lawmakers trimmed controversial programs like anti-bullying and preschool quality rating system from the bill. Supporters say the bill encourages high schoolers to stay in school, but opponents say early childhood education needs more funding.
If state leaders want to improve Ohio's education system, they shouldn't be slashing $244 million in state aid to early-care and education programs for low-income youngsters, advocates say. Katie Kelly, director of Groundwork, a statewide coalition of early-care advocates, said the cuts will mean that fewer at-risk children are prepared to start school and will lead to higher costs for the state down the road.
We should make sure that the care and education we are investing our public dollars in is of high quality. Every dollar we invest in high-quality early childhood programs for low-income children yields big returns. Kids in high-quality programs do better, dramatically reducing the need for investment in remedial services later on.
The brain research argument is that the early years of a child's life, from the prenatal period onward, are when the brain is developing and growing faster than any other time. This period is critical and sets the stage for all of later learning and adult functioning.