Early Education in the News
Economists argue that educating children in these vital years is also a superb development initiative, producing more high school and college graduates with a potential for higher earnings, while reducing the demands for remedial education, repeating grades, crime prevention, and prisons down the road.
The $825,000 cut to prekindergarten statewide comes at a time when several local educators say they already struggle to adequately finance the programs.
Thanks to far-sighted leadership at both the state and local level, the pre-kindergarten program has suffered few ill effects from the recession and repeated school funding cuts. We hope this leadership bodes well for the future of the program, which remains too small to have a major impact on the state's preschool population.
After decades of early education being set aside in North Dakota, programs such as pre-K are on the upswing in the state thanks to federal aid. The state has received nearly $30 million in stimulus funds, which can be used for early childhood education or pre-K programming.
One of the biggest reasons preschool teachers site leaving the field is salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages of preschool teachers were $23,870 in May 2008, with the bottom 10 percent earning less than $16,030.
The teacher is Kaltun Guled, a Somali "home visitor" with the Parent-Child Home Program, which aims to prepare children challenged by limited educational opportunities for entering school. Based on the premise that there's a connection between parent-child verbal interaction and success in school, the program models reading and play activities to parents who might otherwise not have the ability, or the opportunity, to do it on their own.
The program, which accepts 180 students and is always full, has accepted students on a first-come, first-served basis, but with the poor economy the school system expects demand for the free preschool program to increase.
It’s too early to tell whether the recession has had a profound effect on public schools’ educational mission. But parents and educators across the nation say it’s already bringing subtle changes to the culture of many public schools as some families seek the personal attention they received from private schools.
Data from the local school system shows that its pre-K program is getting results that help young children create a sound footing for their education. Since the program began in 2005 when legislation was passed for the state to fund it, the pre-K program has grown from 40 students in two classrooms to 400 students in 20 classrooms at 16 sites across the system.
Looking back to our younger years, many of us recall kindergarten and early elementary grades, and because of those memories we assume that preschool should be about worksheets and homework and packing our little ones’ brains with ABCs and arithmetic. Not so. Of course, preschool is about learning, but for 3- and 4-year-olds learning is primarily the act of play.
Governor Jon S. Corzine on Jan. 6 signed an Executive Order establishing the New Jersey Council for Young Children. The role of the council will be to ensure collaboration and coordination among early childhood programs in the state and maintain compliance with federal guidelines.
Child-care advocates in the U.S. have called on government to increase support for high-quality child care. The 2008 economic-stimulus package contained $2 billion in child-care aid, bringing total federal child-care aid to $7 billion last year. Many people, however, prefer that government stay out of early-childhood care, leaving responsibility to families and holding down costs to taxpayers.
Louisiana is making "significant progress" toward preparing youngsters for kindergarten, according to data released last month, but educators say more must be done to provide universal preschool to all children. In terms of education, pre-K enrollment in Louisiana public schools increased 57 percent between 2000 and 2009, raising the total head count from 21,290 in the 2000-01 school year to 33,438 during the 2008-09 school year.
[Gov.] Freudenthal says Even Start, which costs the state $1.4M, duplicates other childhood and adult literacy programs. Even Start has five centers across the state and supporters say it helps in ways other programs can't.
Recent studies have shown a remarkable return on investment in preschool programs. Perhaps KEES money would be better spent at the other end of a student’s journey — the beginning — building an economic foundation on which higher education can grow and prosper.
Some of Hawaii's business leaders ... believe high-quality and convenient childcare makes for more productive workers now. Plus, they see a future benefit: Children who spend time in good day-care will be better workers tomorrow.
Even though the poor economy has restricted the money available for these early programs, state lawmakers have increased funding for pre-K in the last several years. But as states try to cope with shrinking revenues—a situation expected to last at least a couple of more years—they will find it more difficult to do so.
For years, imagination was thought of as a way for children to escape from reality, and once they reached a certain age, it was believed they would push fantasy aside and deal with the real world. But, increasingly, child-development experts are recognizing the importance of imagination and the role it plays in understanding reality.
Southeastern Wisconsin could benefit economically by increasing the quality of early childhood education centers, but doing so presents a daunting tradeoff: more than doubling the expense of caring for infants and young children up to age 5. A three-year study by Public Policy Forum researchers released Tuesday found that a system of high-quality early childhood education programs would cost about $11,500 per child, per year.
The state-funded, legislative-mandated program called Voluntary PreKindergarten was created to prepare every 4-year-old in Florida for kindergarten. The program is in its fifth year, yet not one county across the state is anywhere near 100 percent enrollment. Still, enrollment numbers are growing here and across the state.