Early Education in the News
In Texas, a manicurist is required to have more hours of training than the person caring for your child at day care. And for the average working parent, decent state standards are a commonsense starting-point upon which quality child care centers would be spurred by market forces to improve.
Starting Saturday at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media will host its first conference, called "Fred Forward." The last two days of the four-day conference will bring together more than 60 experts in children's media to explore "creative curiosity, new media and learning."
A new report by the national business group, America's Edge, concludes that support for quality early care and education is one of the best investments we can make to jump-start our state economy while laying the foundation for a stronger work force and economic security in the future. The new research shows that early learning investments are highly effective in generating local sales for Main Street-type businesses.
Some argue that a good preschool can be a great foundation for a child's education. Plus, some parents say, it's unfair to throw a child into a classroom structure without any preparation - and it's unfair for the teacher to have to deal with varying levels of kindergarten prep among children. Others wonder how far a child's education can be pushed.
To be sure, U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama has been pushing for healthier meals in schools, and many child-care centers and preschools have upgraded nutritional standards in response to higher government standards, parental pressure or both. However, many U.S. private child-care facilities aren't subject to federal rules, and can–and do–serve a lot of low-cost, sugary, empty-calorie snacks.
A week after the House Social Services Budget Committee had recommended $7 million in cuts to early childhood programs, the Senate's Social and Rehabilitation Services Budget Subcommittee on Tuesday recommended $12 million in cuts in three grant programs - including $5 million from Smart Start, a reduction of 59 percent; $5 million from Early Childhood Block Grants, a 45 percent reduction; and $2 million from Early Head Start, a 57 percent cut.
The latest preschool ratings are out for centers that offer the state's Voluntary Prekindergarten program. The scores, compiled by the state Department of Education, allow parents to compare providers. Known as VPK Provider Kindergarten Readiness Rates, they measure how well preschools prepare 4-year-olds for kindergarten.
Based on our research, and our review of others' research, we have consistently advocated for universal access to high-quality preschool. The United States faces serious problems that effective early education can help alleviate, most notably high rates of school failure, dropout, crime, and delinquency, as well as far too many youth who are not well prepared for the workforce.
There's a report out showing that New York should keep up investments in pre-k and child care as an effective way to stimulate the economy and build a stronger workforce. The report, entitled "Strengthening New York Businesses through Investments in Early Care and Education" shows that for every dollar invested in early care and education in New York, $1.86 is generated in additional spending within the state... those dollars trickle down and the investments generate economic growth at the local level.
Nevada is among the states that require the most education and training for pre-kindergarten teachers, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Institute. The report advocates more uniform training to improve early childhood education, raising salaries for pre-K educators and consequently improving teacher retention.
A 12-year-old state program to help children in low-income families get off to a healthy start and get ready for school has such scattered oversight that it could be prone to fraud, according to the state budget director.
Studies suggest, [a Pre-K Now report] says, that teachers with bachelor's degrees and specialized training in early education are more effective than those educators who don't hold such credentials. In other words, it's not enough to be good with kids or to like working with them; teachers benefit from specific training.
For a fourth straight year, lawmakers have said no to a preliminary step toward state-funded, voluntary preschool programs.
While other Southern states are slicing pre-school funding to cover budget deficits, Louisiana's Cecil J. Picard LA-4 Early Childhood Program is safe — for now.
North Carolina's programs for children younger than age 5 are a national model, said Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton told educators at summit on early childhood education Tuesday.
Lawmakers are considering a measure that would eliminate junior kindergarten in Hawai'i public schools and move up the date children are eligible to enter kindergarten, changes that would require thousands of late-born 5-year-olds to wait an additional year before they can start school. Despite junior-K's problems, educators, parents and early-education advocates say the program is helpful and that the proposed changes will create a burden for parents at a time when they can least afford it.
Alongside the many millions of dollars Virginia is considering shearing off of its support of public schools is a little nick that would have an outsized impact on children's education. The $1.5 million a year the state now puts into the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation is a small investment in a big initiative, a public/private partnership dedicated to making sure youngsters reach school ready to learn.
More than one in 10 children begin primary school unable to learn and unwilling to build relationships with their peers, a "disengaged generation waiting in the wings", said the thinktank Demos today in a report. Researchers said that data from the Millennium Cohort Study showed 66,000 children scored "borderline" or "abnormal" in tests designed to reveal behavioural and emotional problems that are intimately linked to under-achievement at school, risk of truanting, and exclusion.
A bill to require teachers in state pre-kindergarten programs to hold a bachelor's degree by July 2013 has been filed for the third consecutive year by Rep. Janet Long, D-Seminole. A 2008 report by the National Institute for Early Education Research concluded that while Florida is a national leader in providing pre-kindergarten classes, the program falls way behind in quality and spending.
This month the state is celebrating having provided free pre-K to one million youngsters in our state during the past 17 years. Georgia becomes the first state in the nation to serve more than one million pre-K children in a voluntary, universal, lottery-funded program.