Early Education in the News
It might take 15 years for today's finger painters and "Sesame Street" fans to hit the work force, which is the challenge of arguing for public investment in early childhood education. But preschool saves Michigan taxpayers mountains of money and increases revenues -- about $1.15 billion over the past 25 years, according to the first comprehensive study of the state's programs for children from birth to 5 years old, to be released today by state Schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan.
The University of Toledo is working to help preschool teachers better prepare their young students for a positive educational experience. A new program will help early childhood teachers receive their bachelor's degrees in a fast-track program for which they could receive substantial scholarships.
The Legislature can boost Washington's chances of financial success by signaling the state's long-term commitment to high-quality prekindergarten learning. Lawmakers can do that by including prekindergarten learning as part of the state's definition of basic education.
The Raising A Reader Initiative, a multiyear project, is linking free literacy training with outreach activities in apartment communities to help children 5 years old and younger develop the skills they need to be successful readers.
With permanent money proving elusive, a Sioux Falls public preschool program for low-income children probably will serve fewer students next school year when the initial funding runs out. Meanwhile, supporters of early childhood education again are looking to establish statewide standards for such programs in hopes the state will pay for them when the economy improves.
Community leaders, child advocates and state lawmakers spoke out Friday in support of Gov. Jim Doyle's plan to rate child-care centers in Wisconsin and link their performance to state subsidy payments. While many of the details have yet to be finalized, the plan unveiled Friday calls for rating the centers with one to five stars depending on the education level of the staff, the curriculum for children, the business practices they utilize and other criteria.
The state doesn't have $23.5 million to spend, so the debate is academic. But lawmakers should know that investing in early childhood education is a better and less-costly way to ensure children succeed in school.
Thousands of public schools stopped teaching foreign languages in the last decade, according to a government-financed survey — dismal news for a nation that needs more linguists to conduct its global business and diplomacy. But another contrary trend has educators and policy makers abuzz: a rush by schools in all parts of America to offer instruction in Chinese.
The significance of the Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) scheme, which is under way from this month, must not be underestimated. It is a ground-breaking development in the childcare sector and means that children in Ireland, regardless of their parents' income, are entitled to one year of pre-school education free.
With the support of Gov. Charlie Crist and former Gov. Jeb Bush, business and education leaders unveiled a report filled with sweeping reforms that include doubling the funding for the higher education system and raising the standards for the popular Bright Futures scholarship program.
New Jersey experienced an increased rate of child poverty at the onset of the nation's economic downturn in 2008, according to a new report by the nonprofit Association for Children of New Jersey.
Gov. Jan Brewer's proposal to cut state support of full-day kindergarten would create unequal access to a popular program children need, parents and educators say.
Anyone who has come home from school carrying a sprouting bean in a foam cup can attest that growing plants has long been used as a teaching tool.
Gov. Chris Gregoire said Monday that she wants all preschools for children ages 3 and 4 to be certified by the state. Gregoire said that under her proposed "All Start" preschool program, certification would ensure that all preschools would operate under the same standards set by the Department of Early Learning.
New results from the most ambitious early childhood pilot program ever undertaken in Cuyahoga County leave no doubt that quality early education targeting 3- and 4-year-olds can begin to change young lives and dramatically improve performance when children enter kindergarten. That test data show that a single year of instruction for children who began the pilot in the bottom 25 percent achievement level resulted in remarkable improvement -- a jump of nearly 40 percent in key child-development skills.
The state is looking to quantify quality in preschool programs to guide investment of public funds and support. Participants will be graded on five levels -- one to five stars -- to help families in their search for early childhood care.
Children at First Presbyterian Church's pre-kindergarten program - and at similar programs across West Virginia - will enjoy a hot breakfast each morning next fall, after the state Board of Education approved new state guidelines last month.
In short, the Impact Study's results strike us as more evidence that to do right by today's children, we have to not only ensure that 4-year-olds receive a high-quality pre-K experience, but that children experience high-quality instruction all the way up through the primary grades.
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.