Early Education in the News
Implemented two years ago, the Tools of the Mind educational program has been nurturing pre-kindergartners' self-regulation and social skills through specially designed activities. The basis of the curriculum is to instill self-regulation by teaching the importance of planning ahead and remembering routines, all the while controlling emotions and physical actions, said Danielle Erickson, a Tools of the Mind resource coordinator who taught the program in Colorado before coming to Passaic.
Families in New Jersey's special-needs school districts would be asked to pick up some of the tab for extended preschool services, under a plan included in Gov. James E. McGreevey's proposed $26.3 billion state budget. The proposal, designed to save the state $17.1 million, would institute new co-payments for the 30,000 3- and 4-year-olds signed up for day care services in conjunction with court-ordered preschool in the 30 needy districts.
The Early Education and Care Council, comprised of the commissioners of the state departments of education and public health, and the Office of Child Care Services, last week released a 15-page report outlining six recommendations for improving the state's education system for 3- and 4-year-olds. The report calls for the creation of an oversight board to improve the coordination of services and communications between state officials, as well as more on-site technical assistance, and professional development for preschool instructors.
Left empty-handed by the Indiana legislature, Gov. Joe Kernan now is pursuing his goal of establishing full-day kindergarten and other early childhood education programs through a commission. Kernan said Tuesday he will create by executive order the Early Learning and School Readiness Commission.
Florida is gearing up to launch the free, pre-kindergarten program voters demanded two years ago. But its previous effort to improve youngsters' "school readiness" -- kicked off in 1999 with great fanfare -- has faltered so badly that Gov. Jeb Bush now wants to scrap it.
Gov. Granholm's proposed 2005 budget does not increase spending on every education program, but one winner is clearly preschool aid. While the shift in priorities is bound to raise questions, it is a smart move in the long term.
But in 21st century India, where spaces at even ordinary preschools are far fewer than the demand, Mr. Gupta was shocked to learn that his daughter - then a 3 year old - would have to take an exam to get into a neighborhood preschool. He was even more shocked to find that many parents were sending their children to rigorous cram schools.
Arizona lags behind most other states in funding, access and standards for early childhood education at a time when more children than ever are enrolling in preschool, two new studies show.
A new "report card" on state-financed preschool programs concludes that states still have a long way to go to provide young children with high-quality educational experiences before they start kindergarten. While the report issued last week by the National Institute for Early Education Research, in New Brunswick, N.J., doesn't give states a grade or a score, it does compare them with other states on a number of measures.
Delaware is considering sweeping changes to day care centers that would require better-educated teachers, more staff and smaller groups for nearly 30,000 children, as well as give the state oversight of dozens of private school programs. The goal is to help prepare young children for school and improve the stature of day care workers, said Lynn Jezyk, rule development manager for the state Office of Child Care Licensing.
Cincinnati Chief of Police Tom Streicher and Glendale Chief of Police Matthew Fruchey helped a law enforcement organization release a report today showing that quality child care cuts crime and called on Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH) and George Voinovich (R-OH) to back an increase in federal child care investments. That's especially important for Ohio, where, according to the report, only one in ten eligible children is currently served by the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the federal government's primary source of child care assistance for working families.
A study done by Rutgers University's National Institute for Early Education Research ranked New Jersey's court-ordered preschool program among the three best in the country. The study measured investment, not outcomes -- New Jersey's program is still to young for such analysis -- but it showed New Jersey leading the pack in providing preschool for 3-year-olds as well as manageable class sizes and competent, well-trained teachers for both 3- and 4-year-olds.
Preschool helps children develop social skills and enjoy learning through play. The building blocks for reading and math can be laid in preschool. That's why state and federal governments together should fund universal preschool and require preschool teachers to have bachelor's degrees.
Georgia, New Jersey and Oklahoma outpace the nation in providing high-quality preschool for 3- and 4-year- olds while most states lag in early education efforts, according to a report released Feb. 19. W. Steven Barnett, one of the report's authors, told Stateline.org that preschool sets the foundation for the entire school career.
Oklahoma ranks No. 1 for providing youngsters access to state-financed preschool programs, according to a nationwide study released today. Oklahoma and Georgia, which had a 55 percent enrollment figure last year, provided far more access to preschool programs than any other state.
Insufficient funding and a lack of mandatory standards for teachers mean Colorado is failing its thousands of preschoolers, according to a researcher with the National Institute for Early Education Research. Colorado met only four out of 10 critical benchmarks used by the institute to determine whether states have quality standards for preschoolers, mostly 3- and 4-year-olds, according to a report released by the institute this week.
Gov. Gary Locke on Monday abandoned efforts to persuade Washington lawmakers to approve a $1 billion tax ballot proposition for education.
Preparing young children for school before they arrive for kindergarten gives them a much better chance to thrive on a social and educational level. But there are profound — and measurable — fiscal and economic benefits to early childhood education as well.
Some important details remain to be decided, such as whether the classes would be free to families or offered on a sliding-scale fee based on income.
A new survey says 60 percent of Californians want the state to provide preschool to every 4-year-old who wants it. The survey also found that 83 percent of parents would enroll their children in preschool provided by the state.