Early Education in the News
A strong body of research shows that well-run preschools can help at-risk kids, experts said Monday. "It's not so difficult to do, but you have to do it right," said Steven Barnett, the director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, headquartered at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Leaders in government, business and philanthropy today will announce a new partnership aimed at preparing the state's youngest children for success in school.
The Center has the resources to serve 215 children from 6 weeks to 12 years old, including 14 classrooms, four indoor play areas, observation booths for training and three playgrounds. But its other role - the one businesses and educators applaud - is on-the-job training for Georgia's newest teachers, the foot soldiers in the effort to raise the bar for early childhood education.
Children of active-duty members of the military now qualify for state-funded pre-kindergarten programs. That provision, which also applies to pre-kindergarten children whose parents were hurt or killed during their military duty, was tucked into major legislation approved earlier this year that changes the state's school finance system.
Finding quality, reliable child care doesn't always have a fairy tale ending for parents, who want a way to judge the places they send their children. That's according to a recent survey by the United Way Association of South Carolina and a team of other advocacy groups.
Conventional wisdom has it that Latinos desire to have their children stay at home with family members instead of starting school at an early age. A new national study shows that 96 percent of Latinos believe it is important for children to attend a prekindergarten program.
Arizona voters will likely get to decide whether to sharply boost the tax on cigarettes to fund programs for early childhood development. Backers of an initiative drive filed more than 206,000 signatures Wednesday to put a measure on the November ballot to boost the levy by 80 cents a pack.
Most children of working parents are in some kind of care. Instead of replacing it with public preschool, why not make sure it is of high enough quality to get children off to a good start in school and in life?
Questions abound about Gov. Tim Kaine's initiative to make preschool available to every 4-year-old in Virginia. Luckily, there is time to answer those questions and an apparent will by Kaine to get the answers right.
Florida's new summer prekindergarten program worried parents and educators: How would 4- and 5-year-olds weather long days in the classroom at this time of year? As it turns out, some students enjoy it so much they don't want to go home, and many teachers can't wait to come back next year.
Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen today heralded the passage of legislation providing $20 million new dollars to the state's pre-K programs, increasing total funding to $55 million for the coming year. The new money will allow Tennessee school systems to open as many as 250 new pre-K classrooms this fall, providing 5,000 additional four-year-olds access into Tennessee's voluntary Pre-K for All program.
A coalition of education advocates yesterday called on the District's political and business leadership to support providing pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds in the city. Based on research by City University of New York economics professor Clive R. Belfield, the group reported that investing $58.5 million a year to add 2,000 slots and improve existing pre-kindergarten programs would eventually save the District $81.5 million a year.
School reforms to close the academic achievement gap among our nation's children cannot fully succeed unless supplemented by reform in the social and economic institutions that affect children's ability to learn, according to a WestEd Policy Perspectives paper.
Public pre-kindergarten programs funded by First Steps are giving at-risk children a better shot at doing well in school, the first outside study of the program's effectiveness has found. A study conducted by the National Institute for Early Education Research previously found that state-funded programs for 4-year-olds improve literacy and vocabulary skills in children.
The movement for universal preschool is spreading. For the current fiscal year, 26 state legislatures approved $600 million more than the preceding year on their pre-kindergarten programs.
In a year when the state will have a $700 million surplus, it makes perfect sense to add spending in early childhood education -- an investment that will save money later.
Preschool can provide an academic edge for young children, but only if the curriculum is conducive to their formative cognitive, emotional and social development.
In a move that could have a large impact on New York's enormous day care industry, the state Legislature in May approved an additional $50 million for schools offering pre-kindergarten classes, on top of the $200 million the state already provides for public pre-K programs. The $50 million marks the first increase in state pre-K funding in five years.
The funds initially will be targeted toward eight poor school districts in the state.
[W]hen lawmakers consider whether universal preschool is a cost worth considering, they invariably focus on academic preparation, when the real value of a child's first school experience is less measurable, but more profound in its life long implications. Of course, we do not have a standardized test to measure such things; we have only to pick up the newspaper each day to see what sorts of messes are made when adults have not managed to internalize these lessons.