Early Education in the News
Iowa has greatly expanded early childhood education opportunities in recent years, placing the state seventh in the nation in preschool access. Yet a host of factors — including district-imposed limits on the size of the state preschool program — meant about a third of Iowa’s 4-year-olds did not attend preschool last year, census estimates show.
Faced with plummeting student populations — and therefore less state money — Maine school districts are increasingly adding another year of public education. While reams of research highlight the benefits of early childhood education, there has been no widespread discussion in Maine about the addition of a 14th year of public school.
Georgia’s pre-kindergarten program would be 180 days a year again, and all day-care workers would be subject to FBI fingerprint checks, under early-childhood initiatives set to come before lawmakers in January.
In the final phase of a large-scale randomized, controlled study of nearly 5,000 children, researchers found that the positive impacts on literacy and language development demonstrated by children who entered Head Start at age 4 had dissipated by the end of 3rd grade, and that they were, on average, academically indistinguishable from their peers who had not participated in Head Start.
In Memphis City Schools, about 12,000 children entered kindergarten this school year, three times the number of children who are in the system’s pre-kindergarten classes. The schools consolidation planning commission recommended a phased-in expansion of pre-kindergarten in the merged school system at a rate of 25 classrooms per school year.
Los Angeles County lost thousands of licensed child-care spaces during three recession-battered years, jeopardizing the ability of low-income parents to work and give their children an academic head start through early education services, data released Wednesday showed. The elimination of $1.2 billion in state funds earmarked for early child-care and education programs — resulting in the loss of more than 11,200 spaces between 2008 and 2011— represented the biggest reduction in child-care services in more than six decades, according to the Los Angeles Children's Data Network.
The state comptroller’s office and education department called on each other Tuesday to more thoroughly investigate preschool special-education providers following recent instances of fraud.
Loss—albeit much less tragic—is inevitable, natural, and something we all face. While dealing with a loss is never easy, it can be peculiarly disorienting for children, who are developing emotionally and have fewer past experiences to turn to for context.
Like any other Pre-K classroom, Salon Trece is decorated with numbers and vocabulary words. Except in this case they are in both English and Spanish, as are the posters, books, song lyrics, labels, audio tapes and other instructional materials.
All of our neighboring states publicly fund pre-kindergarten to some degree. The concept is not cheap, and its implementation would be complex, given the existing network of private and faith-based preschools, as well as the federally funded Head Start program. Still, the long-term benefits would offset the up-front costs and the logistical hurdles.
In a move to encourage schools to offer pre-kindergarten in the underserved New Orleans market, the Recovery School District is allowing elementary schools to enroll pre-K students directly into kindergarten, rather than requiring them to apply through the new common enrollment system called "OneApp." Schools are currently deciding whether or not to apply for the exemption.
Mexican-American preschoolers lag behind their white peers when it comes to early language and literacy development, but their social-emotional skills are just as strong, according to new findings from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Los Angeles.
One rather simple solution is to mandate and fully fund universal pre-kindergarten. Data show that participation in pre-K is a significant predictor of readiness, and results are demonstrably better for children starting at age 3 than those starting at age 4.
So what do early-childhood experiences, exposures, and speech have to do with health? Several studies have shown that early exposure to words, especially novel words spoken with kindness, improves academic success. That, in turn, promotes a lifetime of improved health. Better health leads back to academic success, which fuels the next generation. The spoken word resonates.
Score one for Florida's early-learning coalitions, which have won a battle over how the state allocates funding to those regional agencies. The 31 regional coalitions had protested a new funding formula implemented in July that accounted for population shifts in the state, and resulted in huge cuts for some coalitions and more money for others.
YoungStar got a big boost last week when Wisconsin won a $22.7 million grant in federal Race to the Top funding to be spent in the next four years on expanding the program and improving its data collection system.
Despite concerns about adequate funding, a committee of Louisiana’s top school board Tuesday approved plans to overhaul the state’s often-criticized pre-kindergarten system. The plan, which sparked mostly positive comments from child-care leaders, was endorsed by a committee of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education without dissent.
A $20 million Race to the Top grant will help parents better determine quality preschool and childcare programs while offering providers a pathway to improve. Oregon will use the money to develop a rating system that evaluates preschool and daycare programs on a scale of one through five based on criteria including staff training.
By making play more purposeful, preschool teachers are trying to meet standards adopted six years ago by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. As a result, preschool or early childhood education has become more academic, teachers and administrators say.
Kindergarten has landed in the budget-cutting crosshairs in at least two local districts, and amid the continued squeeze of the state’s tax cap and a post-recession economy, more school boards could target the non-mandated grade. The threat to kindergarten comes as the state ramps up educational accountability — by adopting tougher Common Core curriculum standards and new teacher evaluations that measure educators based partly on student performance.