Early Education in the News
About 57,000 poor children will lose access to federally-subsidized preschool because of across-the-board U.S. spending cuts this year, a smaller number than the Obama administration previously said might be affected....The figures released today by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department are based on estimates from organizations that run the Head Start programs. The Obama administration warned earlier this year that automatic spending reductions that started in March might affect as many as 70,000 children.
The difficulty of obtaining good, affordable day care is well known as a problem afflicting the working poor. But increasingly, middle- and upper-middle-class parents are finding that day care is hard to find or access and that even when it is available it is startlingly costly.
Given that quality in full-day programs so often gets overshadowed by (important) questions of student access, it is worth examining why program quality matters and which specific quality metrics matter most when designing kindergarten programs.
Teachers preparing to educate preschool children, including those with disabilities, will get help as a result of a $1 million federal grant announced Friday by Western Oregon University....The students will earn bachelor’s degrees in the field with a specialization in early childhood/early intervention special education. That blend is what is unique about WOU’s Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Education (PIECE) project, according to its co-director, Cindy Ryan.
The results of a recent poll that asked registered Hawaii voters about their attitudes toward a state-funded preschool system suggest that most people agree preschool’s important in early childhood development.
“This is the wrong time to cut back support for low-income families,” said W. Steven Barnett, the director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. “There’s a disinvestment in kids when they’re in their preschool years and we will see the consequences of this play out over the rest of their lives.”
A study in Chicago, published in 2011 after 25 years of research, documents the results of Child-Parent Center Education. The study demonstrated that these early childhood programs reduce crime when those children become teenagers and adults. According to an article in Science magazine, the Chicago study results demonstrate “consistent and enduring” benefits for children who began preschool at age 3 or 4, when compared to children who started kindergarten without quality preschool.
Preschool children who showed less ability to estimate the number of objects in a group were 2.4 times more likely to have a later mathematical learning disability than other young people, according to a team of University of Missouri psychologists. Parents may be able to help their children develop their skills at approximating group sizes by emphasizing numerals while interacting with young children.
The recently released Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual 2013 Kids Count report reveals among any racial or ethnic group in the U.S., Latino children have the lowest preschool attendance rate. The study showed between 2009 and 2011, roughly 63 percent of Latino children didn’t attend preschool compared with 50 percent of non-Hispanic white children.
The across-the-board reductions, made through a process known as sequestration, removed about $400 million from Head Start this year, the deepest cut in dollar terms since its 1965 creation. As a result, about 60,000 slots in the preschool program for poor children are expected to disappear, according to the National Head Start Association, an Alexandria, Virginia-based nonprofit that advocates more funding for the program.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in discretionary funding for early learning are funneling into states although Congress hasn’t seriously considered paying for President Barack Obama’s universal preschool proposal. Race to the Top early learning awards and Affordable Care Act money are helping states carry out their pre-K and early childcare plans.
A recent analysis of the academic performance of Denver Preschool Program graduates is encouraging and should serve to reassure taxpayers who contribute about $10 million annually to the endeavor....The most encouraging part of the report, which tracked the 2008-09 crop of preschoolers, was the performance of low-income kids and English language learners on third-grade reading tests.
For a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, researchers analyzed data of roughly 12 million children, ages 2 to 4, from low-income families. Spanning from 2008 to 2011, the data covers kids in 40 American states and the District of Columbia, as well as in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. When researchers calculated the prevalence of obesity in these children on a state level, it turns out that 19 of the states and territories saw significant downward trends over those few years.
The Walt Disney Company’s “Baby Einstein” videos do not turn babies into prodigies. And despite marketing claims by Fisher-Price, its popular “Laugh & Learn” mobile apps may not teach babies language or counting skills, according to a complaint filed on Wednesday with the Federal Trade Commission.
On a congressional recess, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, found himself in school in Marshalltown Monday. Harkin visited the YMCA-YWCA preschool to learn about the program and stress the importance of early childhood education....He plans to introduce a bill in the U.S. Senate this fall to focus more on early childhood education. He admits it costs money and they need to have high quality programs for them to work.
According to Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER)...access to preschool across the country—not just in New York—is actually lower for the middle class than for the poor. Middle-income families don’t have access to Head Start, like poor families, and they can’t afford the most expensive places, either.
Thousands of Colorado children who qualify for free preschool won’t be going when classes start this month because of state budget shortfalls.
Brian Maher stood at a podium in front of a sold-out crowd at the august U.S. Chamber of Commerce building across from the White House Wednesday morning and started in on a big speech on: early childhood education.
It took a powerful lure — a big challenge and a return to his professional roots — for the new executive director of the Buffett Early Childhood Institute to leave his life and work in Chicago. There, Samuel Meisels, one of the nation's leading authorities in the field, served as president of the Erikson Institute, the country's premier graduate school for training early childhood educators.
A new poll released Wednesday suggests broad bipartisan support exists for federally funded public preschool.
The poll, commissioned by the early education advocacy group First Five Years Fund, found that 50 percent of the 800 registered voters polled nationwide said they “strongly” support President Barack Obama’s $75 billion proposal to expand public preschool offerings by raising the federal tobacco tax. Another 20 percent said they “somewhat” support it.