Early Education in the News

All Africa
November 2, 2015

Like Favour, over 10 million school age children are out of school in Nigeria because their families cannot afford to fund the fees, especially pre-school, which is presently not state-funded. There is an urgent need to expand the access of early childhood education, as the importance cannot be over emphasised.

Past governments have only always spent a fraction of the United Nation's recommended national investment on education, and this has had a negative impact on the quality and accessibility to education, especially pre-schools. Most high quality pre-schools in the country are privately owned and inaccessible to disadvantaged families because of the cost.

Children are made to stay at home at an age (0-5 years), where research has shown that the human brain is developing - therefore representing a critically important window of opportunity to develop the child's full potential and shape key academic, social, and cognitive skills that determine a child's success in life and in school.

Stryk
October 29, 2015

A report released this week by the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now concluded the statewide achievement gap begins in early childhood and offered recommendations for how the state can improve educational outcomes in traditionally underserved communities by improving access to pre-kindergarten programs.

"We have to recognize that achievement gaps appear very early," said ConnCAN Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Alexander.

Alexander said the report was a way for the organization to join the conversation about early childhood education, which she said fits ConnCAN's belief that "every child should have access to quality education, regardless of race, zip code or economic status."

Slate
October 28, 2015

What is not mixed is what universal, affordable preschool offers working parents. Another name for preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds is, of course, child care. And child care is a huge problem in the U.S. It often costs more than what a family spends on rent or food—even more than what it costs to send a child to a public college. The price tag for what the average family shells out has risen more than 70 percent since the mid-1980s. And that’s if you are able to find a spot somewhere nearby that you trust.

Yet families desperately need it. The model of a family whereall parents work has become the norm: Both parents work in 60 percent of married couples with children, while nearly 70 percent of single mothers and more than 80 percent of single fathers are employed.

U.S. Department of Education
October 28, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education released a report today that shows Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge states are rapidly improving the quality of early learning programs while enrolling more children, especially from low- and moderate income families, in the highest-quality programs.

What’s more, thousands more children are receiving health screenings to help detect medical or developmental issues earlier, the report shows. The report comes from the annual performance reviews for the 20 states that have received more than $1 billion in Early Learning Challenge grants since 2011. These reports capture the successes achieved and obstacles overcome by states in the last year.

Star Tribune
October 28, 2015

Math and reading proficiency scores for Minnesota fourth-graders this year have dipped from their record highs in 2013, according to the results of a national test released Wednesday. In 2013, fourth-graders in Minnesota posted the highest scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), considered the best comparison of students from state to state in the country. But scores for both reading and math dropped in fourth grade this year.

The state also saw no significant improvement in reading or math scores for eighth-graders in Minnesota. Still the state continues to outperform others across the country, especially in math. But state officials say Minnesota’s educators should not be content because large gaps in achievement show many poor and minority students are not meeting standards.

EdSource
October 28, 2015

Over the past three years, California has more than quadrupled the number of early childhood centers being evaluated with a new rating system, but that is still just a fraction of the state’s publicly subsidized programs.

The U.S. Department of Education released Tuesday a progress report of the 20 states, including California, that received federal Early Learning Challenge grants starting in 2011. The grants, part of the Race to the Top program, were meant to improve publicly funded early learning programs with systems to rate their quality, as well as track health screenings and assess children’s readiness for kindergarten.

EdNC
October 26, 2015

It comes as no surprise that the quality of a program matters. The Tennessee evaluation reinforces the importance of quality and Utah, Georgia, and North Carolina demonstrate the benefits that can be generated when quality is present.

But that’s only part of the story.

Children develop on a continuum and the years between birth-through-eight represent a unique period on that continuum, when brain architecture is forming. 

To build a strong foundation for learning and third-grade reading, children need good health, strong families, and high quality, developmentally appropriate early learning environments through third grade.

Catalyst Chicago
October 26, 2015

Chicago and Illinois have long track records of leadership in early childhood education. As early as the 1960s, the Chicago Public Schools was among a handful of pioneering districts that createdChild-Parent Centers (CPCs) to provide high-quality early childhood education -- PreK to 3rd grade -- while supporting low-income parents and engaging them in their children’s education. An influential longitudinal study of CPC alumni shows that the model produced substantial increases in both academic achievement and economic returns to society from higher earnings, reduced involvement in crime and better health.

Chalkbeat Colorado
October 26, 2015

A recent landmark study out of Tennessee upended the conventional wisdom about the power of preschool and raised questions nationwide, including in Colorado, about how to leverage early education to produce long-lasting impacts.

The Vanderbilt University study revealed that at-risk students who participated in Tennessee’s publicly-funded preschool program showed significant gains initially, but by third grade performed worse than non-participants on both academic and behavior measures.

Early childhood experts here say the study underscores the need for quality in both preschool and subsequent K-3 instruction, but that the findings don’t match Colorado data showing that academic benefits of preschool do stick.

“You don’t have the same story in Colorado,” said Charlotte Brantley, president and CEO of Denver’s Clayton Early Learning.

Christian Science Monitor
October 26, 2015

Chan’s holistic approach echoes the modus operandi of “whole-child” education programs, in which every factor outside of K-12 school is considered pertinent to education as a whole. The Harlem Children’s Zone, for instance, is an ongoing community project that encompasses every stage of education starting from early childhood as well as offering an array of community programs, including ones designed to that promote health.

While there have been mixed reviews of their subsequent academic impact, early childhood education programs like HCZ’s Baby College still serve the community in ways that had been lacking previously.

"There's a lot more to learning and development than test scores," W. Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, tells NPR in May. "And so if it only has modest impacts, it's probably worth it."

Delaware Public Media
October 26, 2015

Gov. Jack Markell is calling on the state to keep broadening access to early childhood education in his weekly message.

Markell spoke this week from Christina Early Education Center in Newark, which was just given the state's 100th five-star rating -- the highest in the Delaware Stars ranking system for early childhood education.

Markell said the state has made progress in getting more low-income children into the best preschools and daycares:

"More than 58 percent of the state’s most vulnerable children are enrolled in highly rated Stars programs. That's up from just 5 percent in 2011. That's thousands more low-income kids getting a great start," said Markell.

Online Athens
October 26, 2015

Early childhood education has a big economic effect in Georgia, said state officials, scholars and advocates in Athens on Friday.

But the state should find ways to boost the industry lest Georgia fall behind in its quest to produce a more educated workforce, some said in the morning briefing in the University of Georgia’s Seney-Stovall Chapel.

The industry’s economic impact is about $4.7 billion in Georgia, said Georgia State University economic analyst Sally Wallace — a $2.5 billion direct impact, $910 million indirect and $1.3 billion “induced,” she said. Direct is money that goes directly into child care, such as salaries for teachers, while indirect includes such things as transportation and janitorial services associated with early child care. “Induced” means things like the economic effect when employees buy household goods with money they’ve earned in child care, which supports other businesses.

The industry employs 67,000 people and helps create other jobs for 17,000 more; provides care for 337,000 children, which helps nearly 552,000 parents; and generates hundreds of millions in tax revenue for state and federal governments, she said.

Chalkbeat Colorado
October 26, 2015

A recent landmark study out of Tennessee upended the conventional wisdom about the power of preschool and raised questions nationwide, including in Colorado, about how to leverage early education to produce long-lasting impacts.
The Vanderbilt University study revealed that at-risk students who participated in Tennessee’s publicly-funded preschool program showed significant gains initially, but by third grade performed worse than non-participants on both academic and behavior measures. Early childhood experts here say the study underscores the need for quality in both preschool and subsequent K-3 instruction, but that the findings don’t match Colorado data showing that academic benefits of preschool do stick. . .

But Dale Farran, one of the Vanderbilt study authors, said such data—part of an annual report to the Colorado legislature—doesn’t rigorously match preschool children to comparison group children. Instead of matching them prior to the preschool year, they’re matched after-the-fact in first grade—leaving many unknowns about parent motivation, poverty status and skill levels when the comparison children were 4.

Yahoo News
October 26, 2015

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has a new business venture, and no, it's not in tech.

Under the leadership of Zuckerberg's wife, Priscilla Chan, the couple is planning to open their own school in Palo Alto, Calif. The Primary School will serve the children of East Palo Alto and Belle Haven, Kindergarten through grade 12. More distinctively, the school will also provide its students health care services from birth to graduation.

“I'm so proud of Priscilla for starting The Primary School – a new kind of school that brings education and healthcare together,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “Health and education are closely connected. When children aren't healthy, they can't learn as easily. . .”

"There's a lot more to learning and development than test scores," W. Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, tells NPR in May. "And so if it only has modest impacts, it's probably worth it."

The Atlantic
October 24, 2015

One of the more staggering education statistics to transpire in recent years is that, in most states, daycare actually costs more than tuition and fees at a public four-year college. The finding, which is based on a 2013 report by Child Care Aware America, specifically refers to the care of an infant—but the high costs of caring for and educating children continue until they enter kindergarten. That’s largely because, compared to the K-12 and higher-ed sectors, there are relatively few public prekindergarten options in the United States to choose from.

The staggering price of preschool means it’s largely open only to wealthier families—even though a new poll suggests that an overwhelming majority of America’s adults agree that the country should ensure more children have access to quality learning in their first five years of life. In the same poll, a plurality of them even went so far as to say that Americans should invest more in early education than in college.

NJ.com
October 23, 2015

Ensuring that every New Jersey child has access to quality preschool education is one of the best investments we can make in our future. Decades of studies have demonstrated that children who enter school prepared enjoy higher academic achievement, are more likely to graduate and go to college, earn more money in their lifetimes and are less likely to rely on government services. . .

Quality preschool and full-day kindergarten is critical not only for socioeconomically disadvantaged youngsters, but for all New Jersey's children. 

Common Dreams
October 23, 2015

Turns out preschool is good for everybody. Here are five reasons we need universal preschool right now. . .

Preschool has benefits for all kids, but even more so for kids from low-income families. In an age where everything’s a political battleground, investment in early childhood education is actually something that people across the political spectrum agree on.

Noodls
October 23, 2015

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that students in Georgia's Pre-K program show educational improvement in key areas and progress at a greater rate while participating in the program, according to a recent study. The results are part of a multi-year evaluation by the Frank Porter Graham Childhood Development Institute at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

'Ensuring Georgia's youngest scholars continue to benefit from Georgia's highly ranked Pre-K program is one of my top priorities,' said Deal. 'This study confirms that Georgia is on the right track. Our Pre-K program helps students acquire the foundation necessary for a solid education, puts them on track to read at grade level by the third grade and assists in developing essential skills which will lead to academic excellence and future success.'

The Morning Call
October 22, 2015

The measure by which we judge which investments are worthwhile as a citizenry is how much time we spend, energy we expel, and the amount of resources we dedicate in the hope of future benefits.

It should be axiomatic that investment in early childhood education is sound policy and will yield far-reaching economic returns. Unfortunately our underfunded preschool programs and the limited resources provided to early childhood education say otherwise.

Steve Adubato On The Air
October 22, 2015

Steve Adubato sits down with parents, educators, and administrators to discuss the importance of family education programs and being an involved parent in early childhood. Guests include Donna Pressma, President and CEO, Children’s Home Society of New Jersey; Mark Mautone, Parent & 2015 New Jersey Teacher of the Year; Veronica Ray, President, New Jersey Head Start Association; and Shannon Ayers, Associate Research Professor, National Institute for Early Education Research.

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