Early Education in the News

June 11, 2014

To meet the demand for qualified pre-K teachers across the state, a new curriculum offered by the University of Mississippi allows students to specialize in early childhood education and obtain a license endorsement in the field from the Mississippi Department of Education. . .

According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, many studies show quality preschool programs can produce long-term gains in academic achievement, including gains in reading and mathematics, and can support positive social-emotional development. Studies also show an estimated 7-to-1 return on investment dollars in public pre-K education in the form of long-term cost savings.
Latin Post
June 10, 2014

Early childhood education is absent from the lives of the neediest, poorest and fastest-growing populations, in spite of the expansion of preschool programs meant to address the needs of children across the economic spectrum, particularly disadvantaged youths. And more than any others, children in immigrant households are the least likely to enroll their children in federal and state preschool programs, due mainly to language and literacy barriers.

Children from immigrant households make up a quarter of all children under the age of 8. They represent half of the children in California, and more than a third of the children in Texas, New Jersey, New York and Nevada. The parents of these children tend to be low-income and poorly educated; and, as immigrants who are often new to the U.S., they don't necessarily understand how to access or navigate the programs offered.

The language used when describing programs isn't clear, and preschool programs find it difficult to reach out to parents who don't know English and lack basic literacy skills. Consequently, students and parents miss out, failing to gain access to universal preschool.

Times-Standard [Op-Ed]
June 10, 2014
United Way's vision is a caring, engaged and vibrant community where families and individuals achieve their full potential through education, health and financial stability. Over the years, we have learned that in order to reach that goal, children must start school prepared to learn. But for far too many children in our community, that isn't yet possible.
A recent report from the National Institute for Early Education Research singled out California as one of just five states that meets fewer than half of 10 quality benchmarks in its state pre-K program. 
The Columbus Dispatch
June 9, 2014

Despite a documented dearth of high-quality preschool programs for low-income Columbus children, a $5 million city program to pay for 600 new pre-kindergarten spots is on track to create just 245.

A 2012 study found a desperate need for preschools on the Hilltop, for example, but a preschool director there said she didn’t bother to apply for the city grants because the neighborhood she serves is too poor to qualify.

That’s because the city’s program is aimed at parents facing what some call “the cliff,” where working parents earn too much money to qualify for programs such as Head Start but not enough to pay for preschool, said Matt Smydo, an education policy specialist for Mayor Michael B. Coleman.

Columbus Dispatch
June 9, 2014

A last-minute push by Columbus City Schools to find more classroom space allowed Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman to announce today that at least 350 new preschool slots would be created under the first round of his new Early Start Columbus school-readiness program. 

The program marked a milestone for the city because for the first time it will provide grants for preschool, focuses on providing high-quality preschool to 4-year-olds and hopefully close an alarming gap in kindergarten readiness and stem the potential for the kids to get held back in the third grade. Currently, the federal and state governments, and school districts, provide most funding. 

CBS Detroit
June 9, 2014

Detroit Public Schools announced Monday that it will continue the expansion of its early childhood educational offerings with the planned addition of seats to both its Great Start Readiness and Title I Pre-K programs.

The district plans to add more than 540 seats in 34 new classrooms throughout the district for the 2014-15 school year.

89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio
June 9, 2014

In recent years, magazine articles and mommy-blogs have decried that increasingly academic preschool classrooms cater to little girls, arguing their faster development makes them better suited to those new rigors. But one brain scientist said that's a myth.

“No matter what measure of brain structure or function we look at, what we find is that there is much, much more overlap between boys and girls than difference,” said Lise Eliot, professor of Neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University.

Chalkbeat Colorado
June 9, 2014

The state has backed away from its planned July start date for a new mandatory quality rating system for early childhood education and officials now say they are aiming for a November launch.

The new system, funded with part of a $44 million federal Race to the Top grant, fits with a national trend to improve child care  and better inform parents about the quality of local providers.
June 9, 2014

A child’s early years are critical learning years, so it is important for parents to choose childcare and early childhood education programs with care.

During the recent National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Week of the Young Child, the NAEYC offered the following guidelines for choosing a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment for children.

June 9, 2014

West Virginia is serving as a model for other states when it comes to preschool programs.

According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), the Mountain State is ranked #6 nationally for pre-kindergarten enrollments among four-year-olds and #8 nationally for enrollments among three-year-olds.

“We see states that aren’t doing this and it’s great for West Virginia to be successful,” said Christine Campbell, president of the West Virginia American Federation of Teachers. 

Lancaster Online
June 6, 2014

Rent, food costs and teacher salaries have all been increasing in local preschools, according to directors. But state funding for those programs? Not so much.

Administrators of state-funded preschool programs said they've seen flat funding for several years.

According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, Pennsylvania's total preschool funding dropped by about $14.5 million between 2012 and 2013. NIEER's numbers, released last month in "The State of Preschool 2013" report, were adjusted for inflation.

June 5, 2014

Twelve urban and six rural counties selected as finalists for an Indiana preschool pilot program have until the end of the month to make their cases, the state announced Wednesday. . . . The pilot program created by the General Assembly this year provides preschool funding for low-income 4-year-olds in five counties. Families earning up to 127 percent of the federal poverty level — a little less than $30,000 for a family of four — would qualify.

To narrow the field to the five pilot counties, FSSA said counties have until June 30 to submit statements on their ability to help meet a financial match, participation of current and new providers, community and family engagement, and their readiness to launch the program in January.

New York Times
June 5, 2014

In a study published last month in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Ms. Jeon and her co-authors found that behavioral problems were more common among 3-year-olds whose teachers reported depressed mood than among preschoolers whose teachers were not depressed. Such behavioral problems include inattentiveness, aggressiveness, emotional reactivity and anxious or depressive symptoms.

Public News Service
June 4, 2014

Arizona is near the bottom of states for enrollment in -- and funding of -- early childhood education, according to the latest "State of Preschool" report for 2013 from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. Professor Steven Barnett, who directs NIEER, said Arizona ranks 38th in enrollment and 40th in funding pre-kindergarten programs, out of 40 states and the District of Columbia that have early-education programs. The Grand Canyon State's situation seems to be getting worse, he said. "Arizona actually has very low funding and meets relatively few of the benchmarks for quality standards," Barnett said. "It's actually fallen from where it was in the prior year." 

June 4, 2014

In the March issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the Community Preventive Services Task Force reviews the literature on full-day kindergarten. After considering the evidence, the Task Force ultimately recommends all-day classes as an effective tool for promoting the health of low-income and minority students. Although many studies of full-day kindergarten look at non-academic outcomes over the long-term, measuring data on criminal activity, savings rates, and more, it’s rare to see an analysis focus so directly on health effects. This approach is important not just because our discussions of early childhood education too often focus on the short term, but also because there are good reasons for being much more cognizant of the health effects of our policy choices.

Catalyst Chicago
June 3, 2014

From opening “pop-up” preschools in Cicero to building new partnerships with existing service agencies, teams of parents, educators and health care providers are developing locally-based projects to improve access to early childhood education in the communities that most need it.

With the help of some Race to the Top Early Childhood federal grant money, the teams will begin testing their strategies this fall – and fine-tuning the projects as data comes in about enrollment. All of this, advocates say, will help the state analyze what works best in building local community systems around early childhood education.

“This can help us figure out which of the strategies we’d been thinking about might be the most useful in the end,” explains Theresa Hawley, director of the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, which is overseeing the initiative.  “The best way for us to look at this problem is to zero in on the local level.”

June 3, 2014

As legislators prepare for a debate on the state budget, a provision calling for a pay hike for early childhood educators sought by early education leaders is back on the table for debate, according to state Sen. James T. Welch, D-West Springfield.

A Senate amendment calls for the appropriation of $9.5 million that would give pre-kindergarten teachers a salary hike of approximately 5 percent. The average salary is now about $30,000.

Toronto Star
June 2, 2014

What if every Toronto school was a learning centre for the entire family? Before- and after-school programs with hot lunches and snacks available for students. Underutilized space devoted to nursery schools — a place for parents and toddlers to relax, play and receive expert support from public health nurses and early childhood educators. There would be flexible child care for those who want it and what a prefect location for ESL or other adult education classes.

Washington Post
June 2, 2014

“Preschool has never been more popular,” Kirsten Weir writes in the May issue of Monitor on Psychology, pointing to President Obama’s Preschool for All initiative and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to expand preschool access in the city.


Washington Post (Opinion)
June 2, 2014

There's not a lot that shocks me anymore. But I didn't get very deep into the 61-page report released Friday by the panel President Obama created in February to find solutions to the many problems that afflict black and Hispanic boys before I found something that left me dumbfounded.

In a section titled "Keeping Young Children in School and on Track," the authors of "My Brother's Keeper Task Force Report to the President," urged that something be done to reduce the number of black kids who are suspended or expelled from preschool.

That's right, preschool.