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Recent early education news and updates

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Congressional Leaders: Keep In Mind The Needs of Families With Young Children

December 22, 2017

Co-Chairs of BPC’s  Early Childhood Initiative  former Rep. George Miller and former Sen. Rick Santorum wrote to congressional leadership encouraging them to keep in mind the needs of families with young children.  Dear Leaders McConnell and Schumer, Speaker Ryan, and Leader Pelosi: As you work to resolve end of year priorities and the budget, we encourage you to…

‘Sesame Street’ Wins $100 Million Grant To Create Programming For Refugee Children

December 22, 2017
Rebecca Shapiro

The nonprofit organization behind “Sesame Street” has been awarded a $100 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation, the largest of its kind, to create programming for children displaced by Syria’s civil war. Sesame Workshop, in partnership with International Rescue Committee, was selected for the foundation’s coveted 100&Change grant on Wednesday for a proposal to bring…

Make Pre-K Available to All in St. Paul, Group Tells City Council

December 21, 2017
Frederick Melo

A coalition is asking the city of St. Paul to make early-childhood education available to all 9,000 of the city’s 3- and 4-year-olds. The St. Paul Children’s Collaborative told the St. Paul City Council on Wednesday that too many of the city’s youngest students enter kindergarten with no academic footing, slowing academic achievement throughout their…

Md. Education Commission Should Focus on Pre Pre-School Years

December 21, 2017
David W. Hornbeck

Ninety percent of a child’s brain develops by age 4. We also know that between about six months and age three, a child in an upper-income home hears 34 million words, in a middle-income home the number drops to 19.5 million words, and in a low-income home the number drops further to 9.5 million. Researchers…

Indiana Offers Nearly $4 Million For Pre-K Programs

December 21, 2017
Jeanie Lindsay

As part of a larger effort to boost the quality of early childhood education, Indiana has announced a new grant to help improve access to preschool by helping providers “level up” their quality rating. Providers of the state’s On My Way Pre-K program are part of a voluntary rating system. Those at the first level…

Memphis Council backs Pre-K but still unsure on funding sources

December 20, 2017
Ryan Poe

The Memphis City Council voted Tuesday to support quality, countywide, needs-based pre-Kindergarten, but without determining what that means in terms of dollars and cents. The council voted 11-0 in support of the non-binding resolution, which commits the council to finding the funding to save the 1,000 local pre-K classroom seats threatened by the end of…

Early intervention helps boost reading skills for young children most at risk of falling behind

December 20, 2017
Ashley Hopkinson

By implementing summer programs for students in early grades and high-quality preschool that focuses on preparing students for kindergarten, one California county is improving the reading skills of its young children. While San Mateo County has a significant number of residents with advanced degrees, 44 percent of 3rd-graders in the county were not reading at…

Head Start Working to Serve Families in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

December 19, 2017
Steven Wagner, Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families

Two weeks ago I traveled to Puerto Rico to meet with leadership from every Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Head Start and Early Head Start program. They had all been personally affected by the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, but they arrived at the meeting full of energy, fiercely determined to find creative ways…

When delay is deadly

December 19, 2017
Richard V. Reeves and Katherine Guyot

Given the turbulent political climate, you can be forgiven for missing the fact that two and a half months ago, Congress missed the deadline to reauthorize federal support for home visiting. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV, pronounced McVee) is, as we wrote two years ago,  “one of the most innovative government programs you’ve probably never heard of.” While many programs are losing…

Fund Florida’s early-learning programs fully, and fairly

December 19, 2017
Adrian Alfonso and David Lawrence

This is simply common sense — and wise investment. If we know — and we do — that 85 percent of brain growth occurs by the age of 3, it follows, logically, that children greatly benefit by being in brain-stimulating early learning programs that help them succeed in school and in life. In Florida, about…