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Recent early education news and updates

In the News

Plan advocates preschool for all 3- to 4-year-olds

December 1, 2002 AccessUniversal and Targeted
Susan Herendeen

Universal preschool, which would guarantee access to quality child care for 3-and 4-year-olds, sounds like a long shot in an age of budget deficits and program cuts. But that’s what California’s new Master Plan for Education calls for, and the idea is taking root in several other states as well.

Seeking grade-A preschool: Bill would pour $1 billion into early childhood education

December 1, 2002
Ed Hayward

Armed with polling data that show Bay State residents want more preschool options for children, a broad-based coalition plans to file legislation this week proposing a $1 billion, 10-year early-childhood education reform program. Major targets include establishing a system to improve the training of the preschool work force; promoting full-day kindergarten in all cities and…

Madison School District plans to offer a voluntary, half-day kindergarten program for 4-year-olds

November 30, 2002 AccessUniversal and Targeted
Doug Erickson and Patricia Simms

The Madison School District will unveil plans next week for a voluntary, half-day program for 4-year-olds, extending a national trend toward schooling ever-younger children. Spurred by increasing pressure to improve test scores and convinced that getting to students earlier is an answer, Madison officials tout the initiative as the next step in attacking an achievement…

Editorial: Prepping for Preschool

November 29, 2002 AccessUniversal and Targeted

[I]t is only a matter of time before the movement for universal preschool education reaches the U.S. Capitol. In fact, some 42 states and the District of Columbia now offer some form of pre-kindergarten education, even if it is only to supplement Head Start, the federal program designed to bring early education to lower-income students….

Technology playing greater role in early childhood education

November 29, 2002
Peggy Walker and Dawn White

Every day, new technology and studies define new and different ways for parents and child care providers to teach young children. Although educational computer programs seem to be the hot item right now, it’s important to remember that children still need interaction with other pupils and they still need plenty of hands-on activities.

Opinion: Strong Families, Strong Young Minds

November 27, 2002 Economics and Finance
David S. Broder

The Abecedarian Project was expensive, as preschool programs go — $13,000 per child, about twice the cost of the average Head Start program. But it paid off in multiples, the researchers said.

The Preschool Push

November 26, 2002 AccessUniversal and Targeted
Cheryl Wetzstein

[P]owerful voices are now urging the United States to create government-funded preschool programs that are free to all children. With preschool fees prohibitive for many families, advocates say publicly funded preschools — like France’s “ecole maternelle” — would be an excellent way to engage all children.

Comment: Tales Out of Preschool

November 25, 2002 AccessEconomics and FinanceUniversal and Targeted
Rebecca Mead

The provision of decent universal preschool education may seem like a pipe dream, but a study released last week by the National Institute for Early Education Research points out the economic benefits of providing high-quality, year-round, full-time programs. “Such programs pay for themselves, and then some,” Leonard Masse, a co-author of the report, says.

Stille introduces pre-school bill

November 25, 2002 AccessState & LocalUniversal and Targeted

State Sen. Leon Stille, R-Grand Haven, has proposed legislation that would create a new learning program for Michigan’s pre-schoolers. It would be provided to all Michigan 4-year-olds without reducing funding for existing education, health and child development programs by the 2006 school year.

Study Touts Benefits of Quality Programs

November 24, 2002 Economics and Finance
Diane E. Lewis

The National Institute for Early Education Research reports that every dollar spent on high-quality, full-day and year-round day care or preschool for young children generates a $4 return to the children, their families, and taxpayers. Released last week, the study found that top quality child-care programs allow mothers to work at better-paying jobs, leading to…