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Recent early education news and updates

In the News

How States Plan to Use ESSA Funds for Early Learning

March 12, 2018
Marva Hinton

An early-childhood education advocacy group has released a new report on how states are using the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, to leverage federal support for early learning. The report is the latest component of what the  First Five Years Fund  calls an ESSA resource toolkit. Entitled, “ Early Learning In State ESSA Plans – Implementation Snapshot: How States Are Using the Law ,” it breaks down how each state plans to either…

Mississippi needs to invest in high-quality pre-K to help cut crime

March 12, 2018
Mike Ezell

Being the sheriff of Jackson County means having to make a lot of tough decisions. That comes with the territory. Every day, my job requires me to make decisions that I know may put officers’ lives on the line. But I do so with the understanding that their brave work will ensure our communities are…

Why child care costs more than college tuition — and how to make it more affordable

March 9, 2018

Amid the continually rising cost of tuition, the idea of free college has received growing attention over the past few years. For instance, from 2014 to 2017,  35 states took up 80 bills related to free college . Early care and education has also  received attention , but it could be given more, especially when you consider how child care for infants  costs more than tuition at four-year public colleges  in 28 states and the…

Pre-to-3: 20 years of NJ’s Abbott pre-k provides lessons for other states

March 9, 2018
Linda Jacobson

Twenty years ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court mandated that 31 of the state’s most disadvantaged school districts offer free preschool to all 3- and 4-year-olds. The decision in Abbott v. Burke to include preschool as a remedy in a school finance case set a precedent that justices in North Carolina, South Carolina and several other…

Kansas superintendents tout investments in early-childhood education

March 8, 2018
Tim Carpenter

Seaman Unified School District 345 superintendent Steve Noble joined two other public school officials Wednesday to extol for Kansas House members the virtue of investing in early-childhood education programs. In the fall, Seaman is scheduled to begin serving 250 children who are 3 or 4 years old in its remodeled Mathes Early Learning Center. “It…

Quality and Access Depend on Developing California’s Early Learning Workforce

March 8, 2018
Madelyn Gardner

In 1999, New Jersey launched a state pre-k initiative with an ambitious standard: for every teacher to hold a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential, and to be paid the same salary as other public school teachers. At the time, few states had such policies and many of New Jersey’s existing pre-k teachers didn’t have the…

Early education program addresses R.I. youth literacy

March 7, 2018
Jack Brook

The number of words children hear in their first three years critically impacts their future development, and children from lower-income families will have heard 30 million fewer words than their peers when they start kindergarten, according to a widely cited University of Kansas  study . This word gap harms educational growth — in 2013, two thirds…

Many preschool teachers are scared of teaching STEM. Here’s a solution that might help

March 7, 2018

Everyone knows that 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds ask a lot of questions. But that unrestrained curiosity can unsettle preschool teachers who feel they lack sufficient understanding of science, technology, engineering and math, often referred to as STEM. Hari Sreenivasan reports from Chicago on efforts to boost science learning among some of the youngest students by…

Third Annual Education Forum Underscores SA’s Need for High-Quality Pre-K

March 7, 2018
Emily Donaldson

Even though Gov. Greg Abbott championed pre-kindergarten programming for young Texans in the past two legislative sessions, roughly one-quarter, or 6,000, of 4-year-olds  in San Antonio still don’t attend pre-K, according to Pre-K 4 SA CEO Sarah Baray. At Tuesday’s San Antonio  Regional PK-12 Education Forum , early child educators spoke about the importance of pre-K, emphasizing the need for…

Every Student Succeeds Act Represents True Opportunity For Quality Early Education

March 6, 2018
Nonie Lesaux and Stephanie M. Jones

This year will be a watershed moment for young children and their families as states begin to address early childhood education as part of the  Every Student Succeeds Act  (ESSA). Under ESSA, states and local school districts have the opportunity to expand access to early education, coordinate those efforts and hold themselves accountable for boosting children’s early learning and…