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Recent early education news and updates

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Pre-K or sit at home? Programs for kids with special needs are in trouble

May 25, 2018
Arnold Diaz

The private, nonprofit organizations that provide pre-K programs for thousands of students with special needs are fast approaching a crisis point. “The programs are life-transforming for these kids and yet the state is not funding them adequately and they’re threatening the whole system”, said Chris Treiber, associate executive director of the Interagency Council of Developmental…

Opinion: Investment in early childhood will yield dividends for New Jersey

May 24, 2018
James P. Abbott

When I testified before New Jersey’s education committee in 2015, I came with one goal: to tell our lawmakers that providing children with high quality early learning was not a matter of morality— it was a matter of public safety. I reported to the committee that there is an unmistakable link between quality pre-k and…

Education is essential – but expensive – for Michigan’s youngest residents

May 24, 2018
Brian McVicar

LaQuanda Murphy is counting down the months until September. That’s when her four-year-old son, Kaycen, will qualify for free preschool through the state’s Great Start Readiness Program. It’s a big deal to the Saginaw area single mother for two reasons: her son will get a high-quality education, and her $500 monthly bill for childcare will disappear. “I…

Best States for Early Education

May 24, 2018
Andrew Soergel

Domestic and international research efforts have consistently pointed to a connection between enrollment in quality pre-K and early education programs and longer-term scholastic success. But the U.S. maintains a patchwork early education landscape, with funding and enrollment statistics varying considerably among states. Six states during the 2016-17 school year did not allocate any state-level funding…

Speaking kids’ home language in pre-k could provide a lifelong advantage

May 22, 2018
Lillian Mongeau

Bilingual children have been shown to be  better communicators , do a  better job paying attention , and even  become stronger readers —in both languages. Yet most American children who speak a language other than English at home  begin to lag behind in school by fourth grade . Given what is known about the brain science of language acquisition, early support for dual language learners in state preschool programs could turn that trend…

Raising Payment Rates Raises Quality of Child Care

May 22, 2018
Jessica Church

The final federal spending agreement for FY 2018, enacted in March of 2018, increased funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)—the major federal child care program—by $2.37 billion dollars. This is the biggest child care funding increase in history! Now, states are beginning to make decisions about how to spend this sorely…

States With the Best and Worst Early Education

May 22, 2018
Samuel Stebbins

The importance of proper nutrition, nurturing, and socialization during early childhood cannot be overstated. For many American families — single-parent and low-income families in particular — early childhood programs are only accessible through publicly-funded pre-K education. But the accessibility and quality of these programs varies considerably between states. State spending on public pre-kindergarten programs totalled…

Discrepancies in education start as early as preschool

May 21, 2018
Noah Higgins-Dunn

Brianna Logan was 17 years old when she dropped out of Hickman High School in 2014. Her depression made her reclusive, removed from the social pleasures of a childhood education. She was handed suspension after suspension for fighting on school grounds. Slowly, she stopped getting on the school bus. Logan’s mother worked two jobs, her…

Survey Finds Majority of K-3 Teachers Feel Unity With Preschool Educators

May 18, 2018
Marva Hinton

Sometimes there seems to be a disconnect between educators who work with children prior to elementary school and those who teach in the early grades, but new survey results find a strong connection between the two groups. The  National Association for the Education of Young Children, or NAEYC , recently released  results from a survey of more than 530 current or recent K-3 teachers . The group also conducted online, in-depth qualitative interviews with 14 K-3 teachers. On…

$26M grant to erase Arkansas child-care voucher list

May 18, 2018
Jeanie Roberts

The list of more than 2,000 low-income children waiting for child-care vouchers will be wiped out with a new $26 million federal grant, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday. The new federal Child Care Development Fund block grant will pay for 3,800 more child-care voucher slots. Because of funding constraints, 2,056 eligible children were waiting for…