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Recent early education news and updates

In the News

Running a Pre-K Program Is Hard. So Why Do Some States Require Almost No Qualifications?


May 26, 2017
Abbie Lieberman and Laura Bornfreund

Every weekday morning, Leilani Au, a child care center director in Honolulu, wakes up early to figure out staff schedules for the day. With 18 teachers and more than 25 teachers’ aides, scheduling changes are inevitable. Once that’s under control, she says, “I spend the beginning part of my day connecting with staff and checking…

Why Expanding Access to Childcare Isn’t Enough


May 26, 2017
Hayley Glatter

By 2021, if New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gets his way, a hedge-fund manager with a seven-figure salary would pay the same amount to send his 3-year-old daughter to preschool as a single mom working as a cashier would pay for hers: nothing. Last month, de Blasio announced his plan to provide free preschool…

Report tracks preschool funding and quality nationwide


May 26, 2017
Pat Donachie

National enrollment continued to climb slowly in state-funded preschool programs in the 2015-16 school year, according to a new report by the National Institute for Early Education Research, with nearly 1.5 million children attending in total. The report found that nearly 5% of 3-year-olds and 32% of 4-year-olds were in state-funded preschool, and about half…

West Virginia Continues To Rank Among Top States In Access To, Quality Of Early Learning


May 25, 2017

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia’s Universal Pre-K Program once again ranks among the top in the nation, according to the 2016 Yearbook released today by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER). The State of Preschool Yearbook is the only national report on state-funded preschool programs with detailed information on enrollment, funding, teacher qualifications,…

The Importance of Equal Pay Between Pre-K and K-3rd Teachers


May 25, 2017
Anna Sillers

According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), more than half of all state-funded pre-K programs now require lead teachers to possess bachelor’s degrees. While requiring pre-K teachers to have college degrees is intended to improve learning, it can also backfire. When teachers are required to have the same education as kindergarten teachers,…

Preschool, A State-By-State Update


May 24, 2017
Claudio Sanchez

The National Institute for Early Education Research has a new state-by-state report on preschool funding, enrollment and teacher quality. The findings are both encouraging and sobering.

State of American Pre-K: New Report Shows 1.5 Million Kids (and 1 in 20 3-Year-Olds) Enrolled


May 24, 2017
Carolyn Phencie

One and a half million American children were enrolled in state-funded preschool programs in the 2015–16 school year, a new high, the annual State of Preschool Yearbook found. The District of Columbia was again the top-ranked jurisdiction for enrollment of 3- and 4-year-olds in state-funded preschool programs and for total spending on those programs, according…

Study urges Maine, other states to get more kids into early education


May 24, 2017
Nick McCrea

Maine could be doing more to support early childhood education programs aimed at children from birth to age 2 from impoverished families, according to a recent University of New Hampshire study . Maine has 837 Early Head Start (EHS) slots offered at 44 sites across Maine, largely concentrated in central and southern parts of the state near population centers. Each county has at…

Texas might keep the standards, cut funding for Abbott’s pre-K program


May 23, 2017
Aliyya Swaby

Texas could ask public schools to make specific improvements to their pre-K programs — while cutting the grant program that would fund it. After months of private deliberations, a committee of House and Senate legislators on Saturday unveiled a joint budget  in Senate Bill 1  that includes no additional money for a high-quality pre-K grant program that has been one of Gov….

Betsy DeVos promises an expansive school choice plan, says opting out would be ‘terrible mistake’ for states


May 23, 2017
Matt Barnum

In a speech to the advocacy group she previously led, Betsy DeVos hinted that an aggressive plan to expand public funding of private schools through the federal government is on the way. The U.S. education secretary offered few details about the plan, which she said would be voluntary for states. And with an administration besieged by…