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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

Forget the Tea Party — The Milk Party Has Arrived!


December 9, 2010

Think the Children’s Movement of Florida is just another garden variety advocacy effort? You’re likely to think again after watching what could be the most compelling 15 minutes of video ever produced making the case for putting children at the top of our priority list. It incorporates five issues of the movement’s focus, the 4 ½-minute “I Am Florida”…

At a Critical Crossroads: Why Austerity Now is a False Cure


December 3, 2010

I have written in recent weeks about the difficult circumstances in which middle- and low-income families have found themselves over the past decade, as amply illustrated by the most recent census report, and pointed out the hardships the recession is placing on public budgets in general and early childhood education in particular. That this confluence…

Enlisting Early Education in the Drive for Fiscal Responsibility


November 18, 2010

Now that the elections are behind us, we’re beginning to hear less spin and more in the way of concrete ideas from those whose jobs it is to put the country on sounder footing. At the federal level, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairs of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, have…

When it Comes to Pre-K, New Mexico Has What it Takes


November 12, 2010 Outcomes

The New Mexico PreK initiative expanded quickly when it began in 2005.  Five years later it was serving upwards of 5,000 children. Unlike other state programs with speedy ramp-up times, this one has undergone rigorous examination throughout its early growth period and stood up well. A multi-year evaluation study, funded by the State of New…

Playing Sidekick to Sid the Science Kid


November 5, 2010

The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating articletoday about the strategies media companies are using to attract preschoolers to their television content . It points out, among other things, that PBS Kids focuses on cognitive development. As an adviser to Sid the Science Kid, I can attest to the truthfulness of that claim. My role in helping shape the show began…

What Can Colombia Teach Us About Early Education?


October 28, 2010

So much of what we know about the effects of early childhood education is based on research conducted in North America where we have been fortunate enough to have studies like those conducted on the Perry Preschool Program. Of course, repeating the Perry study 40 years later would be difficult if not impossible here in…

Investing in Children


October 11, 2010

On Wednesday, October 13, the Center on Children and Families at Brookings and the National Institute for Early Education Research will release a new collection of papers that assesses the field of early childhood education and child care. Edited by Senior Fellow Ron Haskins and W. Steven Barnett of Rutgers University, Investing in Young Children:…

Play’s the thing at the Ultimate Block Party


October 6, 2010

October 3rd was a perfect autumn day in New York City. And in Central Park, hundreds of children got to stretch their imaginations as they played all day during the first Ultimate Block Party , sponsored by the organization Play for Tomorrow. Kids participated in a myriad of play-based activities, such as making sidewalk art with chalk, building…

For Whom Does the Bell Toll?


October 4, 2010 Outcomes

It’s Time We Heed The Words of John Donne The latest Census Bureau data (collected in 2009 and early this year) show the gap between rich and poor in the U.S. is the widest on record. Last year, the top 20 percent of households—those earning more than $100,000 a year—received 49.4 percent of all household…

The Play-Based Learning Movement is Off to a Promising New Start


September 24, 2010

We should all hope for a beautiful fall day in New York City on October 3rd when Play for Tomorrow, the consortium of educators, authors and business leaders formed last year kicks off what it terms a new national movement dedicated to play-based learning with its “ Ultimate Block Party ” in New York City’s Central Park. The…