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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

Being There: Absenteeism Undermines Pre-K Benefits


September 20, 2016 OutcomesQuality and Curriculum
by Melissa Dahlin

The early childhood field is committed to increasing access to high quality early learning experiences. But the work doesn’t stop at enrollment –we need to ensure children are consistently attending in order to reap the benefits. Every day in high quality programs provides ongoing learning opportunities. Missing out on that can have both short- and…

Grading State Pre-K on the Curve: Is the Best Good Enough?


September 14, 2016 Quality and CurriculumState & Local
by Jim Squires

Each spring when NIEER releases The State of Preschool Yearbook there is a rush to compare one state to another. States ranking high in access, resources and quality are pleased while others are disappointed their preschool efforts fall short. This is especially true when states look at the number of benchmarks for minimum acceptable quality standards attained; only 7 programs…

In Back-to-School Rush, Think of First-Time Students


September 7, 2016 Outcomes
by Valora Washington

It’s that time of year when parents are inundated with back-to-school reminders and instructions on everything from updating emergency contact lists to making sure they purchase binders with the correct width. Much of the activity around preparing for the first day of school tends to focus on those children who are indeed going back to…

Why the Source of Preschool Funding Matters


September 2, 2016 Economics and FinanceGovernance and Accountability
by Richard Kasmin

While research demonstrates the educational, economic, and social benefits of quality preschool, a portion of the public continues to see early learning as a social welfare program — babysitting for the poor — rather than education. From that perspective it makes little sense to provide the same universal access to preschool programs as to K-12…

In the Education Olympics Politicians Promise Much but Fail the First Hurdle


August 24, 2016 FederalGovernance and AccountabilityQuality and Curriculum
By W. Steven Barnett Ph.D.

As we celebrate Team USA’s success setting world records and earning medals at the 2016 summer Olympics, we cannot escape the fact America has fallen off a world class pace in education. The United States used to be a world leader in college graduation.  As recently as 1995 we were number one, but we have…

Bill Clinton Spotlights a 1980s Early Education Success Story in Arkansas: Will Politicians of Both Parties Follow this Lead to Support Early Learning Today?


July 28, 2016 AccessQuality and CurriculumState & Local

Former President Bill Clinton praised Arkansas’ preschool programs during a speech this week at the Democratic National Convention, citing the HIPPY program by name, and recalling the pride of parents at preschool graduation ceremonies. HIPPY is a well-researched program helping parents support their young child’s learning and development at home, which Hillary Clinton helped introduce…

Review of Kaufman, Kaufman, and Nelson’s Pre-K Home Companion


July 15, 2016 Quality and Curriculum

by Jessica Francis

Transforming the Early Childhood Education Workforce


May 24, 2016 Workforce

The 2015 Institute of Medicine and National Research Council’s (IOM & NRC) Transforming the Workforce  report highlights the state’s role in creating a pathway for early care and education (ECE) teachers to acquire education and professional development to meet the demands of their important role. Research shows that ECE teachers’ skills and competencies are predictive of child outcomes,…

Slow and (Un)Steady Does Not Win the Race: What Other States Should Learn from New York


May 12, 2016 AccessQuality and CurriculumState & Local

The economist John Maynard Keynes famously wrote: “The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.” Typically, this phrase is cited to support government intervention over waiting for the eventually self-correcting private sector. As this year’s State of Preschool marks 14 years of tracking state government support for preschool…

A Fresh Look at the State of Preschool


May 9, 2016 State & LocalUniversal and Targeted

The National Institute for Early Education Research will release its latest findings on the state of preschool on Thursday, May 12 in New York City. If this sounds like a new venue for the yearbook’s release, it is—and not without reason. Joining me and the research team at the press conference will be Mayor Bill de…