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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

Why Curriculum Decision Makers Should Look at All the Evidence

July 15, 2010

Developing guidance on what works in early education is always challenging and that certainly applies to the difficult business of evaluating and selecting a curriculum. Whenever specific early education curricula are evaluated, judgment calls have to be made on the strengths and weaknesses of the evaluation including such issues as the duration and quality of…

A Glimpse into France’s Ecole Maternelle

July 7, 2010

The overwhelming majority of early childhood education in France takes place in public preschools such as the well-known ecole maternelle. These programs must meet national standards and are sufficiently subsidized by the government to enable children from middle class families to attend at little or no cost. Not surprisingly, enrollment of French children in the…

By the Book: Approaches to Curriculum in State Pre-K Programs

June 28, 2010

There is no simple answer to the question of what, and how, preschoolers should be taught. The 51 state-funded preschool programs profiled in The State of Preschool 2009 Yearbook present a wide range of program interests and state priorities, and this continues to be true in the realm of curriculum. Thirty-three prekindergarten programs in 26…

Getting Child Care Right

June 22, 2010

Related Reading Child Care Today: Getting It Right for Everyone Penelope Leach Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. New York 350 pp., ISBN 978-1-4000-4256-2 $25.95 Parents in need of child care are faced with many important decisions. To whom are they willing to entrust their children while they are away? How much of the day and what…

What are State Programs Doing to Engage Pre-K Families?

June 16, 2010

Policies directed at encouraging family engagement continue to be of interest for the field as policymakers, researchers and advocates look for ways to improve early childhood education programs and child outcomes. The State of Preschool 2009 Yearbook collected data on family engagement activities in state-funded prekindergarten programs. Programs were asked about required engagement activities, as…

Enhancing Policy and Practice for Young Dual Language Learners: What Does the Research Base Look Like?

June 7, 2010 English Language Learners

It’s critically important that more and better data on English Language Learners (ELLs) be collected so the early childhood field can move ahead with much-needed analyses that can help inform policy on a number of fronts. NIEER’s compilation of state efforts to collect data on the ELL population and support of ELLs is a welcome development. As language issues continue to assume a higher profile in the field, it’s also important…

Does State Pre-K Effectively Serve English Language Learners?

June 4, 2010 English Language Learners

As the population of young children changes, there has been an increase in research focusing on English Language Learners (ELLs). For The State of Preschool 2009 yearbook, data were collected on the number of ELLs in state-funded prekindergarten programs, support services for ELLs and their families, and whether or not programs identify having non-English speaking family members as a risk…

What the Yearbook Says About Teacher Qualifications

May 28, 2010 Workforce

Findings from the 2009 State of Preschool yearbook indicate a slow down in the recent trend of increasing standards for teacher qualifications. Overall, for the 2008-2009 school year, 23 out of 38 states with pre-K programs failed to fully meet NIEER benchmarks for teacher qualifications. Qualifications include having a minimum of a BA degree and…

Leadership Matters: Governors’ 2011 State Pre-K Budgets Run the Gamut

May 20, 2010

If all of the governors’ FY 2011 budgets were to pass as proposed, total state pre-K funding would remain roughly the same as FY 2010 – about $5.3 billion, says Pre-K Now’s just-released Leadership Matters report. Beyond the national total, however, lie big variations, ranging from expansion plans in Alabama to elimination of state pre-K in Arizona….

Using The State of Preschool 2009: What You See In Print is Only Part of What You Get

May 14, 2010

Each year, when we publish the NIEER State of Preschool Yearbook, we rank the various state pre-K programs based on children’s access to them and resources allocated to pre-K in each state. Beyond these rankings, however, there’s lots to learn from the print edition and even more in the online edition, which contains an informative…