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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

Health Care Reform: Early Learning Challenge Fund Dropped but Home Visitation Survives


March 26, 2010

We were bitterly disappointed to learn that the Early Learning Challenge Fund didn’t survive the rough and tumble of the health care reform effort. It represented much that was good about the Obama approach to education. Using competitive grants to fund better quality, better-coordinated services for children from birth to age 5, as the program…

Calling All Doctoral Students: Dissertation Funding Available


March 24, 2010

Child Care Research Scholars grants are available to support graduate students as a way of encouraging child care policy research. Eligible applicants include doctoral level graduate students enrolled in accredited public, state-controlled, and private institutions of higher education, including Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), and faith-based…

Why School Reform Should Begin With Pre-K


March 12, 2010 Outcomes

In the past, too many school reform conversations have begun at the kindergarten door, but that is changing. We think it particularly noteworthy that the latest issue of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) quarterly journal American Educator features two articles devoted preschool education. In their article “The Promise of Preschool,” NIEER Co-Directors Ellen Frede and Steve Barnett make…

Preschool’s Role in Fighting Childhood Obesity


March 9, 2010

While new data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that the childhood obesity epidemic may have hit a plateau, the fact remains that in 2008, 14.6 percent of low-income children from ages 2 to 4 were obese. Obesity at such young ages has been linked to less physical activity, thus perpetuating unhealthy weight…

Bredekamp Book Illuminates Effective Practices


March 1, 2010 OutcomesWorkforce

Sue Bredekamp, one of the foremost authors on early childhood teaching practice, is out with a timely new book. Few are as qualified to write a primer on effective practice as she. Many may recall Sue is the primary author of NAEYC’s Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs (1987 and 1997 editions) and co-author…

Preschool Education Reform in America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation (or What I Learned from Fox Business News about Preschool)


February 19, 2010

I think I saw the “Borat” guy again on TV last night (Fox Business News). He cracks me up. This time he called himself “Stossel.” His fake reporter routine never gets old. You would think after the movie everyone would recognize him, even with the name change, or that his corkscrew logic and misinterpretations would…

Bringing Science to Pre-K: Rutgers Researchers Write the Book


February 12, 2010

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmYApH10kYs] “What do you predict we will find inside here?” Kimberly Brenneman asks the preschoolers gathered around her as they consider the coconut she is holding. This isn’t your everyday show and tell. Dr. Brenneman, an assistant research professor at Rutgers’ Department of Psychology, as well as NIEER, is engaging the kids in a line…

Rx for President Obama’s Early Learning Budget: Tie it Firmly to Education Reform


February 5, 2010 Outcomes

Although I have long championed a big boost in the federal commitment for early care and education, I have a major concern with the FY 2011 early care and education budget increases President Obama proposed this week. The funding increases the president proposes for FY2011 are, if nothing else, big. They include: • A $1.6…

Change we need: Responding responsibly to the results of the Head Start Impact Study


January 15, 2010 Outcomes

One prediction I make confidently is that most responses to the new report on Head Start’s effects will be wrong. Advocates of Head Start will try to “kill the messenger” by attacking the study and rejecting any notion that Head Start needs serious reform. Opponents of Head Start will claim that the program has been…

For-Profit Pre-K Providers Faring Reasonably Well … So Far


January 8, 2010

One of many fascinating articles by Roger Neugebauer at ChildCare Exchange provides a snapshot of how the top 50 for-profit child care companies are faring and their major concerns. Like most of the rest of us, CEOs of the top 50 are most concerned about the state of the economy and the rising cost of health…