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Preschool Matters Today

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New England’s Pre-K Patchwork

May 29, 2012 Access

A common pastime in colonial America was the quilting bee when neighbors gathered with scraps of fabric, needles and thread to create something functional. The product of these gatherings, in combination with lengthy discussion about local affairs and gossip, was a uniquely designed quilt that provided comfort to those who would huddle underneath on chilly…

FDR’s Advice to Pre-K’s Big Four

May 15, 2012 Access

When the auto industry mentions “The Big Three,” all eyes turn to Detroit. The Big Three’s dominance in automotive engineering lasted for decades before years of failing to pay attention to critical signs caught up with them. As NIEER’s The State of Preschool 2011: State Preschool Yearbook indicates, early education has its own version of dominance in “The Big Four” – California, Florida, New…

Missed Opportunities: Pre-K Lags for Hispanic Children

April 30, 2012 AccessEnglish Language LearnersOutcomes

Hispanic children and families have been hit particularly hard due to recent funding cuts in state-funded pre-K. While the State Preschool Yearbook  does not break down data by ethnicity, our data on state efforts combined with other sources paints a troubling picture for Hispanic preschoolers, especially those growing up in a household where English is not the primary…

Widening Gap in Pre-K Access: Haves and Have Nots

April 17, 2012 AccessOutcomes

Mountains of evidence over years of study have shown that high-quality preschool education helps put kids on the right track for future success in school and beyond, especially those children from low-income families or facing other challenges that put them at a disadvantage.  It could not be clearer, though, from our 2011 State Preschool Yearbook that the disparities in state-funded pre-K are…

NIEER Marks Decade of Study by Releasing State of Preschool 2011 Yearbook

April 10, 2012 Access

Today, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined me for the release of The State of Preschool 2011: State Preschool Yearbook at Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The new Yearbook not only provides insights on the state of state-funded pre-K for 2010-2011 but also for the entire past decade. Where is the nation headed in preschool education?  How do states compare on access,…

State Support for Head Start Over the Years

March 27, 2012 Access

In addition to offering state pre-K and child care subsidies some states support pre-K by adding on to the federal Head Start program. Supplementing Head Start programs with state funding allows states to build upon the federal Head Start program–funding more children, providing extended-day and/or extended-year services, or making quality improvements. This is especially important…

Investing in Future Jobs: Will North Carolina Fail the First Hurdle in the Economic Race?

December 1, 2011 Access

North Carolina, on the verge of abandoning its commitment to high-quality pre-kindergarten education, could not have worse timing. In the midst of a struggling recovery, now is not the time to give up on an investment research has proven to provide terrific economic returns. North Carolina’s pre-K program, formerly known as More at Four, was…

Celebrating Children’s Rights

November 18, 2011 AccessOutcomes

Since 1954, the United Nations (UN) has observed November 20 as “ Universal Children’s Day ,” a day to honor children and promote activities for their welfare. On this day in 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted their Declaration of the Rights of the Child . On this date in 1989, these rights became legally binding to all UN member countries that ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child ,…

The Empty Space on the Carpet: Absenteeism in the Early Years

September 19, 2011 Access

While the Perfect Attendance award may be a coveted prize for some, young students are missing an alarming number of school days. According to the national nonprofit Attendance Works , about 1 in 10 kindergarteners and first-graders are chronically absent—that is, missing 18 or more days of the school year, or about 10 percent of class days….

Pre-K Disparities: What You Get Depends on Where You Live

July 20, 2011 AccessQuality and Curriculum

When we analyzed the data for The State of Preschool 2010 , a disturbing trend that we noticed the previous year continued to appear: during these difficult economic times, disparities among states in providing high-quality preschool education are growing larger. Consequently, children’s access to and quality of experiences in preschool vary drastically depending on where they reside. For instance, a…