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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

Finishing the job we started: the next best step in early childhood education


December 16, 2015 English Language LearnersOutcomes

By Valora Washington and Jeffrey Gross. Valora Washington is the Founder and Director of the CAYL Institute ( www.cayl.org ) and CEO of the Council for Professional Recognition ( www.cdacouncil.org ). Jeffrey Gross is Director of the New Americans Integration Institute at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition ( www.miracoalition.org ). Massachusetts has often been on the cutting edge…

School Mobility: Implications for Children’s Development


November 30, 2015 Outcomes

More than one-fifth of children in the United States are living in poverty . Children growing up in poverty face numerous adversities that can negatively affect their learning and development, starting at a very early age. For example, these children are less likely to have access to books and to hear rich vocabulary; and are more…

Empty windows of opportunity?


October 26, 2015

John T. Bruer , Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow, Economic StudiesCenter on Children and Families , recently wrote about the seductive appeal of brain science in assuring optimal brain development and life-long wellbeing. He noted that “The advocacy literature tends to tell only half of the story about the effects of experience on synapse formation. The full story raises doubts as to how much specific…

What the State of Preschool can tell us about Dual Language Learners in state programs


October 21, 2015 English Language Learners

The NIEER State of Preschool Yearbook collects data on a variety of topics relating to early childhood, including how states are serving dual language learners. According to Child Trends , nearly 22 percent of U.S. children live in a household that speaks a language other than English, therefore, it is important to analyze what supports early childhood programs are providing…

Early STEM – Fuel for Learning


October 6, 2015

José, a preschooler in Mrs. Hardy’s classroom, had never talked in class. He was a dual language learner (DLL), and it was already December. His teacher was participating in our SciMath-DLL professional development project where she had been learning about how to incorporate more science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) into her classroom and how…

Lessons learned from Vanderbilt’s study of Tennessee Pre-K


October 2, 2015

Newly released  findings  from Vanderbilt’s rigorous study of Tennessee’s state-funded pre-K program are a needed tonic for overly optimistic views. No study stands alone, but in the context of the larger literature the Tennessee study is a clear warning against complacency, wishful thinking, and easy promises. Much hard work is required if high quality preschool programs…

Part II: Functions and Capacities of P-3 Governance


September 23, 2015

(Part II of II. For Part I click here .) Governance change has been a catalyst for broader system development in the states that have chosen to focus on this subsystem (Dichter, 2015; Gomez, 2014), though much more empirical work needs to occur in order to understand how governance affects state system development and, subsequently, services…

P-3 governance–What is it, and why is it important?


September 16, 2015

No time is more critical than the present to consider governance and how a state’s approach to governance affects the development and implementation of P-3 systems. _____ Part I: Defining and Describing Governance Governance, as a term applied to the field of early learning, is somewhat ambiguous. To whom or what are we referring when…

Buried treasure: Discovering gold in the NIEER State of Preschool Yearbook


September 9, 2015 English Language Learners

Similar to birds migrating north every year, a wealth of information on early education flies annually into the National Institute for Early Education Research ( NIEER ), as specialists from state education agencies provide data for the Annual State of Preschool Yearbook . Entering its 13th year, the Yearbook reports valuable information on access to, quality of, and resources for state…

Back to School: Who is caring for your young children?


September 2, 2015

Valora Washington is the founder and president of the CAYL Institute in Boston ( cayl.org ), and CEO of the CDA Council for Professional Recognition. She’s the author of hundreds of articles and several books about early education, including a new one: The New Early Childhood Professional. It’s back to school time! Those words usually invoke thoughts…