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Facing unprepared kindergartners, a rural school district restores preschool for all

April 5, 2018 English Language LearnersState & Local
Ashley Hopkinson

In 2016, heading into her 15th year as a kindergarten teacher, Kristy Caesar knew what to expect from a room full of 5-year-olds. But what greeted her on that first day of school last year was an eye opener — she had 21 kindergarteners and only four had attended preschool. Eighteen students couldn’t recognize a…

Obama Administration Touts Early Childhood Ed Expansion

September 20, 2016 AccessEnglish Language Learners
Grace Smith

Today, hundreds of thousands more US children have access to high-quality early learning programs than when the Obama administration began. It was 2013 when President Obama announced his Preschool for All proposal that would establish a state-federal coalition to provide quality preschool for every four-year-old from low- and moderate-income households. After the initiative was put…

Pa. Business Leaders: We Need More Money for Pre-K

June 22, 2016 English Language Learners
Esther Yoon

While the soda tax battle finally ended on Monday when Mayor Jim Kenney signed the long-contested sugary drinks tax into law, local business leaders are saying more needs to be done. They’re calling on the state to to pump an additional $90 million into funding for high-quality pre-K, the Philadelphia Business Journal  reports . Representatives from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of…

NIEER Releases Data on State Policies to Support DLLs

June 6, 2016 AccessAssessmentEnglish Language LearnersOutcomesQuality and CurriculumUniversal and Targeted
Amaya Garcia

Last fall my three-year-old son enrolled in a public pre-K program at a local elementary school in Washington, D.C. At our first meeting with his teacher, she asked us questions about what languages we spoke at home and whether our son spoke a language other than English. I was thrilled to be asked these questions…

Supporting Dual Language Learners in Early Learning Settings

June 3, 2016 AccessEnglish Language LearnersOutcomesQuality and CurriculumUniversal and Targeted
The White House

Today the White House is announcing a new  Federal policy statement  from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education on better supporting our country’s youngest dual language learners (DLLs) in early childhood programs. The Obama Administration will be joined by public and private sector organizations that will also announce new commitments to support DLLs. Additionally,…

Nationwide bipartisan trend: State pre-K funding increases

February 26, 2016 Economics and FinanceEnglish Language LearnersQuality and Curriculum
Katie Parham

The Education Commission of the States (ECS) recently released its annual report on state pre-K funding for the 2015-2016 year, highlighting a nationwide trend in increased funding allocations by states on pre-K programming for the fourth year in a row. Almost two-thirds of states plus the District of Columbia funded pre-K at higher levels last…

Public preschools attempt to accommodate diverse languages of students

January 7, 2016 English Language Learners
Sarah Tully

While Spanish is by far the most common language other than English in California’s publicly funded pre-kindergarten programs, they enroll children who speak a variety of languages, reflecting the pockets of ethnic communities dotting California. In Los Angeles County alone, 224 languages and dialects are spoken by children in  Head Start  and the  California State Preschool Program. Preschool programs are playing a…

Preschool programs face challenge of preparing staff to teach English learners

December 11, 2015 English Language LearnersOutcomesWorkforce
Sarah Tully

About half of the children in the two largest public preschool programs in California – Head Start and the California State Preschool Program – speak a language other than English at home, but there is a good chance they will not be in classrooms with teachers and teacher assistants who are bilingual or trained specifically…

How one program is helping English learners succeed starting in preschool

November 12, 2015 English Language Learners
Sarah Tully

Lopez’s class is part of the  Sobrato Early Academic Language , or SEAL, program that aims to help English learners starting in preschool so they don’t struggle in school later. SEAL classes stress vocabulary, talking and role-playing among students, while their teachers undergo extensive training and their parents are encouraged to get involved. The program, founded in 2008, is…

Popular LA preschool language program is targeted once again

April 30, 2015 Economics and FinanceEnglish Language LearnersQuality and CurriculumState & Local
Michael Collier

A popular and well-regarded preschool program in Los Angeles, which was created more than three decades ago to help children and their parents in low-income, racially and ethnically isolated neighborhoods of the city, would be shut down over the next two years under a district proposal to cut costs. The specialized program, known as the…