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Commentary: US must invest in early childhood


June 9, 2016 Economics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityQuality and CurriculumState & Local
Rebecca Ullrich & Jessica Troe

Yet time and again, policymakers expect hundreds of thousands of miles out of early childhood programs that are not adequately funded and maintained. Critics like to say that we don’t know if early childhood programs work, suggesting that the research is inconclusive. But we can’t expect much mileage from programs whose funding is constantly under…

Should N.J. expand public preschool?


June 9, 2016 AccessEconomics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityOutcomesState & Local
Diane D'Amico

Only about a third of all children in the state have access to free public preschool. A new legislative effort to expand the program has many supporters, but also many hurdles to overcome. Nationally, public preschool is slowly expanding. In 2003, the first year of the State of Preschool Yearbook published by the National Institute…

Alabama’s investment in pre-K is paying off


June 7, 2016 State & Local
Brian Bucher

As parents and caregivers, few of us would consider ourselves experts on child brain development. But decades of research has established the critical importance of children learning before they reach school age and the role we have in shaping their progress.  During the first five years of life, children begin to learn vocabulary, language, socio-emotional…

Mississippi Ranks High in Early Learning Quality


June 6, 2016 Quality and CurriculumState & Local
Katarina Luketich

Mississippi’s early learning collaboratives have been rated among the top five in the nation for quality standards. Public pre-k began in 2013 when the legislature passed the early learning collaborative act, providing free pre-kindergarten to local communities throughout Mississippi. While the recognition by the National Institute for Early Education Research shows Mississippi on the right…

Putting early education front and center in Mass.


June 3, 2016 AccessOutcomesState & Local
Shirley Leung

House Speaker Bob DeLeo is done talking about the value of preschool education. It’s time to get it right in Massachusetts. This week DeLeo began meeting with a group of business leaders to develop a plan on how the state could increase not only access to early education but improve quality. His goal: Come up…

Kentucky Preschools Dropped Enrollment in 2015, But Increased Per-Student Funding


May 31, 2016 AccessAssessmentOutcomesState & LocalState Pre-K Evaluations
Rob Canning

A new report from a non-profit early education advocacy group shows that Kentucky is among states improving in the number of state dollars spent for Pre-Kindergarten education programs. According to “The State of Preschool Yearbook” by The National Institute for Early Education Research, the 2014-2015 school year saw improvement in state-by-state Pre-K funding across the…

Preschool Offers Barter Program to Help Parents Offset Tuition Costs


May 31, 2016 AccessEconomics and FinanceState & Local
Carolina Pichardo

A local preschool’s work-study grant program lets parents barter their skills for a preschool tuition break, making the process of going back to work a lot easier and more affordable, its director says. When the Osher Learning Center on 50 Overlook Terrace opened in 2011, the goal was to provide an affordable and nurturing educational environment, where kids…

Texas Needs Universal Pre-K Access


May 27, 2016 AccessState & Local

Funding early childhood education should not be a partisan issue. It’s an investment in the future of the next generation and a crucial component in ensuring the economic growth of our country. Research shows children who receive early childhood education have better health and education outcomes than their peers who don’t have such access. In…

MTG: Pre-K programs grow significantly–not not in Idaho


May 26, 2016 AccessEconomics and FinanceState & Local
Kevin Richert & Michelle Edmonds

Across the country, states spent $6.2 billion on pre-K programs in 2014-15, a $553 million increase. The city of Boise is helping to fund a pre-K pilot program in the Boise School District. These programs served nearly 1.4 million students, up more than 37,000 from the previous year. The National Institute for Early Education Research…

D.C. school choice makes Pre-K access tops in the nation


May 25, 2016 AccessState & Local
Emily Leayman

For the third school year, D.C. was ranked first in the nation for Pre-K per-student funding and enrollment. Sara Mead, a D.C. Public Charter School Board member and Pre-K expert, believes the numerous choices of 120 public charter schools and traditional charter schools helped D.C.’s universal Pre-K program claim the top spot. “Having that variety…