Early Education in the News
The 2011 Yearbook examines the 2010-2011 school year as well as documenting a decade of progress since the first Yearbook collected data on the 2001-2002 school year. Twenty-eight percent of America’s 4-year-olds were enrolled in a state-funded preschool program in the 2010-2011 school year even as per child funding was cut, stressing the importance of ensuring quality in existing programs and expanding access to all children.
Focusing on the foundation is even more important with children. By providing quality early learning and development now, we are ensuring the long-term success of our economy. Just as roads and bridges need solid bearings, so do our young children.
The pre-k reduction, though, means about 2,000 fewer children are in the program this school year. That number would've been more like 4,000 if not for [Governor] Bev Perdue moving money around in February to create new spots.
Nearly half of all U.S. preschool-age children don't get outdoors at least once a day for parent-supervised playtime, researchers reported Monday, causing concern among experts who say early exercise habits could protect children from obesity later in life.
A 2008 report by the National Institute for Literacy found that sharing books with adults helped young children develop print knowledge and oral language skills, which play a role in later development of reading and writing skills. But don't confuse early literacy with early reading--formal instruction that pushes babies and toddlers to read and write is not developmentally appropriate, experts say.
When a preschool relies on play-based learning and has a skilled teacher who knows how to extend the learning that children naturally engage in, the results are priceless.
The [achievement] gap can be closed, if attacked early and aggressively enough. Without question, there is one great equalizer: pre-kindergarten.
The Department of Education may consider a plan to eliminate Pre-K programs to create space for more kindergartners, after hundreds of angry parents landed on a waitlist for their neighborhood schools.
Any state that wants more college graduates cannot scrimp on early childhood. Yet, despite Kentucky's desire to raise college attainment, not even a meager $15 million expansion of early childhood education is making it through the legislature.
Concerns about early literacy skills are justified because reading skills at kindergarten entry predict later academic achievement. But guess what predicts later academic success better than early reading? Early math skills.
The study sponsored by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute was conducted by a Federal Reserve economist and a former director of the state Legislative Audit Bureau. It found that investments in young children "can relatively quickly reduce special education and other classroom costs and enable parents to move into the workforce."
Bills aimed at organizing a wide range of early childhood education and child care centers, implanting academic standards and assigning grades so parents can judge their quality made it through the full Senate and a House committee Wednesday.
Being able to follow three- to four-step instructions is one of the skills a child should have when entering kindergarten, according to the Madison County Schools Kindergarten Readiness Checklist, which is supported by the state's early childhood standards.
The senator's comments came during discussion Thursday of SB 581 by Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, which would create the Louisiana Early Childhood Education Act, a streamlined early childhood network with kindergarten-readiness standards.
So, why isn't preschool a priority? There is ample evidence of its effectiveness – not just from educators, but from economists at the Federal Reserve and MIT.
Whether or not children who turn 5 late this year will start school in the fall is still in limbo after the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance rejected the governor's plan to cut funding Tuesday.
Head Start faces more performance pressure than ever before as federal and local budget woes escalate.
Reps. Ray Franz and Jon Bumstead and Sen. Goeff Hansen listened to parents, teachers and other school personnel as well while taking notes and preparing for a start at the next fiscal year budget.
Hundreds of teachers left Georgia's lottery-funded pre-k program after last year's budget cuts, and most aren't expected to rush back on the promise of slightly bigger but still-downsized paychecks. The program, which serves 84,000 students and has long been lauded nationally by advocates of early childhood education, took a hit to its reputation – and, some say, its quality – with last year's cutbacks.
While there is no shortage of anecdotes about preschool playtime turning into a learning experience, there has been little proof that the $220 million that Connecticut has been investing in these programs every year is producing results. "It's astounding," Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said of the state's failure to ever compare the achievement of students who attended preschool to those who did not.