Early Education in the News

Chalkbeat Colorado
October 26, 2015

A recent landmark study out of Tennessee upended the conventional wisdom about the power of preschool and raised questions nationwide, including in Colorado, about how to leverage early education to produce long-lasting impacts.

The Vanderbilt University study revealed that at-risk students who participated in Tennessee’s publicly-funded preschool program showed significant gains initially, but by third grade performed worse than non-participants on both academic and behavior measures.

Early childhood experts here say the study underscores the need for quality in both preschool and subsequent K-3 instruction, but that the findings don’t match Colorado data showing that academic benefits of preschool do stick.

“You don’t have the same story in Colorado,” said Charlotte Brantley, president and CEO of Denver’s Clayton Early Learning.

Christian Science Monitor
October 26, 2015

Chan’s holistic approach echoes the modus operandi of “whole-child” education programs, in which every factor outside of K-12 school is considered pertinent to education as a whole. The Harlem Children’s Zone, for instance, is an ongoing community project that encompasses every stage of education starting from early childhood as well as offering an array of community programs, including ones designed to that promote health.

While there have been mixed reviews of their subsequent academic impact, early childhood education programs like HCZ’s Baby College still serve the community in ways that had been lacking previously.

"There's a lot more to learning and development than test scores," W. Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, tells NPR in May. "And so if it only has modest impacts, it's probably worth it."

Delaware Public Media
October 26, 2015

Gov. Jack Markell is calling on the state to keep broadening access to early childhood education in his weekly message.

Markell spoke this week from Christina Early Education Center in Newark, which was just given the state's 100th five-star rating -- the highest in the Delaware Stars ranking system for early childhood education.

Markell said the state has made progress in getting more low-income children into the best preschools and daycares:

"More than 58 percent of the state’s most vulnerable children are enrolled in highly rated Stars programs. That's up from just 5 percent in 2011. That's thousands more low-income kids getting a great start," said Markell.

Online Athens
October 26, 2015

Early childhood education has a big economic effect in Georgia, said state officials, scholars and advocates in Athens on Friday.

But the state should find ways to boost the industry lest Georgia fall behind in its quest to produce a more educated workforce, some said in the morning briefing in the University of Georgia’s Seney-Stovall Chapel.

The industry’s economic impact is about $4.7 billion in Georgia, said Georgia State University economic analyst Sally Wallace — a $2.5 billion direct impact, $910 million indirect and $1.3 billion “induced,” she said. Direct is money that goes directly into child care, such as salaries for teachers, while indirect includes such things as transportation and janitorial services associated with early child care. “Induced” means things like the economic effect when employees buy household goods with money they’ve earned in child care, which supports other businesses.

The industry employs 67,000 people and helps create other jobs for 17,000 more; provides care for 337,000 children, which helps nearly 552,000 parents; and generates hundreds of millions in tax revenue for state and federal governments, she said.

Chalkbeat Colorado
October 26, 2015

A recent landmark study out of Tennessee upended the conventional wisdom about the power of preschool and raised questions nationwide, including in Colorado, about how to leverage early education to produce long-lasting impacts.
The Vanderbilt University study revealed that at-risk students who participated in Tennessee’s publicly-funded preschool program showed significant gains initially, but by third grade performed worse than non-participants on both academic and behavior measures. Early childhood experts here say the study underscores the need for quality in both preschool and subsequent K-3 instruction, but that the findings don’t match Colorado data showing that academic benefits of preschool do stick. . .

But Dale Farran, one of the Vanderbilt study authors, said such data—part of an annual report to the Colorado legislature—doesn’t rigorously match preschool children to comparison group children. Instead of matching them prior to the preschool year, they’re matched after-the-fact in first grade—leaving many unknowns about parent motivation, poverty status and skill levels when the comparison children were 4.

Yahoo News
October 26, 2015

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has a new business venture, and no, it's not in tech.

Under the leadership of Zuckerberg's wife, Priscilla Chan, the couple is planning to open their own school in Palo Alto, Calif. The Primary School will serve the children of East Palo Alto and Belle Haven, Kindergarten through grade 12. More distinctively, the school will also provide its students health care services from birth to graduation.

“I'm so proud of Priscilla for starting The Primary School – a new kind of school that brings education and healthcare together,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “Health and education are closely connected. When children aren't healthy, they can't learn as easily. . .”

"There's a lot more to learning and development than test scores," W. Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, tells NPR in May. "And so if it only has modest impacts, it's probably worth it."

The Atlantic
October 24, 2015

One of the more staggering education statistics to transpire in recent years is that, in most states, daycare actually costs more than tuition and fees at a public four-year college. The finding, which is based on a 2013 report by Child Care Aware America, specifically refers to the care of an infant—but the high costs of caring for and educating children continue until they enter kindergarten. That’s largely because, compared to the K-12 and higher-ed sectors, there are relatively few public prekindergarten options in the United States to choose from.

The staggering price of preschool means it’s largely open only to wealthier families—even though a new poll suggests that an overwhelming majority of America’s adults agree that the country should ensure more children have access to quality learning in their first five years of life. In the same poll, a plurality of them even went so far as to say that Americans should invest more in early education than in college.

Common Dreams
October 23, 2015

Turns out preschool is good for everybody. Here are five reasons we need universal preschool right now. . .

Preschool has benefits for all kids, but even more so for kids from low-income families. In an age where everything’s a political battleground, investment in early childhood education is actually something that people across the political spectrum agree on.

Noodls
October 23, 2015

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that students in Georgia's Pre-K program show educational improvement in key areas and progress at a greater rate while participating in the program, according to a recent study. The results are part of a multi-year evaluation by the Frank Porter Graham Childhood Development Institute at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

'Ensuring Georgia's youngest scholars continue to benefit from Georgia's highly ranked Pre-K program is one of my top priorities,' said Deal. 'This study confirms that Georgia is on the right track. Our Pre-K program helps students acquire the foundation necessary for a solid education, puts them on track to read at grade level by the third grade and assists in developing essential skills which will lead to academic excellence and future success.'

NJ.com
October 23, 2015

Ensuring that every New Jersey child has access to quality preschool education is one of the best investments we can make in our future. Decades of studies have demonstrated that children who enter school prepared enjoy higher academic achievement, are more likely to graduate and go to college, earn more money in their lifetimes and are less likely to rely on government services. . .

Quality preschool and full-day kindergarten is critical not only for socioeconomically disadvantaged youngsters, but for all New Jersey's children. 

Catalyst Chicago
October 22, 2015

In recent years, early education in Illinois has become more exacting, with a more highly trained workforce.

In 2013, the state won a four-year, $52.5 million grant through the federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge that helped usher in new early learning standards that align with the more challenging K-12 Common Core State Standards and a new rating system that helps parents evaluate preschool quality.

Early childhood educators are being encouraged to obtain standardized credentials that show they’ve mastered important skills, and colleges and universities are increasingly recognizing their credentials — helping early educators move up the higher-education ladder more quickly.

And last year, Illinois won a federal preschool expansion grant — worth $20 million in the first year, with the potential for three more years at that level if the state comes through with its $128 million pledge. The state says this program would extend early childhood education to just under an additional 14,000 preschoolers.

Seattle Times
October 22, 2015

A county fact sheet says the defining purpose of the countywide levy, on the ballot as Proposition 1, is to invest in “prevention and early intervention for children, youth, families and communities.” The county further names a wide range of aims to be addressed, from improving the health of newborns to identifying depression in adolescents to helping stave off homelessness.

The investments, though, are spelled out only in the broadest of strokes, mainly in terms of the ages that are to be targeted.

Roughly half the money would go to prenatal care and children under 5. Thirty-five percent would aid older kids and even young adults up to age 24 — in recognition, according to the county, that early gains need to be sustained throughout the period that young people’s brains are still developing.

The remainder would help create “safe and healthy communities” as well as a multimillion-dollar evaluation system.

National Journal
October 22, 2015

Crit­ic­al swing voters would sup­port a pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate who en­dorses in­vest­ments in early-child­hood edu­ca­tion.

Sixty-nine per­cent of Lati­nos, 62 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als, and 57 per­cent of those who identi­fy as mod­er­ate would be im­pressed with a can­did­ate who sup­ports such in­vest­ments, ac­cord­ing to a new poll from the First Five Years Fund.

“This is an area where people clearly see a need,” said Jay Camp­bell, a seni­or vice pres­id­ent at Hart Re­search As­so­ci­ates, a Demo­crat­ic polling team that partnered with the Re­pub­lic­an Pub­lic Opin­ion Strategies polling firm to con­duct the sur­vey, dur­ing a call with re­port­ers. Wheth­er a per­son has a child makes little dif­fer­ence in their views.

Bey­ond swing voters, there is broad bi­par­tis­an sup­port for in­creas­ing fed­er­al in­vest­ments to help states bol­ster early-child­hood edu­ca­tion for low- and mod­er­ate-in­come fam­il­ies. Nearly 60 per­cent of Re­pub­lic­ans sup­port the idea, with 86 per­cent of Lati­nos and 87 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als also back­ing the pro­pos­al.

National Priorities Project
October 22, 2015

One key to successful preschool is that is has to be high quality: that means well-educated, well-paid teachers and thoughtful programs. It’s not cheap.

But it’s worth it. Every dollar invested in preschool saves as much as $17 down the road.

And while it’s expensive, we have the resources. If taxpayers with incomes over $500,000 paid between 0.1% and 1.4% more of their income in taxes (with the highest increase for folks with over $10 million in income), it would cover the president’s proposal to spend $750 billion over the next ten years on preschool for all of our children.  

As a country, we pay plenty in taxes when we decide something is important. In 2014, we spent $628 billion on the military – that’s 90 times as much as we spent on Head Start.

It’s time to get serious about what families need in the 21st century: it’s time for us to recognize that preschool is essential for our kids, our families, and our economy.

UDaily
October 22, 2015

In very young humans, whose brains and other internal networks still are developing, such stress can have lifelong consequences in large part because of how the stress hormone cortisol affects the brain's structure and circuitry. Long-term exposure can contribute to mental health disorders, learning problems, inability to regulate emotions and a cascade of other troubles, researchers say.

But researchers also know that nurturing relationships with caregivers can relieve such stress in children and even reverse some of the damage done by such situations.

That's why child advocates and researchers around the nation – including a team led by Jason Hustedt, assistant professor in the University of Delaware'sDepartment of Human Development and Family Studies – are looking for effective ways to help families and caregivers build healthy, supportive relationships with the children in their care. Stronger relationships may be precisely the foundational shift children need to overcome the effects of harmful stressors such as conditions of poverty, abuse and/or neglect.

The University's Starting At Home project led by Hustedt is part of the federally funded Buffering Toxic Stress Consortium, which also includes five other research projects to evaluate promising approaches to reducing high stress levels in children. 

WAMC NPR
October 22, 2015

Federal funds are paying for an expansion of pre-school programs in Springfield, Massachusetts, where children from poor families have historically struggled academically and dropped out before graduating from high school.

A $2 million federal grant will open 11 additional Head Start classrooms for infants and toddlers from low- income families in Springfield.  Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal, who announced the funding, praised Head Start as a last vestige from the Great Society programs of the 1960s.

" The legacy is millions of people across the country who got a jump start in terms of education," said Neal.

The Morning Call
October 22, 2015

The measure by which we judge which investments are worthwhile as a citizenry is how much time we spend, energy we expel, and the amount of resources we dedicate in the hope of future benefits.

It should be axiomatic that investment in early childhood education is sound policy and will yield far-reaching economic returns. Unfortunately our underfunded preschool programs and the limited resources provided to early childhood education say otherwise.

Steve Adubato On The Air
October 22, 2015

Steve Adubato sits down with parents, educators, and administrators to discuss the importance of family education programs and being an involved parent in early childhood. Guests include Donna Pressma, President and CEO, Children’s Home Society of New Jersey; Mark Mautone, Parent & 2015 New Jersey Teacher of the Year; Veronica Ray, President, New Jersey Head Start Association; and Shannon Ayers, Associate Research Professor, National Institute for Early Education Research.

Cable One
October 21, 2015

About 50 Republican legislators implored Montana's congressional delegation to reject $40 million in federal preschool grant funding in an August letter. The move left Gov. Steve Bullock literally throwing up his hands while speaking to teachers recently. Bullock pushed a failed state-funded preschool initiative this fall.

He joked that he was pretty sure Republican legislators hated him, not 4-year-olds, when they refused to add a $37 million proposal to fund a 4-year-old preschool program in the state budget while hammering out a deal in April.
After seeing the letter, "I start to worry that some of them might hate 4-year-olds too," he said.

Yahoo News
October 21, 2015

 The Pritzker Children's Initiative of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation and The Bridgespan Group released a new paper that estimates that 1 in 4 kindergarteners nationwide – 1 million total – come from low-income families and enter school not fully ready to learn. In response to this overwhelming statistic, a new guide for funders outlines numerous specific, evidence-based, early childhood investment opportunities that have been shown to help ensure children arrive at kindergarten ready to learn so that they achieve success throughout their lives.

Pages