“The first of these cornerstones I would describe more fully as ‘resources available to children in their most formative years…’ One of the most consequential examples is early childhood education. Research shows that children from lower-income households who get good-quality pre-Kindergarten education are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college as well as hold a job and have higher earnings, and they are less likely to be incarcerated or receive public assistance…
“[A]ccess to quality early childhood education has improved since the 1990s, but it remains limited — 41 percent of children were enrolled in state or federally supported programs in 2013.”
Janet L. Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, speaking at the Conference on Economic Opportunity and Inequality, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, October 17, 2014
Posted in National, Pre-kindergarten, Quotes | Leave a Comment »
Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced that 35 states and Puerto Rico are applying for federal Preschool Development Grants. The program will distribute $250 million in funding to “25 high-need communities in approximately 12-15 states.”
This welcome announcement shows a sweeping national desire to invest in preschool programs that help children thrive.
The goal of these grants is to help states build, develop, and expand “voluntary, high-quality preschool programs in high-need communities for children from low- and moderate-income families,” according to a press release.
Jointly administered by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, the grants “will lay the groundwork to ensure that more states are ready to participate in the Preschool for All initiative proposed by the Obama Administration.” Continue Reading »
Posted in Dept. of Early Education and Care, Federal, Funding, Pre-kindergarten | Leave a Comment »
Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children
Reading, writing, arithmetic – and computer coding?
Coding is a crucial part of being literate, according to educators and employers who say that America’s students should learn how to code so they can participate in the high-tech economy.
When should children start? They’re already getting started in kindergarten. So we decided to take a look at news stories about how this trend is playing out in classrooms.
When adults code, they use a coding language such as Java or Python to write instructions for computers. Now researchers have come up with an easier way for children to code using images.
In the eSchool News article, “Coding with the Kindergarten Crowd,” Laura Devaney writes, “Introducing coding to kindergarten students helps them reflect on their own learning as they develop 21st-century skills such as problem solving and creativity, experts say.”
Continue Reading »
Posted in College/career readiness, Curriculum, Pre-K to 3, Science & math | Leave a Comment »
Next Tuesday, November 4, 2014, is Election Day in Massachusetts. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
To preview your ballot, go to the website of Secretary of State William Galvin and enter your home address.
Galvin’s office has also posted information about the four statewide ballot questions that voters will be asked to vote “Yes” or “No” on.
For more information about how to advocate for young children and families this election season, visit our Election Year webpage
And please vote. It’s one of the most potent forms of public policy advocacy there is.
Posted in Election, MA governor, MA Legislature | Leave a Comment »
Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children
How can policymakers help struggling schools turn around? One answer is to expand high-quality preschool programs, so that year after year, “underperforming” schools are consistently enrolling more children who are ready to learn and succeed.
What makes early learning so powerful? It “addresses a significant issue that to date no other turnaround strategy has tackled: [that] the gaps turnaround schools aim to address emerge well before kindergarten entry,” according to a recent report from the Ounce of Prevention Fund and Mass Insight Education called “Changing the Metrics of Turnaround to Encourage Early Learning Strategies.”
Too often, the report says, the strategic importance of helping children access high-quality preschool is being overlooked as education leaders scramble to meet short-term accountability deadlines for children who are already in elementary school.
The Challenge of Turnaround Schools
At September’s meeting of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, department staff gave a presentation on the status of the four Level 5-designated schools in the commonwealth — two are located in Boston, one is in Holyoke, and one is in New Bedford. Continue Reading »
Posted in Achievement gap, Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, K-12, Pre-kindergarten | Leave a Comment »
Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children
Today’s post about earned paid sick time was written by guest blogger Nicole Rodriguez, a policy analyst at MassBudget (the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center). Next week on Election Day, voters can weigh in on this issue by voting “Yes” or “No” on Ballot Question 4.
As National Work and Family Month draws to a close, we are reminded that many families are struggling to balance the demands of work and caregiving responsibilities.
Nearly all workers experience family illness, personal health issues, or the need to care for a sick child. Yet many workers lack access to earned paid sick time.
In Massachusetts about 1 in 3 workers don’t have access to earned paid sick time. And those least likely to have it are the lowest wage workers. This is particularly Continue Reading »
Posted in Family child care, Family engagement, Guest Blog | Leave a Comment »