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“As most any couple will tell you, you’re never actually fighting about the dishes. You’re fighting about what doing the dishes says about how you’re valued and respected. In Congress, likewise, and in our early childhood education (ECE) community, we’re often not fighting about the thing we appear to be fighting about. Instead we are grappling with questions about motives and compromises. We’re wrestling with questions about whose voices get to lead, get sidelined, and get dismissed. And we’re confronting questions of control, fear, privilege, power, and trust. Let’s call this the ‘work beneath the work.’

“As a new Congress struggles to find a way forward, and ECE attempts to detangle its ‘thorny knot,’ policymakers, advocates, and influencers are engaging with (or avoiding) that deeper work. But as early childhood advocates who must engage, it is imperative that we assume responsibility for the systems and sequences we design, especially those of us (and I count myself among them) who have, in some way and because of some unearned attributes, benefitted from one or many of these systems.”

“The Work Beneath the Work: What We’re Fighting About When We’re Fighting About Our Profession,” by Lauren Hogan, New America, February 19, 2019

Governor Kay Ivey speaking last year at the Early Childhood Education Leadership Forum in Montgomery, Ala. Source: Governor Ivey’s Flickr page.

 

When it came to preschool, Alabama state senator Trip Pittman “was on the fence,” a Mother Jones article says.

“Pittman, a conservative Republican, figured the kinds of things you’re supposed to learn before kindergarten—washing your hands, tying your shoes, minding your manners—might best be taught by parents and grandparents at home.”

What changed his mind? Thanks to the Alabama School Readiness Alliance, Pittman went to visit a preschool and was captivated.

Recalling the visit, Pittman says, “It seemed remarkable, the fact that you could assimilate children into a classroom environment—raising their hands, going down the hall, being inquisitive. It was really impressive the way the teachers interacted with kids.”

The preschool team also showed Pittman “data on outcomes for children living in poverty: Sixth-grade preschool alums scored about 9 percent higher on state tests than those who hadn’t attended, and third-grade alums scored 13 percent higher than their peers.” Continue Reading »

Governor Gina Raimondo at the Early Childhood Center in Johnston, R.I. Source: Gina Raimondo’s Flickr page.

 

Now that election season is over and governors have been sworn into office, they’re making good on their promises to expand “preschool and other early-childhood programs,” according to a recent article in Education Week.

Across the country, governors are building on the early education legacy left by the Obama administration, including the federally funded Preschool Expansion Grants. This state-level leadership is crucial, particularly now when the Trump administration is focusing less on early learning.

“I think right now it’s unrealistic to expect a big push for pre-K from the federal government,” Aaron Loewenberg, an education policy analyst with the think tank New America, told Education Week.

Fortunately, that’s not having an impact on governors. Continue Reading »

“On February 5, 2019, President Trump addressed the nation and declared the State of the Union strong. But something was conspicuously absent. Education, specifically early education, is a fundamental necessity in any strong union, or nation, and yet, was a missing piece of the President’s address.”

“Throughout the entirety of his speech, there were key themes including the value of research and technological advances. Over the last century, technology has led to innovative growth and advancements that drive a stronger economy. However, the fundamental and necessary means to achieve these advancements were noticeably absent — a strong, national education system.”

“Mr. President, you forgot one thing. The children.” By Mark Reilly, Vice President of Policy & Government Relations of Jumpstart, a national early education nonprofit. Posted on Medium, February 7, 2019

 

How can K-12 education be improved?

Answers are being hotly debated. But according to a new report, too many people are overlooking a promising answer: K-12 should embrace early education.

“For years, the K–12 world has fundamentally underappreciated how the early years shape long-term educational outcomes,” the report — “Why The K-12 World hasn’t Embraced Early Learning” — explains.

Elliot Regenstein, a partner at the national education law firm Foresight Law and Policy, and the report’s author says:

“The goal of the paper is to provoke some much-needed conversation about strengthening the connection between K-12 and early learning. Massachusetts has always been a leader in education policy, and I hope it will be helpful to the state as it considers ways to continue improving its outcomes.”

In the report, Regenstein notes that there is good will to build on. Continue Reading »

Source: “Child Care in State Economies 2019 Update”

 

Child care providers care for and educate children and enable parents to go to work – but they also have a multibillion-dollar impact on the economy.

“In 2016, 675,000 child care businesses, which are mostly small businesses, produced revenue of $47.2 billion and provided employment for 1.5 million wage and salary and self-employed workers,” according to a new report, “Child Care in State Economies 2019 Update.”

“The purpose of this report is to educate and aid policymakers and business leaders in understanding the structure of the U.S. child care industry and its role in the economy.”

Commissioned by the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board, the report was produced by the economic research firm RegionTrack, Inc., and received funding from the Alliance for Early Success.

Continue Reading »

Edward F. Zigler (Photo credit: Michael Marsland. Yale University)

 

We join our friends and colleagues in remembering Ed Zigler and his incredible leadership and commitment to young children and families.

Zigler was “a psychologist and children’s advocate who was a principal architect of the Head Start program in the 1960s,” the Washington Post reports. Zigler “called for schools to be neighborhood social service centers, and advised every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama…”

“An eminent and rigorous scholar, Zigler was Sterling Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University,” a Yale news release says. “He was passionate that science should be in the service of the public interest…” Continue Reading »

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