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A new study published in PLOS ONE by researchers from New York University “examined the long-term impacts of an early childhood program called the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) and found evidence suggesting that the program positively affected children’s executive function and academic achievement during adolescence.”

“ ‘Although we did not find large impacts on all of the outcomes assessed, the positive results for executive function and academic achievement were certainly encouraging,’ said lead author and Research Assistant Professor, Tyler Watts. ‘We think these results suggest that high-quality programs can produce important effects on key long-term outcomes.’ ”

“ ‘Many recent early childhood interventions have found that effects fade in the years immediately following the end of the program,’ Watts explained. ‘Unfortunately, most of these studies have not continued to follow-up with participants past elementary school. Our results suggest that if we expect early programs to produce long-lasting results, then we should keep looking at outcomes at least into adolescence.’ ”

“NYU Study Uncovers Connections Between Early Childhood Programs and Teenage Outcomes,” New York University, July 16, 2018

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

On Wednesday, Massachusetts’ six-member legislative conference committee released a $41.88 billion state budget for fiscal year 2019 that reconciles the differences between the House’s and Senate’s budget proposals. The Legislature passed the budget, and it now heads to Governor Baker who has 10 days to sign it into law, and can make line item vetoes.

Massachusetts readers, take action: Ask Governor Baker to sign the budget, and continue his support of high-quality early education and care.

The committee invested in high-quality early education. Nine out of 13 line items of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) were in play because the House and Senate had funded them at different levels.

In each instance, the committee chose the higher funding level: $20 million for the early educator salary rate reserve, $10 million for a new early educator workforce development initiative, $5 million for preschool expansion, $1 million for Reach Out and Read, and more. Visit our website for details.

We thank the members of the Conference Committee:

House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sánchez (D-Boston)
Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington)
Representative Todd Smola (R-Warren)
Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka (D-Ashland)
Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem), and
Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth)

MassLive.com covers the budget here.

A Boston Globe budget story is posted here.

To advocate, send a message to Governor Baker today.

 

“Now is the time to have a very strong, successful launch and expansion of early childhood education,” Greg Canfield, Alabama’s Secretary of Commerce, says in “Starting at Zero,” a new video from the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation.

The video includes current and former governors, a philanthropist, a businessman, and academics from Stanford University and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, home of the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative.

“For every 10 children in the U.S., six have access to some early education before kindergarten,” Harvard’s Nonie Lesaux says in the video. However, “Only two of those six are in a setting that we would consider high-quality.” 

Among the video’s other key points:

• education is economic development

• the inter-generational impact of early childhood education helps children and their parents move ahead

• the social and emotional skills that early childhood education fosters are especially important given that people often have less face-to-face contact, and

• new governors are in a unique position to become early education champions

Check out the video and share it on your social media networks.

The second of a three-part series on summer learning.

 

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

 

Summer is a great time to learn.

But as we blogged last week, summer learning loss — all the things that students forget when they are not in school — can help fuel the achievement gap.

A National Summer Learning Association report says that high-quality programs can address learning loss, but only “about one-third of young people nationally are enrolled in a summer learning program.”

Fortunately, in Massachusetts, cities are closing the summertime gap in creative ways.

Action at the city level is crucial according to a 2016 report on a workshop’s proceedings. Published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the report notes:  Continue Reading »

 

Child Care Aware of America and the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment collaborated to produce a new, short video that answers the question: “Why Do Parents Spend So Much on Child Care, Yet Early Childhood Educators Earn So Little?” 

Read more about the video by clicking here.

Here at Strategies for Children, we’ve been lucky to have a first-rate group of interns. They help us expand our research, outreach, and advocacy.

Currently, we have three interns whom we’re happy to introduce: Anna Lenihan, Alexis Rickmers, and Becca Smith. Here’s a little more about each of them.

 

Anna Lenihan

I am a senior at Wake Forest University working towards a major in Psychology and a minor in Schools, Education, and Society. I plan on teaching for a few years and doing community-based work before entering the field of educational policy. My time at Strategies for Children has allowed me to see the importance of advocacy and community partnerships. At SFC, I have worked on connecting early childhood educators with government officials in order to emphasize the statewide importance of early childhood education. Strategies has allowed me to see how policy and advocacy can influence change at both the local and state level.

As a Cambridge native, I feel deeply invested in the quality of education in Massachusetts. I believe that education can change the world and that access to quality early childhood education gives children of all backgrounds the foundation they need to fulfill their potential. From the classroom to the State House, Strategies has given me the opportunity to see how change is truly made. Continue Reading »

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

The first of a three-part series on summer learning.

It’s summer! The perfect time for kids to eat hot dogs, swim, and, forget big chunks of what they learned in school – especially math.

It’s a problem that parents, teachers, academics, and think tanks have pointed to; and this spring, the Herald-Tribune reported on summer learning loss – also known as “summer slide” – noting:

“While school is out, kids can lose up to two to three months of the skills they learned in the classroom that year.

“And while summer slide disproportionately affects low-income families who can’t afford high-quality summer camps that build on the reading and math skills learned in the classroom, all kids are at risk.”

Back in 1906, William White found the same problem when he conducted a very small study. A math teacher at the State Normal School, in New Paltz, New York, White tested the math skills of 15 fourth and eighth grade students in June and then tested them again in September. Continue Reading »

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