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“While high-quality early care and education for children from birth to kindergarten entry is critical to child development and has the potential to generate significant economic returns in the long run, it has been financed in such a way that makes early education available only to a fraction of the families needing and desiring care, and does little to further develop the early care and education workforce.”

LaRue Allen, the Raymond and Rosalee Weiss Professor of Applied Psychology at New York Univerisity, “Financial structure of early childhood education requires overhaul to make it accessible and affordable for all families,” Phys.org, February 22, 2018

“Transforming the Financing of Early Education and Care,” a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

What if child care were perfect?

It would be fun for kids, high-quality, easy for parents to afford, and readily available.

Child care providers would be highly-skilled and well paid.

And the country would feel the difference as more and more young children thrived.

Perfect is, of course, hard to come by, but Child Care Aware of America is pushing for vast improvements with a new policy agenda, “Igniting Possibilities, Promoting Innovation” — a blueprint that can be used by federal, state, and local leaders. Continue Reading »

“Researchers led by Arthur Reynolds, Ph.D., at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, followed the 30-year progress of 989 children who attended the Child-Parent Centers (CPC) program in inner-city Chicago as preschoolers. Their findings appear in JAMA Pediatrics.”

“CPC graduates who attended the program through second or third grade had even higher educational gains than their counterparts: associate’s degree or higher (18.5 percent vs. 12.5 percent), including a bachelor’s degree (14.3 percent vs. 8.2 percent) and master’s degree (5.9 percent vs. 2.3 percent).

“The authors wrote that, to their knowledge, their study is the first to follow participants past age 25, a time in life when many people attain advanced degrees. Their previous research has shown that CPC graduates have gone on to have higher incomes, lower rates of serious crime and incarceration and lower rates of depression, compared to those who participated in other early interventions.”

“Graduates of early childhood program show greater educational gains as adults,” The National Institutes of Health, January 29, 2018

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

As you may have heard, last Friday Congress reached a bipartisan deal on the national budget, which President Trump signed. The agreement includes major funding increases for programs that affect children and families. It’s a wise investment that is making headlines.

“There’s still a lot to be worked out, and the deal gives Congress six weeks to hammer out the final details. But congressional leaders have already signaled what they plan to give to certain domestic programs,” according to an Education Week article featured on the website of the Center for Law and Social Policy, a national nonprofit.

The budget doubles funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant — an increase that would allow states to serve 230,000 more children, including 4,780 here in Massachusetts.

According to Education Week, “The bill provides $650 million to provide disaster relief to Head Start centers affected by the 2017 hurricanes that hit Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.” Continue Reading »

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

What if children started getting ready for kindergarten a few years before they were old enough to go?

Turns out, the children and their parents are better off, as David Jacobson writes in a new Kappan magazine article, “A powerful convergence: Community schools and early childhood education.” Jacobson is a principal researcher and technical assistance adviser at the Education Development Center here in Massachusetts, as we’ve blogged before. He is also the author of The P-3 Learning Hub blog.

What is a community school? It’s a place where school leaders work with community organizations, health care providers, and others to give students an education — and connect them a full range of services, from afterschool programs to dental care. These schools can become “centers of the community” that “are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends,” according to the Coalition for Community Schools.

Community schools are also having a huge impact on early education, as Jacobson explains in his Kappan article:  Continue Reading »

“Children are natural players, right from the beginning. ‘It’s hard to imagine when an infant or a toddler isn’t playing,’ said Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, a professor of applied psychology at New York University who studies play and learning in babies and young children. She cited, for example, the joys of mushing food, pulling books off a shelf or making noises rattling a paper bag.

“‘I don’t like it when scientists think children are playing only when they sit down with some toys,’ she said. ‘Almost all the learning that goes on in the first years of life is in the context of exploration of the environment.’”

“But though play may be intrinsically present, and intrinsically playful, those who study its importance in children’s lives point out that it can also be threatened, either by too little attention and responsiveness from distracted adults or, in another sense, by too much attention and teaching, of the not-so-playful kind.”

“Taking Playtime Seriously,” Dr. Perri Klass, The New York Times, January 29, 2018

 

This week we’re focusing on the early education workforce.

And today, we’re throwing back to 2011 when we released this video about early educator Doreen Anzalone.

She graduated from Everett High School in 1978.

She began working in early education and care in 1986.

And she got a scholarship and went to college in 2002.

Hers is a story of passion and persistence.

Take a look.

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