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“High quality professional development for teachers working with young children is difficult to find and often too expensive for teachers to access. In hosting the Wonder of Learning, we’re making a commitment to the teachers of our region. We look forward to welcoming teachers here to learn, share, and grow professionally.”

Wheelock College President David Chard on the significance of “Wonder of Learning: The Hundred Languages of Children.”

 

“From intensive professional development seminars and in-classroom observations, to a multimedia showcase of the world-renowned schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, the Wonder of Learning Boston 2018 is committed to inspiring and empowering all teachers to provide the highest quality programs for our youngest learners.”

Kelly Pellagrini, Board Member of the Boston Area Reggio Inspired Network

Wonder of Learning is “a traveling exhibit for educators, which includes workshops, hands-on learning opportunities, policy discussions, and family engagement, from June through November of 2018.Based on the Reggio Emilia early education framework, the event highlights best practices in early education and expects to draw 20,000 educators from across New England.”

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“When it comes to early childhood education, the United States needs to step up. Many developed nations now have more than 90% enrollment in pre-K programs, surpassing the US with just 66% enrollment for 4-year-olds. Rising superpowers are making significant commitments to expand access to early education over the next few years, with China promising to have pre-K for every 4-year-old and most 3-year-olds by 2020.”

“The National Institute for Early Education Research began collecting data on state-funded preschool programs in 2002. Fifteen years later, the institute’s State of Preschool 2017 report released this week shows that even though many elected officials claim to support early education, actual enrollment of 4-year-olds has grown only slightly since the Great Recession of 2007-2009.”

“US is falling behind other nations in providing pre-K schooling,” CNN, by April 18, 2018

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

Leaders in Ontario, Canada’s second-largest province, are talking a giant step forward: calling for a $2.2 billion plan to create full-day, fully licensed child care for “preschool children from the age of two-and-a-half until they are eligible to start kindergarten, beginning in 2020.”

Families would save some $17,000 per child.

“We listened to parents, educators and child care providers across the province, and they’ve told us this move is the right one to make,” Kathleen Wynne, the premier of Ontario said. “This investment will make life more affordable for families and allow more parents to make the choice to go back to work, knowing their child is safe and cared for.”

Currently in Ontario, “kids are eligible for junior kindergarten in the calendar year they turn four, and senior kindergarten the year they turn five,” the news magazine Maclean’s reports, adding: (more…)

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“I just visited with early childhood professionals in Nova Scotia, Canada. They showed me their new Early Learning Framework for the education of young children. It is a stellar example of what early childhood education could be if a country did it right, and a painful example for someone coming from a country where we do it so wrong.

“Here are some basic facts about the Nova Scotia Early Learning Framework, and then I’ll contrast these facts with how we do things in early childhood education in the United States.

“Basic Fact #1: Who wrote this framework?

“The Nova Scotia Framework (similar to those of other Canadian provinces) was written by a broad network of early childhood professionals. These educators know how young children develop and learn, and they share common principles and values about child development.

“Contrast #1:

“Learning standards for young children in the United States have not been written by early childhood educators. Too often, they’ve been written by people who do not have knowledge of the learning and developmental needs of young children. Teachers often say they don’t have a voice in writing learning standards.”

 

To read more click on: “Early childhood education expert: I saw a brilliant way to teach kids. Unfortunately it wasn’t in the United States.” The Washington Post, October 31, 2017

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

Inequality between children from low-income families and those from high-income families starts early – and creates a daunting achievement gap.

“…children’s earliest learning experiences and outcomes” vary considerably “based on their parents’ incomes and education,” Sara Mead writes in “Education Inequality Starts Early,” a U.S. News and World Report article.

Mead focuses on children’s earliest years, a topic she says is missing from recent debates about inequality.

The seeds of educational inequality are sadly familiar. Middle class children are more likely to be read to, and according to the well-known Hart-Risley study, they hear 30 million more words than their lower-income peers.

“As a result, by the time they enter kindergarten, children from the lowest socioeconomic backgrounds are already far behind their peers in the highest quartile of socioeconomic status on measures of early reading and math skills,” Mead writes.

The good news: (more…)

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Want to expand your thinking about early childhood education?

 

Then take a look at how it’s handled in other countries.

England, for instance, established universal preschool for 3-year-olds back in 2004.

And, as we’ve blogged, Germany took a bold step forward in 2013 when it decided that every 1-year-old had a legal right to a spot in a public day care facility.

In Norway, at age one, children “start attending a neighborhood barnehage (kindergarten) for schooling spent largely outdoors. By the time kids enter free primary school at age six, they are remarkably self-sufficient, confident, and good-natured,” according to an article on the Moyers and Company website.

“In fact, Norwegian kids, who are well acquainted in early childhood with many different adults and children, know how to get along with grown ups and look after one another.” (more…)

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“In 2013, Germany declared that every child over the age of 1 has the legal right to a space in a public daycare facility. This past fall, while America’s election unfolded, Germany’s highest court took this mandate one step further: It ruled that parents may sue for lost wages if they can’t find a place for their child in a public daycare center. This decision came in response to three mothers who filed a lawsuit declaring that authorities neglected to create the necessary daycare slots required by the 2013 ruling. Because the mothers couldn’t find a child-care center with any openings in their hometown of Leipzig, their lawyers argued that they were unable to return to work after giving birth, resulting in a loss of earnings. Chief Justice Ulrich Herrmann ruled in the mothers’ favor on October 20. (Stay-at-home parents, by contrast, wouldn’t have damages to recoup because a lack of child-care availability hasn’t resulted in a loss of wages.)

“This law may seem crazy to Americans, but it follows as a natural development from Germany’s long history of offering governmental support for families, and its more recent history of encouraging mothers’ paid employment.”

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