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Archive for the ‘National’ Category

 

Last week, New America, a Washington, D.C., think tank, hosted a policy event called, “At the Breaking Point: How to Better Compensate and Support Teachers of Our Youngest Learners.”

It was a panel discussion on workforce challenges that you can watch by clicking on the video above or by clicking here. (The event starts at the 7:38 time mark.)

“Teaching and caring for young children is skilled and challenging work. Yet current conditions cause many early childhood educators to come to work each morning exhausted, worried about how to pay their bills, and even clinically depressed,” New America says. (more…)

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Colorado: Rep. Jared Polis (D) was elected governor last night. He has pledged to ‘establish universal full-day kindergarten and preschool in every community across Colorado within two years.’ ”

Maine: Janet Mills (D) made history last night when she was elected Maine’s first female governor. As a candidate, Mills pledged to implement universal preschool for all 4-year-olds. She also told the Maine Association for the Education of Young Children that she would convene a children’s cabinet to prioritize young children and expand home visiting and Head Start.”

Pennsylvania: As governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf (D) expanded early learning opportunities by investing in home visiting, child care, and pre-K expansion. As a candidate, he ran on these successes and won.”

“Newly Elected Governors Support Expanding Early Childhood Programs,” By Katie Hamm, Cristina Novoa, and Steven Jessen-Howard, Center for American Progress, November 7, 2018

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Screen shot: National League of Cities

 

How can a city or town become an Early Learning Community?

The National League of Cities has some good answers — as well as a new initiative to expand early education that six cities will be able to join (read more about this below).

Earlier this year, the league and the Center for the Study of Social Policy released the “Early Learning Community Action Guide.”

“The goal of an Early Learning Community,” according to a league information sheet, “is to ensure that all young children get a great start, setting the foundations for life-long success and well-being.”

Given that roughly 4 million babies are born in the United States each year, there’s a lot of work to do.

Communities seek results in three categories: (more…)

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(America heads to the polls today. Be sure to vote!)

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In red or blue states, early childhood education is popular across the country.

That’s what the First Five Years Fund (FFYF) has found after analyzing years of its own and other organization’s national polling data.

“Our analysis of this aggregate survey data found that national polling over the last decade shows quality early childhood education is a top priority issue for Americans of every political persuasion,” FFYF explains.

Every year, there has been “a consistent and growing desire among Americans across the political spectrum” for more investments and innovation in early childhood programs, especially for children from low-income families, FFYF’s report, “Early Childhood Education: The Public is Ready for Action,” explains.

This analysis creates “an evidence-based vision of where Americans stand on investing in high-quality ECE, and where policymakers can make stronger connections with their constituents’ priorities. This arsenal of individual polls paints an even brighter picture when studied together as a collective body of research.”

Among the report’s key findings: (more…)

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“Mayor Mike Duggan said Monday there’s an effort underway to provide universal preschool in Detroit for 4-year-olds that involves state and city government, philanthropic foundations and educational providers.

“Duggan disclosed the project while speaking on a panel of U.S. mayors at the CityLab conference in Detroit this week.

“ ‘I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but we will very shortly, I think, have a universal pre-K for 4-year-olds in place,’ Duggan said.

“In a brief interview with Crain’s after the speech, Duggan didn’t elaborate on how Detroit would offer free preschool to all 4-year-olds who aren’t already eligible for Head Start or the Great Start Readiness Programs for impoverished and lower-income families.

“ ‘I didn’t mean to bring it up, but we’re working on it,’ Duggan said. ‘We’re trying to pull everybody together — philanthropy, the state, providers. I’d love to see universal 4-year-old pre-K. I’m working on it.’ ”

“Duggan: Universal 4-year-old pre-K for Detroit in the works,” by Chad Livengood, Crain’s Detroit Business, October 29, 2018

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Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

 

California is trying to lower the number of preschool expulsions by giving these programs a way to fund more access to mental health services. As Education Week reports, this is the result of a new state law that was enacted last month.

Specifically, the law increases the reimbursement rate by 5 percent for each low-income child, age 0 to 5, who receive services. As Education Week explains, “…if a classroom has 20 children and 10 of them are subsidized, the program would be reimbursed at a rate of 10.5 children.”

This law builds on a 2017 California law that makes it harder for preschool programs that receive state funding to expel students.

On the website State of Reform, Sarah Neville-Morgan, the director of the Early Education and Support Division at the California Department of Education, says “Expulsion works against everything that is best practice for children, families and child care programs. This law creates the support system necessary to keep young children in preschool and child care facilities.” (more…)

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How hard is it to get from preschool to kindergarten?

According to Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman, many children find themselves moving from one silo to the next.

“Too often government officials design programs for children as if they lived their lives in silos, as if each stage of a child’s life were independent of the other, unconnected to what came before or what lies ahead.”

A new report — Transitions and Alignment: From Preschool to Kindergarten — released by the Education Commission of the States shares this Heckman quote and looks at how some policymakers and educators are replacing silos with more promising pathways that help children travel safely from infancy to adulthood.

“If this transition does not go well,” the report says, “children can be turned off to learning and school at an early age.”

The report points to two strategies for promoting children’s success: (more…)

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