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Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

 

What’s the cost of not having universal pre-K?

The Center for American Progress has an $83 billion answer.

“Based on research that quantifies long-term economic outcomes in states that have high-quality preschool, this analysis concludes the United States would expect to see a net benefit of more than $83.3 billion for each one-year cohort of 4-year-olds,” the center says in its article, “The Cost of Inaction on Universal Preschool.”

“In other words, every year that policymakers delay a universal preschool investment, the United States loses billions of dollars that come from preschool’s economic benefits—such as less frequent grade retention and a reduced need for special education.”

That would be a huge savings for taxpayers.

Early education also has substantial economic benefits for children themselves: (more…)

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Screenshot: The Casey Foundation website

 

For some children, opportunity is part of life in America. But for millions of immigrant children and children of color, life in America is full of obstacles and threats.

That’s the finding of a new report — “2017 Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children.” Released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the report “explores the intersection of children, opportunity, race and immigration.”

The report notes that many immigrant children live in low-income and poor families whose median income “is 20 percent less than U.S.-born families.” Specifically:

• more than half of children in immigrant families are low income

• one in four children (4.5 million) are poor, and

• children of immigrants account for 30 percent of all low-income children in the United States, even though they only make up 24 percent of the country’s 74 million children

For children of color, a daunting challenge is living with dizzying layers of disadvantages in “communities where unemployment and crime are higher; schools are poorer; access to capital, fresh produce, transit and health care is more limited; exposure to environmental toxins is greater; and family supports and services are fewer.”  (more…)

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“There’s only one way out of Greater Cleveland’s daunting poverty problem.

“Sure, there are worthwhile glimpses of an escape route in ‘Say Yes to Education,’ the latest of dozens of efforts in this community’s 50-year search for a solution.

“But evolving brain science, statistics and common sense all say the same thing: Most kids who start behind, stay behind.

“If you don’t rescue them early in life, most don’t get rescued at all. And if you don’t rescue them at all, poverty’s death grip on this community will strengthen its hold for yet another generation. And it will draw Cuyahoga County’s demise as an important center of business and commerce nearer still.

“As I’ve suggested dozens of times, the wisest investment in this community’s future is quality preschool and parental counseling for every needy 3-year-old and 4-year-old.”

“Cleveland mayoral campaign should be more about early education for kids, less about dirt bike tracks: Brent Larkin,” Cleveland.com, October 26, 2017

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“With 80 percent of brain development happening in the first three years of a child’s life and state data showing that early childhood education can eliminate the achievement gap for low-income children, Doña Ana County has stopped waiting on Santa Fe for a plan to ramp up early childhood education, and is creating a model that has the potential to work in the rest of New Mexico.

“ ‘What we’re trying to do is solve the problem in Doña Ana County, but I do believe that by doing this work, we’re going to affect how New Mexico looks at the situation,’ said Frank Lopez, executive director of Ngage New Mexico. The education nonprofit organized a coalition of early childhood educators, child well-being nonprofits and community members that has the ambitious goal to guarantee universal access to early childhood education in the county.”

“Doña Ana County maps out plan for early childhood education,” NMPolitics.net, October 18, 2017

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Photo: Screenshot of GEEARS report cover.

 

What does it mean to be school ready?

Different stakeholders have different answers – and that can lead to fractured efforts to help young children.

Georgia, however, has come up with a framework for school readiness that should help unite the actions of families, schools, and communities.

“The framework articulates not only the central components of school readiness but also the roles various stakeholders play in promoting it.”

This is an important step forward because many states have struggled to define school readiness.

To develop the framework, the nonprofit organization GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students worked with state leaders to form a committee that solicited feedback from experts and from stakeholders across the state.  (more…)

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Last week, early education leaders from around the country met at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE) for “The Leading Edge of Early Childhood Education: Expansion and Improvement for Impact.” The goal: to discuss “the delivery of high-quality early learning at scale and its benefit to children and society.”

Now, a video of the full, seven-hour meeting is available on line, thanks to its host, HGSE’s Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative.

The meeting was kicked off by HGSE Professor Nonie Lesaux who explained that early education’s landscape has four pillars:

– the persistence of the economic opportunity gap

– the developmental force of the early childhood years

– the promise of high-quality early learning experiences, and

– the challenge of making good on the potential and promise for ALL children

Citing Sean Reardon, an education professor at Stanford University, Lesaux said the challenge today is building “equality of quality at scale.” In other words, every young child should have access to great preschool programs. (more…)

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Georgia’s First Lady Sandra Deal (second from left) and Governor Nathan Deal at the North Fulton Child Development Center. Photo source: Sandra Deal’s Twitter page.

 

“Some of Georgia’s leading politicians kicked off the 25th birthday of the pre-kindergarten program on Monday by reading to some of the state’s youngest students.

“Gov. Nathan Deal and his wife Sandra launched the weeklong celebration by reading to a group of students at the North Fulton Child Development Center in Roswell. The students roared when the program’s brightly colored mascot entered the room.

“‘This is one of the more successful programs of its type in the country. It’s an important part of teaching children to read, and reading skills help unlock the future for any child,’ said Deal.

“The lottery-funded pre-K program started in 1992 as a pilot program serving 750 children under then-Gov. Zell Miller’s administration. It has since educated about 1.6 million children.”

“Georgia celebrates 25th anniversary of pre-K program,” AJC.com, October 2, 2017

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