Archive for the ‘Pre-kindergarten’ Category

“This budget starts New Jersey down a four-year path to expanding pre-K statewide. We will add an additional $57.6 million to build upon the $25 million in new funding the Legislature ensured for this current year for a total investment of nearly $83 million.

“Decades of studies tell us that pre-K builds a strong foundation for a child’s educational future. We know it has profound effects on closing the achievement gap. We know it has positive benefits that continue even into adulthood – that every dollar we put into pre-K pays us back many times over throughout that child’s life.

“In 2008, the state made a promise to expand pre-K statewide. That promise to our next generation remains unfulfilled. This investment moves us closer to fulfilling it.”

New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy’s budget address, March 13, 2018


“The Murphy Administration recognizes that providing our youngest learners with high-quality early education will have long-lasting benefits. The school budget appropriation builds on the $25 million in new funding the Legislature ensured for this current year and includes $57.6 million in new pre-K funding, the largest increase in over a decade, for a total investment of nearly $83 million. This funding continues to support fiscal 2018 expansion districts and focuses additional resources on additional districts that can launch programs quickly and effectively. Under this budget, over 3,500 four-year-olds are expected to gain access to pre-K this year.”

“Governor Murphy Introduces First Budget, Moving New Jersey Towards a Stronger and Fairer Future,” news release from the governor’s office, March 13, 2018

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children


Children who are Dual Language Learners (DLLs) are a global group. They come from places like China, Pakistan, Brazil, Bhutan, Nepal, and Mexico. They bring dozens of languages into classrooms — and they create an opportunity for early educators to grow to meet these children’s needs.

Despite this “superdiversity,” “little research to date has focused on effective approaches for multilingual and multicultural early childhood programs and classrooms,” a report — “Growing Superdiversity among Young U.S. Dual Language Learners and Its Implications” — from the Migration Policy Institute explains.

And while there are programs to support Spanish-speaking DLLs, the report adds, “similar provisions for speakers of other, less commonly spoken minority languages are rare, making such services even less accessible for a substantial portion of DLLs and their families.”

“At a time when DLL children are speaking a far more diverse range of languages, many communities across the United States are experiencing classroom superdiversity with little to no guidance on effective practices for promoting their cognitive and socioemotional development.” (more…)

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Source: Center for American Progress


What makes high-quality child care so expensive? The Center for American Progress has a new interactive tool that makes it easy to see how much quality costs.

Advocates can use this tool to deliver one of the most important policy messages in early education: Quality costs much more than many parents can afford.

The most expensive aspect of quality? Teachers’ pay and benefits.

To learn more, use the interactive tool. Click on the link above and enter your state and whether you want to see the costs for an infant, toddler, or preschool-age child.

Once you choose, a graphic pops up. There’s a picture of a classroom and a list of options with on/off switches such as “fewer children per teacher,” “increase contribution to health insurance,” and “make the classroom bigger.”

In Massachusetts, for example, the base price for a preschool child is $893 per month. But click on “provide more time for teachers to plan lessons,” and two (more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

In an increasingly bilingual world, Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) has an innovative program for training multilingual early educators.

For five years, QCC’s Dual Language Program has offered courses that are taught in English and Spanish to family childcare providers. Classes are offered during the day and at night to give students scheduling flexibility.

Connecting family child care providers to higher education is crucial work because these early educators are typically working on their own in their homes — where they may not have easy access to colleagues or to the onsite college classes that some center-based providers offer.

The goal of the dual language program “is to impart early childhood content first in the student’s native language with a gradual increase of English proficiency over the four course sequence,” QCC’s website explains.

According to Charlene Mara, QCC’s Early Childhood Education program manager, “It’s important to remember who the childcare providers are servicing. They are servicing many English-speaking children, so it’s very important to be proficient in English, as well as their native language.” (more…)

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It’s no secret that preschool can be a financial challenge.

As the title of this Business Insider article states: “In 23 states, it costs more to send your child to daycare than college.”

There is federal and state funding, but not nearly enough to meet the demand for high-quality programs.

The solution? Fix the EEC financing system, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says in a new report – “Transforming the Financing of Early Education and Care.” This report builds on a 2015, Institute of Medicine report about transforming the birth-through-age-8 workforce.

Famous for issuing reports on science and health care, the national academies “provide nonpartisan, objective guidance for decision makers on pressing issues.”

The financing report sounds an alarm, noting: (more…)

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“Students who voluntarily participated in Alabama’s high-quality First Class Pre-K program are more likely to be proficient in reading and math than their peers, according to a new study of Alabama third graders. This finding was especially true for minority children and children living in poverty.

“ ‘These findings prove that what we are doing in Alabama is working. Our First Class Pre-K program is second to none and our students are benefitting,’ Governor Kay Ivey said. ‘Now we must work to take the methods of instruction in Pre-K and implement them into kindergarten, first, second and third grade classrooms. Success breeds success and a strong educational foundation is the basis for the success of all Alabamians in the future.’ ”

“Alabama First Class Pre-K Alumni Outperforming Peers According to New Study,” Governor Kay Ivey’s office, February 27, 2018

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Worcester, Mass., wants to do more for its children by offering trauma-informed care.

The city’s goal is to look at what scientists call ACES — adverse childhood experiences — and understand their impact on children and how these impacts can cause health problems once children are grown.

“We had been thinking about the vulnerability of our populations in Worcester,” Kim Davenport says of work that was going on around the city. Davenport is the managing director for Birth to 3rd Grade Alignment at Edward Street Child Services.

Among the city entities that were thinking about children was Worcester Hears, a local coalition focused on bringing together “advances in brain science, child development, and best practices to address childhood adversity” to help public school students. (more…)

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