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Archive for the ‘Pre-kindergarten’ Category

A new study published in PLOS ONE by researchers from New York University “examined the long-term impacts of an early childhood program called the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) and found evidence suggesting that the program positively affected children’s executive function and academic achievement during adolescence.”

“ ‘Although we did not find large impacts on all of the outcomes assessed, the positive results for executive function and academic achievement were certainly encouraging,’ said lead author and Research Assistant Professor, Tyler Watts. ‘We think these results suggest that high-quality programs can produce important effects on key long-term outcomes.’ ”

“ ‘Many recent early childhood interventions have found that effects fade in the years immediately following the end of the program,’ Watts explained. ‘Unfortunately, most of these studies have not continued to follow-up with participants past elementary school. Our results suggest that if we expect early programs to produce long-lasting results, then we should keep looking at outcomes at least into adolescence.’ ”

“NYU Study Uncovers Connections Between Early Childhood Programs and Teenage Outcomes,” New York University, July 16, 2018

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

On Wednesday, Massachusetts’ six-member legislative conference committee released a $41.88 billion state budget for fiscal year 2019 that reconciles the differences between the House’s and Senate’s budget proposals. The Legislature passed the budget, and it now heads to Governor Baker who has 10 days to sign it into law, and can make line item vetoes.

Massachusetts readers, take action: Ask Governor Baker to sign the budget, and continue his support of high-quality early education and care.

The committee invested in high-quality early education. Nine out of 13 line items of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) were in play because the House and Senate had funded them at different levels.

In each instance, the committee chose the higher funding level: $20 million for the early educator salary rate reserve, $10 million for a new early educator workforce development initiative, $5 million for preschool expansion, $1 million for Reach Out and Read, and more. Visit our website for details.

We thank the members of the Conference Committee:

House Ways and Means Chairman Jeffrey Sánchez (D-Boston)
Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington)
Representative Todd Smola (R-Warren)
Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka (D-Ashland)
Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem), and
Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth)

MassLive.com covers the budget here.

A Boston Globe budget story is posted here.

To advocate, send a message to Governor Baker today.

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“Now is the time to have a very strong, successful launch and expansion of early childhood education,” Greg Canfield, Alabama’s Secretary of Commerce, says in “Starting at Zero,” a new video from the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation.

The video includes current and former governors, a philanthropist, a businessman, and academics from Stanford University and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, home of the Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative.

“For every 10 children in the U.S., six have access to some early education before kindergarten,” Harvard’s Nonie Lesaux says in the video. However, “Only two of those six are in a setting that we would consider high-quality.” 

Among the video’s other key points:

• education is economic development

• the inter-generational impact of early childhood education helps children and their parents move ahead

• the social and emotional skills that early childhood education fosters are especially important given that people often have less face-to-face contact, and

• new governors are in a unique position to become early education champions

Check out the video and share it on your social media networks.

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“ ‘The reality is that the cost of child care outpaces what families can afford,’ said Kim Davenport, managing director of Birth to 3rd Grade Alignment at Edward Street Child Services, a nonprofit in Worcester.”

“ ‘The earliest years set the foundation for later learning and life success,’ Davenport said. ‘The investment we make there now pays incredible dividends later. We know it. We have the science. We have the economics. We have the long-term outcomes. Now we need the investment.’ ”

 

“Child headed to preschool this fall? Better start saving now,” by Eli Sherman, Wicked Local Marshfield, July 2, 2018

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Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

 

Every day, early educators go into classrooms and sing, read, teach, and play. They also accept a raw deal: demanding work for low pay.

How bad is it? According to the new 2018 Early Childhood Workforce Index, released by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley:

“While a major goal of early childhood services has been to relieve poverty among children, many of these same efforts continue to generate poverty in the early care and education (ECE) workforce…”

“Any woman doing ‘women’s work’ is not seen as skilled,” Marcy Whitebook told the Hechinger Report. Whitebook is the co-director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, and lead author of the 2018 Early Childhood Workforce Index. “We have a history… of relying on poor women and women of color to take care of children of people who have more resources.” (more…)

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Sally Fuller testifying at the State House. 

“Growing up as the ‘whoops child’ for a mother who taught high-school English, Sally C. Fuller could not avoid being engulfed in a world of words. Her siblings were 10 and 12 years older, so Fuller wound up being her mother’s focus.”

“It was in 2005 that Fuller first became associated with the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation when she was named project manager for the Springfield Cherish Every Child initiative. She has most recently overseen the foundation’s Read! Reading Success by 4th Grade community initiative with a goal of ensuring all of Springfield’s children are reading proficiently by the end of the third-grade.”

“Fuller will be feted this week upon the occasion of her retirement with a gathering at the Community Music School.”

“For Sally Fuller and Reading Success by 4th Grade initiative, gift of words enriches children’s lives: Viewpoint,” by Cynthia Simison, MassLive.com, June 17, 2018

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

 

The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) put its annual report to the Legislature on line in February. It’s a helpful resource for advocates and other sector stakeholders that looks back at how Massachusetts invested in young children in 2017. It highlights the state’s past progress in key areas getting attention in 2018, such as workforce supports and early childhood mental health. The state has done lots of good work that it can be proud of — and it has challenges that require attention and creative solutions.

“The Department of Early Education and Care serves as the entry point of Massachusetts’ birth to 21 education pipeline,” the report says. Guided by its Strategic Plan, EEC is working to make progress in four areas: (more…)

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