Archive for the ‘Pre-kindergarten’ Category

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

Photo: Caroline Silber for Strategies for Children

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) had just released a report on child care — “Red Light Green Light: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2016” — that paints a picture of parents struggling to find affordable, appealing options for their children.

What families and the economy need is high-quality, reasonably priced child care that enables parents to work without worrying and that enrolls children in programs that are engaging and enriching.

Instead, the NWLC report describes a patchwork of child care policies and parents who don’t have enough help paying for high child care bills.

“The average fee for full-time care ranges from nearly $3,700 to over $17,000 a year, depending on the age of the child, the type of care, and where the family lives,” the report says.

“The implications are serious,” NWLC Co-President Nancy Duff Campbell explains in a press release. “Too many parents are forced to patch together makeshift arrangements for their children. Too many children are denied the high-quality child care they need to put them on a path to success. It’s past time to bring the country’s policies in line with the reality of American women’s lives and make high-quality child care accessible and affordable.” (more…)

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Photo: New York City Department of Education Facebook page

Photo: New York City Department of Education Facebook page


To share what it has learned about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s sweeping expansion of pre-K programs, New York City recently hosted a “learning lab” for early education leaders and administrators from other cities.

“Municipal governments must work together to share best practices and lessons learned, and this summit is an essential step in building a strong network of policymakers who, together, will continue to advocate for expanded access to quality early education for every child nationwide,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

The learning lab is meant to be “an opportunity for pre-K leaders to build relationships and identify thought partners for ongoing collaboration on how to implement high-quality pre-K. By building a national network of cities, municipalities will be able to learn from each other about how to create high-quality pre-K programs that best meet the needs of their respective children and families.”

Funding comes from the Catherine & Joseph Aresty Foundation, through the Fund for Public Schools. (more…)

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“With this reauthorization, the law has been transformed from a kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) education law to one which cements the importance of a preschool through twelfth grade (P-12) continuum of learning.”

“U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Supporting Early Learning through the Every Student Succeeds Act,” U.S. Department of Education press release, October 20, 2016

To see the guidelines, click here.



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Mayor Marty Walsh. Photo: City of Boston Mayor's Office Flickr page

Mayor Marty Walsh. Source: City of Boston Mayor’s Office Flickr page

“The impact of prekindergarten on a student’s education is undeniable. It has a major impact on academic, social, and emotional development. BPS data shows that children who go to K1 outperform their peers in subsequent years—regardless of race or poverty. Research also shows us that early children programs with trained teachers, as well as smaller teacher-to-student ratios, result in higher MCAS achievement. On a broader scale, pre-kindergarten has led to improved behavior, both inside and outside the classroom, as well as the prevention of illegal and criminal behavior and success in the overall labor market and economy.

“We know families face challenges in sending their children to pre-kindergarten, whether it being an affordability, quality, or accessibility issue. That’s why we formed the Universal Pre-Kindergarten Advisory Committee. They are taking a close look on strategies to increase access to full-day pre-kindergarten, with a certified teacher, in a Boston Public School or community-based program.”

“Mayor Walsh: The Importance of Early Education,” by Mayor Martin Walsh, Jamaica Plain News, September 22, 2016

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Is universal pre-K worth the cost?

Yes, according to the national nonprofit Child Trends.

While research has found benefits in pre-K programs that focus on at-risk children, Child Trends has found new evidence about the benefits of universal pre-K programs that serve all children.

These findings are featured in a working paper released by Timothy Bartik at the Upjohn Institute, Jonathan A. Belford of Child Trends, Will T. Gormley of Georgetown University’s Center for Research on Children in the United States, and Sara Anderson from West Virginia University.

The focus of their analysis is Oklahoma. That’s where the Tulsa Public Schools’ universal pre-K program produces benefits — such as increased earnings and reduced crime — that “outweigh program costs by almost 2-to-1. That is, for every $1 spent on TPS universal pre-K, there is a societal gain of $1.89,” a Child Trends blog post explains(more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

Preschool expulsions are a troubling reality for too many young children, particularly African-American boys.

To learn more about the possible role of teachers’ bias in these expulsions, Yale University researchers recruited 135 study participants from “the exhibit hall at a large annual conference of early care and education professionals…”

The study looked at implicit bias, which “refers to the automatic and unconscious stereotypes that drive people to behave and make decisions in certain ways,” according to the study’s research brief.

Children’s behavior also matters, however, “implicit biases about sex and race may influence how those behaviors are perceived and how they are addressed, creating a vicious cycle over time exacerbating inequalities.”

Among the findings: “Preschool teachers and staff show signs of implicit bias in administering discipline, but the race of the teacher plays a big role in the outcome,” a Yale news release explains(more…)

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“In 2013, the year before New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took office, there were about 20,000 free, full-day pre-K seats available to children. Three years later, the city’s preschool landscape looks vastly different. For the 2016-2017 school year, the city had free, full-day seats for more than 70,000 students.

“Now New York is trying to share what it has learned from this expansion with cities across the country.

“On Thursday, New York will host a daylong learning lab with leaders from 12 other cities, including Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Seattle. During the event, early learning leaders plan to discuss topics like family outreach and sustainable quality programming, and share insights and challenges from their own cities’ initiatives.

“The leaders hope to create a unified network dedicated to sharing best practices for pre-K implementation. The long-term goal of the event, Pre-K for All, is to promote access to free, high-quality preschool across the country.”

“These Cities Want The Country To Focus More On Access To Preschool,” by Rebecca Klein, the Huffington Post, October 6, 2016

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