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Archive for the ‘Pre-kindergarten’ Category

(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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Get ready to vote next Tuesday!

Support candidates who prioritize high-quality early education and care.

Want to learn more about the election? Check out the Strategies for Children election webpage. It has information on the candidates and the ballot questions as well as resources on early education. All 200 state legislators are up for re-election, as is the case every two years. Our election page also has information on local races for state representatives and senators.

This year, Massachusetts is having a gubernatorial election. Jay Gonzalez, a Democrat, is challenging Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican. They have debated each other twice so far — and talked about early education. Click on the video above for a recap of the second debate. (The early education discussion starts at 22:31.) The final debate is tonight, Thursday, at 7pm on WCVB-TV.

The Boston Globe profiles both candidates here, noting of the two candidates: (more…)

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Free tonight?

Come to the Wheelock Family Theater and join us for a screening of “No Small Matter,” a film about the power of high-quality early education.

The film features “stories of real children, families, and teachers, illustrating the impact of high-quality early childhood experiences.”

“No Small Matter” is also “firmly grounded in science… opening up the ‘black box’ of what’s happening inside children’s brains with exciting, stimulating animation and the voices of compelling scientists, physicians, and ECE experts,” the press kit explains.

The film is “designed to kick-start the public conversation about early care and education.”

To promote this conversation, tonight’s screening will include a reception and a panel discussion. Here’s the full agenda: (more…)

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Amanda Medeiros

My name is Amanda Medeiros, and I work at the Lowell Collaborative Preschool Academy.

I have worked in the field of early education and care for eight years, and I love what I do. I help children learn to express their feelings and learn that it is okay to feel different emotions. I help them grow and become independent. I always support families as well. I am here for the parents just as much as I am for children. It can be hard when parents see their children growing, so I help them adjust and understand that it is all normal.

What I’m most proud of as an early educator is seeing children make progress. I love when I hear a child express themselves, especially when I know that is difficult for them. I see children go from not being able to hold a crayon to writing their name in full. It is very rewarding. (more…)

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Early educator Kayla Pinto. (This photograph was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.)

 

It can be challenging for early educators to go to college. They often have to squeeze in classes, keep up with homework, keep working, and pay tuition.

But as writer and developmental psychologist Suzanne Bouffard explains in a Hechinger Report article, innovative public policies and programs can help — and Massachusetts is one example of how.

Bouffard’s article — “To boost preschool quality, Massachusetts invests in college degrees for teachers” — starts by telling the story of Kayla Pinto, who “knew she had found her calling from the first day she taught preschool at the YMCA in Somerville, Massachusetts.”

Pinto had “grown up attending programs at the Y in this small city just north of Boston, and she started working there when she was 14. But it wasn’t until her early 20s, when she was asked to fill in for an absent preschool teacher, that she realized how much she connected with young children.” (more…)

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

Massachusetts is working hard to meet the needs of preschool age children who have special education needs. The goal is inclusion: preparing all children for success in school no matter what challenges or disabilities they have. Ongoing efforts in this area and an upcoming conference are fueling real progress for children.

For parents, trying to find the right services and programs for children with special needs can be daunting. Some help came in 2015, when the federal government issued guidelines about how high-quality programs can be more inclusive.

“States, school districts, local organizations, communities and families must work together so that children with disabilities have access to programs that offer individualized and appropriate help in meeting high expectations,” former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said at the time. (more…)

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