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“Sometimes, this sexism is overt. A recent New York Times article about early childhood workers struggling to make ends meet quoted a child care worker who was told… [by] a state legislator that, ‘You don’t get into this for money, you’re paid in love.’ Other advocates have told me of policymakers who believe that early childhood educators don’t need more money because they aren’t ‘breadwinners’ – a perception that data disputes.”

“Confront Sexism in Child Care: We need to talk about how sexism contributes to a lack of prestige and low pay for ‘women’s work,’” by Sara Mead, U.S. News & World Report, November 17, 2016

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

“In Florida, a coalition of parents known as ‘the recess moms’ has been fighting to pass legislation guaranteeing the state’s elementary-school students at least 20 minutes of daily free play. Similar legislation recently passed in New Jersey, only to be vetoed by the governor, who deemed it ‘stupid.’ ”

“The benefits of recess might seem obvious—time to run around helps kids stay fit. But a large body of research suggests that it also boosts cognition. Many studies have found that regular exercise improves mental function and academic performance. [3] And an analysis of studies that focused specifically on recess found positive associations between physical activity and the ability to concentrate in class. [4]

“Perhaps most important, recess allows children to design their own games, to test their abilities, to role-play, and to mediate their own conflicts—activities that are key to developing social skills and navigating complicated situations. [8] Preliminary results from an ongoing study in Texas suggest that elementary-school children who are given four 15-minute recesses a day are significantly more empathetic toward their peers than are kids who don’t get recess. [9]

“Why Kids Need Recess: And why it’s endangered,” The Atlantic, December, 2016

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“There’s a reason why the researchers focus exclusively on methods to improve what they call ‘relationship-based care practices’ in infant and toddler care. There’s a great deal of research that illustrates the importance of warm, supportive relationships between caregivers and young children. Receiving sensitive, responsive caregiving is linked to positive cognitive and behavioral outcomes later in life, including for babies deemed at-risk based on early neurodevelopmental screening.”

“When pre-K for three- and four-year-olds is discussed, it’s taken as a given that students should have a consistent teacher throughout the year with whom they can build a warm, supportive relationship in order to enhance their learning. Science increasingly tells us this is also true for infants and toddlers. While infant and toddler care doesn’t generate the same amount of debate as pre-K it’s time to follow the research and move towards practices that will strengthen the very first stages of the birth to third grade continuum.”

“When It Comes to Infant-Toddler Care and Development, It’s All About the Relationships,” by Aaron Loewenberg, New America’s EdCentral blog, November 7, 2016

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“When you think of America’s western mountain states, what comes to mind? Wide, open spaces? Majestic peaks? Infinite blue skies? Pervasive lack of investment in pre-K?”

“Five states—Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Wyoming—still do not provide any state funding towards pre-K. And all but one of the five are in the mountainous west.”

“This region’s failure to act on pre-K may be accounted for by a combination of the following factors:

• Political and cultural values that put an emphasis on libertarian ideals of government

• Low percentage of children in single-parent households

• Low poverty rates

• Low population density

“While none of these factors alone can explain these states’ lack of investment in pre-K, taken together, they may help to describe the unique environment that exists there—one that lends itself to inaction when it comes to pre-K.”

“One Part of the Country Still Doesn’t Invest in Pre-K. Here’s Why.” By David Loewenberg, New America Weekly, October 20, 2016

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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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“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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