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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: 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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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

Springfield is having a $12 million, early education dream come true, MassLive.com reports.

The city is opening a new Educare early childhood center in its Old Hill neighborhood.

Educare is a high-quality, research-based early education model that works with young children and their families for multiple years. “The Educare program includes longer days for the children and is year-round,” MassLive says.

“The new center will serve 141 children who will be selected from the Head Start program based on factors including income and need. The early childhood program is for children ages just past birth to 5 years old.”

This work isn’t new for Springfield. From parents to early educators to schools superintendent Dan Warwick, the city has made a powerful commitment to educating its youngest children. (more…)

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Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

 

A guest blog by Chris Martes, president and CEO of Strategies for Children.

We’re keeping an eye on early education trends, and we think there are six important things to watch for in 2018.

• FY19 state budget advocacy

Will the Governor and the Legislature continue their support for the early childhood education workforce? We hope so. Massachusetts has made important progress.

• Dear Massachusetts Legislature: Please expand preschool.

Last year, the Senate Ways and Means committee included $15 million for expansion, but this allocation did not make it into the final budget.

We are continuing to advocate for a bill that would invest in expansion in a small but powerful way. “An Act ensuring high quality early education,” H.2874 filed by Representative Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley) and S.240 filed by Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett) would award preschool expansion grants to high-needs communities that are ready to go with comprehensive implementation plans. (more…)

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Photo: Alessandra Hartkopf for Strategies for Children

 

Study after study keeps coming to the same conclusion: Early education works.

Now new research drives home the point: Early education provides benefits that last through high school.

That’s the result of a meta-study published by the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

“It is exciting that our results show that the benefits of early childhood education are sustained through elementary school and beyond,” study coauthor Dana McCoy, an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said in a press release.

“These results provide further evidence for the potential individual and societal benefits of expanding early childhood education programming in the United States.”

The researchers conducted a meta-study of 22 early education studies conducted between 1960 and 2016. (more…)

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Nonie Lesaux. Photo source: Harvard Graduate School of Education

Nonie Lesaux — the academic dean at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE) – appeared on NECN to talk about HGSE’s statewide study on early education.

The study, Lesaux says in the video, is “designed effectively to strengthen early learning in the U.S. and increase the pathways to success for young children.”

“What we don’t really know is how to scale high-quality programs,” Lesaux adds. “What are the key ingredients that would allow us to do so much better by so many more children…?”

Lesaux is also the author of the Strategies for Children report “Turning the Page: Refocusing Massachusetts for Reading Success.”

The Boston Globe covered the study here.

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Screenshot of New America’s report.

 

What does high-quality pre-K look like?

It depends on where you look, according to a new report from the think tank New America.

“Since publicly funded pre-K programs are guided by varying intents, regulations, and funding approaches, there is little continuity in early learning. There are uneven standards for program quality, variable hours of coverage, incongruent eligibility requirements, and competing demands for accountability.”

Despite this “uneven” practice, the research does provide clear answers of what quality looks like.

To get a sharp picture of quality, New America’s report — “Indispensable Policies & Practices for High-Quality Pre-K: Research & Pre-K Standards Review” — “synthesizes recent meta-analyses and other studies” and “analyzes existing pre-K quality standards.”

Six themes emerged from this process: (more…)

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