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Farewell to Early Years Blog From Reporter Lillian Mongeau

This will serve as my last post for Education Week's Early Years blog. I've had a wonderful time over the last two years writing the blog with my co-author Christina A. Samuels, who continues to helm Early Years.

Since I joined the Early Years team in the fall of 2014, public support for free preschool programs has grown steadily, if slowly. Three new states—Mississippi, Indiana and North Dakota—added state preschool programs. Several cities, including New York, Indianapolis and Seattle, expanded their public preschool programs. Congress added nearly $1 billion to its early-education budget last year, and the Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that Head Start will be offered for a full day and a full school year

This fall, parental leave and affordable child care have become top issues in the presidential campaign, not just for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, who has long championed broader early childhood policies, but for GOP nominee Donald Trump, too.

The extent to which this previously little-covered subject has become a topic in the national conversation has meant that I rarely struggled to figure out what to write on Early Years. On the contrary, the decision was always: "Which of many important occurrences in the field is the one to write about today?"

One of my favorite experiences as the co-writer of Early Years was launching and reporting the Ask a Scientist series, which gave me a chance to speak with several cognitive science researchers about topics ranging from early math to the science of imagination. These posts were gratifyingly popular, showing that there is real interest in the ways our growing understanding of brain science might influence our nation's classrooms.

While this is my last post for Early Years, I will continue reporting on early education for The Hechinger Report, where I am the Engagement Editor and West Coast Correspondent. I hope you will continue to follow my work there.

As always, I am available by email at [email protected] and on Twitter at @lrmongeau if you ever want to reach out.

Thanks for two great years!

—Lillian

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