Benefits include the value of the child care itself and likely future outcomes for the children in education, college, attendance, and the labor market, NIEER finds.


Looking for suggestions on districts and schools that are partnering on education, health, family services and other issues across the early-childhood spectrum.


A guide out last month could offer newly elected governors some tips in establishing a strong early-childhood system.


The ballot measure in Arizona would have returned tobacco tax money set aside for early education to the state's general fund.


North Carolina's early education initiative, Smart Start, recently announced it is partnering with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation to improve physical activity and nutrition in child care centers statewide. The state ranks fifth in the nation for childhood obesity. As the Charlotte News-Observer reports, the three-year, $3 million effort will reach 5,000 child care centers. Trained local experts will work long-term with the centers to help them improve nutrition, play facilities, and physical and outdoor activities with children in their care. The effort, known as Shape NC, will build on Smart Start's existing outreach effort, ...


This week, West Virginia's Beckley Register-Herald carried a story on the implementation of universal pre-K for 4-year-olds. Beckley is located in Raleigh County, near the southern end of the state. According to ePodunk, a web site started by journalists to offer quick access to community information, in 2000 Raleigh County's median household income was $28,181. Despite the sputtering economy, both the state and the county are moving ahead with universal pre-K for four-year-olds. Last year West Virginia spent $120 million in federal, state and local funds on pre-K. An associate superintendent in Raleigh County interviewed for the story says ...


A key question for early-childhood research and practice is how to prevent the dropoff in academic gains that studies show often happens when children transition from pre-K to kindergarten and the primary grades. On Friday, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Texas, Houston, released a report, "Lifting PreK Quality: Caring and Effective Teachers," that indicates improving teacher instruction is a more effective strategy in improving preschool quality than regulating the credentials of teachers, capping class sizes, and even setting child-teacher ratios. The researchers recommend mentoring and training preschool teachers to help them plan challenging learning ...


Last Friday, the Gesell Institute of Human Development released a study comparing when children reach certain cognitive milestones today and when they did in the 20th century. Originally, early-childhood pioneer Arnold Gesell and colleagues published observation-based developmental schedules starting in 1925 and updating through the 1970s. (For a brief overview of the study and links to a related FAQ, click here.) Guess what? Kids haven't changed. As the Harvard Education Letter reports, researchers observed more than 1,200 children ages 3-6 in public and private schools across the country and found remarkable stability in the ages at which they could ...


About 10 years ago, I was reporting in a struggling elementary school on Chicago's South Side. It had a well-regarded state prekindergarten program, but the pre-K director and the school principal barely had a nodding relationship with one another. It was hard to tell how many of the kids in the pre-K program ever went to the elementary school. But no one seemed to think that was a problem. Today, that kind of situation continues to take place, and now it's considered a big problem, and possibly the root of the famous drop-off in academic achievement that happens when kids ...


A hot trend in the world of early-childhood education is home visiting by a professional to a family with an infant or toddler. Ideally, the visiting professional builds a relationship with the primary caregiver and other family members, helping them understand infant and toddler development and behavior and helping the family through any special challenges their child presents. In the policy world, home visits are mostly talked about for low-income families and teen moms, but others can benefit, too. (Full disclosure: I've been receiving home visits from Chicago's Fussy Baby Network, a project of the Erickson Institute, because my son ...


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