Posts Tagged by preschool
|November 30, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Education, Research|
- The percentage of children under the age of 4 lacking health insurance (5 percent) had little to no change from the 2011 report, although the amount of children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) declined by over 40,000
- The amount of young children receiving early intervention services and quality child care increased, both by approximately 6 percent, however, Head Start and other public pre-K programs served fewer children than the year prior
- About 38 percent of children under the age of 5 live in low-income families
- 16.5 percent of children ages 4 and under attend publicly funded pre-K, down from 17.6 percent in the 2011 report
- Child abuse and neglect reports and substantiations for children under 5 years old decreased
Only time will tell if the sluggish trend in critical school readiness factors will continue, or what (if any) the eventual impact will be on the Pennsylvania children just beginning their educations. Hopefully, accommodations can be made to maintain these programs as research has found demonstrable cognitive benefits of daycare and pre-K. Even when factors related to a child’s emotional and social development offset some gains, typically, the overall impact is not diminished.
|November 13, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Education, Policy, Research||
Got the comparative analysis blues? Need more or better data? Well, difficult-to-find data on pre-K programs just got easier to access thanks to a combined effort from the Early Education Initiative and the Federal Education Budget Project (FEBP) of the New America Foundation. An expansion of the FEBP database added 2007 through 2011 enrollment and funding information on public early education programs at both the state and local levels – including Head Start and federally mandated special education services to young children.
Alex Holt gives an overview of this valuable resource at the Foundation’s website, and discusses the serious deficit in reliable pre-K data reporting in the brief (with Lisa Guernsey) Counting Kids and Tracking Funds: Falling Short at the Local Level.
|November 13, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Budget, Education, Evaluation||
Though empirically associated with better educational outcomes and considered by many policymakers to be key to academic success, early childhood education is in danger of being diluted or cut competently from budgets as funding becomes scarce.
A new report from the The Center for Public Education should be required reading for school board members, parents of young children and early childhood education professionals as it provides additional evidence of the benefit of pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) attendance on future academic performance. The study findings suggest:
- Children who attended Pre-K and half-day kindergarten were more likely to have higher third grade reading skills scores than children who attended only full-day kindergarten, without Pre-K.
- The higher the level of reading skill examined (above basic), the larger the likelihood of students who attended Pre-K/half-day kindergarten, as opposed to only full-day kindergarten, reaching that level.
- The impact of the Pre-K/half-day kindergarten combination was significantly greater for some when the sample data was examined by race, ethnicity and family income. Overall, the impact was greatest for Hispanic students, Black students, students below the poverty level and English-learning students.
- The educational attainment of the mother has an impact on the reading level achievement of the student.
|June 2, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Budget, Education, Policy, Research, Youth Development||
The 2005 report Losing Ground in Early Childhood Education by Stephen Herzenberg, Mark Price and David Bradley, from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the Keystone Research Center (KRC) concluded that early child education (ECE) in America had reached a point of reckoning, as it was no longer able to successfully recruit and retain the most educated childhood development professionals.
Using data from the Community Population Survey between the years of 1983 and 2004, the researchers identified a decline in the education level of ECE educators, noting that in 1983-84, 43 percent held a 4-year college degree as opposed to 30 percent in 2002-04. Home-based ECE programs especially suffered a decline in staff qualifications with less than 50 percent of the workers having any post-secondary education. Possible reasons for the change in workforce education attainment included low wages, poor or no benefits offered to staff and expanded career opportunities (that paid better) for female college graduates.
Six years after this publication, it appears that little has changed to improve the state of ECE, in fact, due to the recession’s impact on state and federal budgets, much of education funding is in jeopardy. Austerity measures have lead to the removal of full-day kindergarten from some Pennsylvania school districts. At least one district recently cut kindergarten from their education budget completely. These cuts have been made despite numerous research studies that provide evidence of the positive behavioral and academic impacts of ECE on children and a cost-benefit analysis that finds ending ECE may cost more than maintaining it.
Reading the KRC’s report in this time of budget battles and beleaguered taxpayers has me wondering what the future holds for early childhood care, education and intervention. Is ECE now considered a luxury? Is child development a field not worthy of a competitive wage? With older, college-educated teachers reaching retirement age, budget cuts, closing programs and frozen wages, the availability and quality of future ECE programs remains uncertain at best.