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Early Childhood Education
Asked and answered
August 9, 2018
Longtime advocate (and current First Lady) Diana Rauner sizes up the challenges ahead for early education in Illinois
Fluent in the languages of developmental psychology (her Ph.D., from the University of Chicago) and finance (her MBA, from Stanford University), Illinois First…
How I Teach
July 30, 2018
This Chicago preschool teacher is touting an alternative to the traditional playground
Here, in a feature we call How I Teach, we ask educators who’ve been recognized for their work how they approach their jobs.
May 18, 2018
A growing Jeffco program trains future early childhood workers while they’re still in high school
A new training program at a Jefferson County high school seeks to help cultivate the early childhood workforce of the future.
April 30, 2018
Text messages, toiletries, and backpacks: Indiana gets creative with pre-K outreach in rural areas
Indiana is spending $22 million to double the number of children served by On My Way Pre-K and reach 15 additional counties, many of them rural.
February 19, 2018
Indiana education is evolving. Here’s how Chalkbeat is growing to keep you informed.
How we're striving to provide strong, independent, in-depth coverage of efforts to improve public education for all kids, especially those from low-income families.
February 6, 2018
Mayor calls for more science, early education in Memphis-area schools
In his last State of the County address, the two-term Republican mayor and former sheriff urged investments in local education.
3-K for All
February 2, 2018
Coming to a district near you: As city expands pre-K for 3-year-olds, Mayor de Blasio urges families to sign up
Riding the heels of an announcement that New York City will move more quickly to make free preschool…
January 26, 2018
Coaches in the classroom: How Colorado preschools are upping their teaching game
Coaching is increasingly being used to help child care and preschool teachers — and the centers where they work — improve.
January 26, 2018
Economically integrated early childhood settings are good for kids, yet they are rare
All children can benefit from socioeconomically diverse classes, one major study found, but few have access to them in preschool.
January 23, 2018
After an early childhood overhaul, paying families are bringing diversity to some New York City child care centers
New York City's recent early childhood overhaul might inadvertently have laid the groundwork for integration in its highly segregated early childhood programs.
year in review
December 21, 2017
Early childhood discipline, child care deserts and funding challenges in the spotlight during 2017
Amid national debate on the disproportionate number of suspensions given out to young boys of color, Colorado lawmakers grappled with discipline policy in 2017.
December 18, 2017
Advocates push to extend tax credit to encourage donations to cash-strapped child care providers
A wide-ranging coalition that includes early childhood, education and business groups is galvanizing support for a bill to extend a state tax credit that incentivizes donations to Colorado child care providers.
December 5, 2017
Memphis mayor endorses pre-K investments as City Council plans vote
The council will vote soon on whether to commit the city to coming up with at least $8 million to fill an impending gap in pre-K funding.
December 1, 2017
Will pre-K put the city of Memphis back in the education business?
Three members of the City Council plan to introduce a resolution to support expanding pre-K in Memphis.
October 6, 2017
This Colorado ski town had an early childhood education crisis. Here’s what local leaders did about it.
A growing number of initiatives across Colorado use public money — usually gleaned from local property tax or sales tax — to improve child care and preschool options.
Wanna go outside?
September 15, 2017
Less plastic, more trees: New effort seeks to reinvent preschool playgrounds and capture kids’ imaginations
The idea behind a new early childhood grant program is to create outdoor spaces that capture kids’ imagination, connect them with nature and keep them active.
September 11, 2017
For a struggling Colorado school district, full-day preschool — and the unusual way it’s paid for — shows promise
Promising first-year results from a study of full-day preschool in Westminster Public Schools have stoked optimism about a new financing mechanism officials are testing.
August 23, 2017
New York City child care centers are serving more infants, but for poor families seats are scarce
It remains to be seen whether the city will find a way to increase the capacity for this age group in centers.
July 28, 2017
It’s hard to find qualified early childhood teachers. Here’s what one Denver provider is doing about it.
Child care centers across Colorado have a hard time finding qualified staff. A new effort by one Denver provider aims to help remedy the problem.
March 2, 2017
Colorado could be at the forefront in cutting back on early childhood suspensions and expulsions. Here’s how.
A proposed state law would limit out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for Colorado preschool and early elementary students.
spread the word
February 28, 2017
How storytelling is giving voice to a small part of the early childhood workforce — men
In their own words, the men described the journeys that led them to work in the early childhood field — as teachers, counselors, coaches and…
year in review
December 19, 2016
Colorado’s year in early childhood: Bright spots and persistent challenges
A look at Colorado's biggest early childhood stories of 2016.
bang for your buck
December 12, 2016
Investing early in quality child care for at-risk kids pays off big later, research finds
New research shows high-quality child care from birth to age five yields huge financial returns in the form of better education, health and job outcomes.
October 14, 2016
In a tumultuous presidential campaign season, a rare spotlight on education issues
A senior policy advisor to the Hillary Clinton campaign channeled the Democratic presidential candidate at an intimate question-and-answer session on Thursday hosted by Teachers…
September 22, 2016
In a long-neglected Denver neighborhood, an innovative preschool offers sanctuary
Residents wanted a new preschool in their Northeast Denver neighborhood, but feared they'd be edged out by more affluent families farther east.
August 30, 2016
In 3 years IPS tripled the size of its preschool, yet hundreds of spots remain unfilled
Preschool teaches kids social and academic skills necessary for kindergarten.
June 22, 2016
Why some districts are putting new emphasis on easing the transition to kindergarten
With long-term consequences for kindergartners who have trouble adjusting to school, there's a growing emphasis in Colorado and nationally on smoothing the transition.
March 21, 2016
Six months after sobering study, bill to up pre-K quality heads to governor’s desk
State lawmakers unanimously pass a bill designed to make pre-K classrooms stronger.
December 10, 2015
New Colorado child care rules take aim at obesity
New state rules for child care centers will ban sugary drinks, establish limits on screen time and mandate 60 minutes of daily physical activity for in full-day students.
November 18, 2015
Power of pre-K gets boost from new report countering Vanderbilt study
States should raise the quality of pre-K programs and make early childhood development a priority, says a new report by leaders of the Southern Regional Education Board.
model of inclusion
November 10, 2015
Growing approach helps kick preschool expulsion habit
In light of concerns about preschool expulsion rates, the Pyramid Plus Approach represents one way to help early childhood teachers handle challenging behaviors.
October 23, 2015
Landmark study sparks question: Do preschool effects stick in Colorado but not in Tennessee?
Early childhood leaders here say a major study that raised doubts about preschool's effectiveness quality but doesn't match Colorado data on the topic.
July 17, 2015
Test yourself: Do you know the basics of Indiana education?
It's a good time to brush up on your Indiana education knowledge. Try your hand at our quiz that includes questions on our four newest "basics" posts out this week.
June 17, 2015
City reshuffles education staff as Jason Kloth departs
With the departure of Deputy Mayor Jason Kloth, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s office overseeing education programs and charter schools is undergoing a transition.
May 12, 2015
Colorado plateaus in annual preschool ranking
While state funding for the Colorado Preschool Program increased a bit last year, Colorado didn't improve on measures of preschool quality or access, according to an annual ranking published by the National Institute for Early Education Research or NIEER.
May 5, 2015
Video: Experts discuss challenges of Indianapolis preschool expansion
Preschool options are growing in Indianapolis and statewide, but real practical challenges remain before early education advocates say the state will have an infrastructure it can be proud of.
January 12, 2015
Ferebee: Low expectations are a stubborn obstacle for IPS
A surprising number of Ferebee's biggest changes so far have connected to that theme of higher expectations — for the administration, for teachers, for students and even for the wider Indianapolis community. But those expectations work both ways. Halfway through his second year leading IPS, questions remain about how well matched Ferebee's ambitions for IPS are to those of a newly-elected, reform-minded school board. He also knows he has work to do to involve parents and grow grassroots level support for his approach.
October 27, 2014
72 percent of Coloradans say middle class families should receive help to pay for early learning
That’s how Watney reacted to a new poll that found majorities of Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated Colorado voters support investments in early childhood programs — including teacher…
October 16, 2014
Preschool advocates stunned Pence dropped bid for $80 million grant
Indiana's early childhood education advocates say they are "shocked" by Gov. Mike Pence's decision not to follow through on submitting a federal grant application that could have resulted in the state receiving $80 million to support preschool expansion efforts to benefit close to 2,000 low-income children.
September 25, 2014
Shortage of options for working parents seeking quality child care
A new report from Qualistar Colorado reveals that working parents may have few options when it comes to finding licensed care for their young children.
September 15, 2014
Chalkbeat reporting so far on Mayor Greg Ballard's preschool plan
In late July, Mayor Greg Ballard announced a new $50 million initiative to increase access to high quality early education. Research shows that kids who participate in such programs are more successful later on in life. The initiative also aims to reduce crime and examine practices in school discipline.
June 9, 2014
Launch delayed for new early childhood rating system
The state has backed away from its planned July start date for a new mandatory quality rating system for early childhood education and…
dollars and sense
June 5, 2014
(Nearly) everything you need to know about Jeffco’s 2014 budget — and a little bit more
The Jeffco Public Schools operating fund is growing by more than $15 million dollars this year. Class sizes aren't increasing. No programs are being cut. But the proposed budget is still likely to draw fire.
stars in the making
March 10, 2014
New rating system on the way for preschools and child care
This summer the state is expected to launch a new mandatory five-level rating system for early childhood care providers, including preschools, child care centers and family child care homes. While there are many details left to work out, experts say the effort is a step in the right direction for improving the quality of care for Colorado's youngest children.
September 24, 2012
City to expand pre-K offerings with new seats and a new school
City officials and philanthropists announced two new early childhood initiatives today. From left: Administration for Children's Services Commissioner Ronald Richter, Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Dennis Walcott, and Susie Buffett, of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund. Instead of waiting until children are turning five years old to start educating them, the Department of Education is going to start targeting some children at five weeks. Citing research that shows a correlation between long-term achievement and enrollment in high-quality early childhood programs, Mayor Bloomberg announced this morning that the city will open a school next year that enrolls children from infancy through pre-kindergarten — and their parents. Bloomberg also announced a $20 million initiative to turn 4,000 oft-unused half-day pre-kindergarten seats into full-day slots that many parents find more attractive. Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott made the announcements today in conjunction with "Education Nation," NBC's annual extravaganza of education policy programming hosted in Midtown Manhattan. This year's summit is focusing on innovations that have been proven to work. One of those is early childhood education, which primes children for academic success in elementary school and beyond. Children's minds are already 85 percent developed by the time they are old enough for kindergarten, a 2005 study found, and early education advocates say interventions in infancy can have a far greater impact on the achievement gap than at any other period in children's lives. In the proposed new school, which would open next September inside Brownsville's P.S. 41, low-income parents would be pushed to develop stronger social and emotional skills with their children while the children are infants and toddlers. Ultimately serving between 115 and 125 families a year, the school will be part of the Educare Schools network, which already operates 17 early childhood schools in 13 states.
June 26, 2012
Ask an Expert: Preparing a child for kindergarten
The founder and a founding teacher of a new Denver charter school give parents some tips on preparing their children for kindergarten.
December 16, 2011
New York not among Race to the Top early-learning winners
When the Obama administration announces winners of the second Race to the Top competition later today, New York will not be on the list. That's according to the Associated Press, which reports that nine states are sharing the $500 million in funding for early childhood programs. Those states are California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington, a source at the U.S. Department of Education told the AP. Being shut out means New York will not get federal funding to build a "kindergarten readiness measurement tool" — or a test that all children would take when they enter school. The state had been eligible to receive as much as $100 million. The nine winners are culled from 35 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, that applied for the federal funds this fall.
January 29, 2009
For the first time, charter schools will open up to 4-year-olds
The charter school chain that is expanding to 4-year-olds next year. State law previously restricted charter schools from admitting pre-kindergarten students; they could go only…
December 17, 2008
Looking back on the start of Head Start
Today's New York Times reported that Obama could oversee "the largest new federal initiative for young children since Head Start began in 1965" if he makes good on his pledge of $10 billion for early childhood education, leaving proponents of such programs "atremble" in anticipation of his administration's support. More than 20,000 youngsters participated in the first Head Start programs in New York City in the summer of 1965, the Times reported that year. The full article is after the jump.
December 17, 2008
How far from complete are the city's efforts to expand pre-K?
Talking about Barack Obama's hopes for expanding early childhood education (school for 3- and 4-year-olds) Sam Dillon reports in the Times this morning that, despite efforts to make pre-kindergarten available, New York State's efforts are "far from complete." How far? Pretty far. There are two areas to pay attention to: access (how many 4-year-olds are actually enrolled in programs) and quality (are the programs doing real teaching or simply baby-sitting?). Let's start with access. New York City advocates told me last year that they estimate demand for pre-kindergarten in the city at about 75,000 4-year-olds. Yet the number of 4-year-olds who are taking part so far this year is 54,000. That represents a steady increase from years past, the Department of Education's director of early childhood education, Recy B. Dunn, just told me in a telephone interview. But it's still far away from universal — and it's also below the number of seats the state agreed to pay for this year, 60,000, a package that would cost just over $230 million, Dunn said. The picture statewide is arguably bleaker. Winnie Hu of the Times reported last year that only 38% of 4-year-olds in the state participated in programs.
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