Initiatives from Preschool to Third Grade: A policymaker's guide
A new reference primer addresses effective strategies to support children on their path to third-grade academic success and details the foundations of effective P-3 approaches. "There are many candidates across the country running for gubernatorial and legislative seats, and many are running with early childhood as a key component of their education platform," said Bruce Atchison, director of ECS' Early Learning Institute. "This document will be an excellent resource for the newly elected officials and for professionals currently working the field of early childhood."
Tell Us Why Early Childhood Education is Important!
The Early Learning Institute at ECS is looking for personal stories from the public that illustrate the importance of providing a high-quality early education. Stories will be featured in future ECS P-3 Newsletters. Make submissions to Emily Workman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's Happening in the States
How transitional kindergarten looked the first year
In 2012-13, California's transitional kindergarten (TK) was in the first of a two-year kindergarten experience for students who turned 5-years-old between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2. It appeared to researchers that TK teachers were adopting instructional practices that were more developmentally appropriate for the younger students, and those in standalone classrooms tended to spend more instructional time on social-emotional skill development and less time on reading/ELA and math than students in standalone kindergarten classrooms. (AIR)
35 states and Puerto Rico applied for development, expansion grants
Thirty-six applications were submitted to the Department of Education for development or expansion grants to build preschool programs. States will learn the outcomes of their applications in December.
Technology in early childhood
Plunging into the debate over technology in early childhood, the authors acknowledge 3- to 5-year-olds spend an average of four hours a day with technology. That said, they recommend thinking of technology as one of several tools in the box, using it to support school readiness, help narrow the digital divide and expand resources for providers and families. (Rand)
Turning the corner on childcare assistance policies
For the second year in a row, situations for families improved under child care policies in more states. Families in 33 states were better off with greater access to child care assistance or they received greater benefits from assistance, or both. Families in 13 states were worse off. Improvements tended to be modest and not sufficient to close continuing gaps in families' access to assistance and the level of assistance available. (National Women's Law Center)
Math from the get-go
Because a child's math ability has proved to be a better predictor of academic achievement than any other early childhood skill, the National Governors Association has decided to weigh in on math in early childhood. The association recommends building support for early math within the context of existing policy priorities such as prekindergarten expansion, aligning high-quality math standards throughout the education pipeline and promoting changes in policies that improve educator preparation. (National Governors Association)
Infants and toddlers lead U.S. racial, ethnic transformation
Asserting the current approach to services for young children is fragmented and under-resourced, the authors of this report point out that the growing poverty and diversity of young children demand action. Among other recommendations, they advise creating a single entry point for early childhood programs serving infants and toddlers and allowing states to apply for federal infant and toddler funds through a single application to align services.