Don’t STEM the Tide of Curiosity

The future economic viability of our country relies on a STEM-literate citizenry and workforce, but we aren’t educating our children to be science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) literate.  Research evidence is mounting for the importance of math and science school readiness for long-term achievement in these areas and in reading; yet, we leave behind so many children from low-resource communities.  Children who are as curious, able, and eager to learn as their middle class peers arrive at school behind in math and science knowledge and skills.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Picture Books throughout Early Childhood

Take a moment and think about your experiences with picture books. I expect that this will invoke warm memories for most, if not all, adults. Perhaps it is the memory of sitting on a relative’s lap reading, perhaps it is a favorite book that you can still recite by heart, maybe it is a recollection of attending story hour at the local library, or it could be the thought of a favorite teacher reading aloud.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Love for Learning in Children Experiencing Homelessness

Today, like every Thursday, is my play day – I spend an enriching two hours at a shelter for families who are experiencing homelessness through theHomeless Children’s Playtime Project. As an early childhood enthusiast and former preschool teacher, I was already familiar with the benefits of learning through play.  What I wasn’t familiar with was the effects of homelessness on young children.   The more I’ve interacted with children and families in my local community, the more curious I’ve become about the national landscape.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Equity and Excellence: African-American Children’s Access to Quality Preschool

A new paper, Equity and Excellence: African-American Children’s Access to Quality Preschool, by Steve Barnett and Megan Carolan at NIEER and David Johns of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (WHIEEAA), examines the critical issue of providing access to quality early childhood programs to African American children.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Early Education in the Voting Booth

Education policy is often a campaign issue for politicians and very heavily debated in both major political parties. Lately, preschool has made its way to the forefront of political debate for both sides since the President proposed his “Preschool for All” plan, proposing incentives for states to offer high quality universal preschool to all children during his 2013 State of the Union address.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Emergency Preparation in Early Education Programs

Many families make emergency preparedness a priority in the home, explaining to small children what to do in case of a fire, devising “family reunification plans,” and stocking up on supplies in case of an emergency. However, a recent report indicates that schools and child care centers may not be giving safety the same focus. A year out from Hurricane Sandy, we’re providing resources on preparing for and recovering from emergencies, with a special focus on children.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Switching Lanes: New Roadmap for New York Universal Prekindergarten

While New York provides state-funded pre-K to 44 percent of its 4-year-olds, the state has consistently fallen short of the “universal” aim of its goals. A new effort from the Center for Children’s Initiatives (CCI) and The Campaign for Educational Equity (CEE) aims to change that, with today’s release of Making Prekindergarten Truly Universal in New York: A Statewide Roadmap.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Local Control in Early Education

Local control, or at least the perception of its presence, is a closely guarded tenet in state and local politics. It provides citizens with a sense of purpose, identity, autonomy, and power, allowing local constituents to influence the policies and programs affecting them right in their front yards. We see this in matters such as states’ and communities’ taxes or property rights.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.

Preschool Loans Provide the Dollars, but Do They Make Sense?

The importance of early education for a child’s healthy development academically, socially and physically is undeniable; but at what price? New York City Council speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn recently announced an initiative to offer middle class families subsidized loans for day care and preschool, starting with 40 loans in the first year. These loans would add up to thousands of dollars, but in exchange middle and upper-middle class New Yorkers (with an income between $80,000-200,000 per year) would have the ability to send their children to the preschools they may be unable to afford on their own.

Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.