Children’s Champions Update
July 10, 2014
- Kindergarten News – Two New Reports on Demographics of Children and Racial and Economic Segregation
- Summit on Working Families and a Modern Workplace Raises Need for Quality, Affordable Child Care and Paid Family Leave
- State Roundup
KINDERGARTEN NEWS -- TWO NEW REPORTS ON DEMOGRAPHICS OF CHILDREN AND RACIAL AND ECONOMIC SEGREGATION
According to the U.S. Department of Education, in the fall of 2013 there were almost 3.8 million children enrolled in public Kindergarten. Two new reports provide more insight into the makeup of today’s kindergarten classroom. The first report looks at the significant increase in Latino children in public kindergartens and the second report looks at classrooms with children of largely the same race or socio-economic status.
Increasing number of Hispanic Children in Kindergarten Classrooms
The Pew Research Center released an analysis showing that over the past decade there has been a large increase in the number of states with at least one in five Hispanic children in public kindergarten classes. Using 2012 census data, Pew Research found that in 17 states public kindergarten is composed of at least 20% Hispanic students, whereas in 2010 there were only 8 such states. Latinos makes up the largest and fastest growing minority group in the country, making up 17 percent of the entire population. Some of the states with the greatest increase in young Latinos are Nebraska, Idaho, Washington, and New York.
For more information on this story, please click here.
New Data Shows Racial and Economic Segregation in Kindergarten Remains High
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, released a report, “Segregation and Peers’ Characteristics in the 2010-2011 Kindergarten Class: 60 Years After Brown Versus Board,” which examines racial and socioeconomic status segregation in American kindergarten classrooms.
The report indicates that not only are classrooms segregated by race, but also by income: African American and Hispanic kindergarteners are disproportionately surrounded by peers from low-income families. Key findings include:
- A total of 61% of white kindergarteners are in low-poverty classrooms and only 5% are in high-poverty classrooms
- Meanwhile, 7% of African American kindergarteners are in low-poverty classrooms and 57% are in high-poverty classrooms
To read this report, click here.
SUMMIT ON WORKING FAMILIES AND A MODERN WORKPLACE RAISES NEED FOR QUALITY, AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE, AND PAID FAMILY LEAVE
On June 23rd, NAEYC’s Executive Director Rhian Evans Allvin participated in the Summit on Working Families, hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Center for American Progress (CAP) to address the need for more flexible workplace policies that allow families to have success and security both at work and at home.
The Summit participants included President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden, in addition to business leaders, policymakers, and working families. President Obama highlighted the need for:
- Paid family leave: 47 percent of the workforce are women, and more men are assuming the role of caregivers, yet the U.S. does not mandate paid family leave as other developed countries do.
- Child Care: married working women bring home 44 percent of their family’s income; ensuring high-quality, accessible child care would allow both parents to remain in the workforce while having their children a safe and nurturing environment.
To watch the entire Summit, click here.
Rhode Island: Latest State to Offer Paid Family Leave
Congratulations to Rhode Island for becoming the third state to offer paid family leave as of this year! The Ocean State now gives workers up to four weeks of paid leave in order to care for a newborn or sick family member. Before Rhode Island, California passed America’s first paid leave law in 2002 (effective 2004) and New Jersey followed suit in 2008 (effective 2009).
To learn more about paid family leave advocacy, visit the National Partnership for Women & Families here.
California: Exciting Budget News for Early Learning
California Governor Brown signed the state’s FY 2014-2015 budget, which includes a down payment of $264 million for early learning and child development – the largest early learning investment the state has seen in over a decade! The 2014-15 California State Budget includes funds for:
- Child Care and State Preschool Quality: $50 million towards ongoing annual local block grants for quality improvement; $25 million for training in early childhood development for preschool and transitional kindergarten teachers; $10 million to help provide loans for State Preschool facility expansion.
- Child Care and State Preschool Slots: $87 million to serve children in the Alternative Payment program, children in General Child Care, and children in full-day, year round state preschool from low-income working families.
- Provider Rates and State Preschool Fees: $49 million to increase the reimbursement rate for state-contracted providers; $19 million to update the regional market rate for voucher-based providers.
Additionally, the budget eliminates part day State Preschool family fees. To read the entire budget summary, please click here.
Colorado: New Investments in Early Childhood
Good news for Colorado! The state secured $60 million in new state funds for its early care and learning system. More specifically, with bipartisan support Colorado enacted improvements for provider reimbursement rates and ensures continuity of child care with a 12-month eligibility determination. Additionally, $2.2 million of the new funds will go toward quality improvement grants for child care providers and $1.3 million will be used to increase site monitoring frequency for child care licensing staff.
Connecticut: New Investments in Preschool Tied to NAEYC Accreditation
Connecticut finished its legislative season with big wins for early childhood education: new slots for the state’s major subsidized preK program, Expanding School readiness, creating up to 4,000 new spaces within the next 4 years, and raise reimbursement rates for providers. The school readiness programs – public schools and private providers – require programs to earn NAEYC accreditation as a mark of quality.
To read more, click here.
Want to share your state’s successes this year? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org