NAEYC Children's Champions Update
February 7, 2014
The Momentum Continues: President Highlights Early Learning in State of the Union Address
On January 28, President Obama’s State of the Union address highlighted his political priorities, which included access to high quality early childhood education as a key national investment priority.
You can read NAEYC’s statement, The State of Our Children Defines the State of Our Union, released in advance of the State of the Union.
As we showed you in the last update, governors across the county (and across political ideologies) are using their state of the state addresses to highlight early childhood education.
NAEYC’s Executive Director Joins a National Panel on Early Childhood Education
A day after the President’s SOTU, NAEYC’s Executive Director Rhian Evans Allvin joined a panel at the New America Foundation to discuss the stagnation of learning investments and opportunities in the United States for children from birth up until the third grade. The discussions focused on New America’s recently released report: “Subprime Learning: Early Education in America Since the Great Recession.”
Using various indicators, such as funding, family well-being, and student achievement, the report looked back over the last five years and the impact of the recession and how it compromised the education of young children.
To watch the entire panel discussion, click here.
A Tale of Two Hearings: Early Childhood Education Takes Center Stage
This week, the education committees in the U.S House of Representatives and U.S. Senate conducted hearings on federal early childhood education programs. Elanna Yalow of Knowledge Universe spoke about the importance of quality, how their programs create partnerships with Head Start and state-funded prekindergarten programs to create public-private partnerships to serve young children; Harriet Dichter of the State of Delaware described how the state has coordinated funding streams to raise quality and access for young children and would benefit from further federal investments across the ages and settings; Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institute proposed turning Head Start and CCDBG into “Pell Grants” for families to use to access early learning; the Government Accounting Office recommended more coordination among federal agencies that administer funds that touch early childhood education (including in their interagency work food programs and others). You watch the entire hearing here.
The following day, the Senate committee heard from Hiro Yoshikawa of New York University who focused on the studies of many larger-scale preschool systems that have had positive results for young children with a significant economic return on the investments and the importance of coaching and mentoring of early educators; Charlotte Brantley of the Clayton Early Learning in Denver described the importance of quality programs, how she uses federal funds to promote quality and access, and the gaps in resources that lead to educational gaps for many; John White, who leads the Louisiana state Department of Education, discussed coordination efforts and needs at the state and local levels; Danielle Ewen, who directs the early childhood programs of the D.C. public schools preschool program, described how the school system is using its funds with Head Start to serve nearly all four year olds in high quality, comprehensive programs in schools and with community settings, yet the need for increased investments across birth to 5 remains unmet. You can watch the entire hearing here.
Seeing the Numbers: Children's Defense Fund State of America’s Children Report on the Persistence of Child Poverty in America
The Children’s Defense Fund recently released its annual report, The State of America’s Children® 2014. This in-depth report outlines alarming facts about child poverty rates in the United States, examines the various factors that contribute to it, and discusses preventative measures.
Here are some examples of the report’s findings:
· In 2012, 1 of every 5 children (16.1 million) was poor,
· Practically 1 in 3 children of color was poor,
· The youngest children were also the poorest age group,
· In 2012, over 1 in 9 children did not have access to adequate food.
For more details and policy recommendations, be sure to read the entire report here.