Children’s Champions Update
May 13, 2014
Senate Committee to Mark Up Strong Start Legislation Tomorrow – Stay Tuned
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will mark up the Strong Start legislation (S. 1697) tomorrow. To learn more about the legislation, please click here. Look for a Children’s Champions update on the developments in the markup session.
My Brother’s Keeper: Creating Opportunity for Boys and Young Men of Color
In February, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to help boys and young men of color overcome the disproportionate difficulties to success they face by eliminating disparities of opportunity. For example, almost 90 percent of African American boys and over 80 percent of Native American and Hispanic boys are below reading proficiency levels by the fourth grade (compared to 58 percent of their white counterparts) and young African American and Hispanic men are over six times more likely to be murdered than their white counterparts.
To read more about this initiative and how it helps put boys and young men of color on the path to success, click here.
Raising Awareness About Universal Developmental and Behavioral Screening
Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! – a new federal effort driven by the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – is an initiative which supports healthy child development through promoting universal developmental and behavioral screening.
Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! offers families, teachers, and caregivers a wide array of resources, including a list of research-based screening tools and electronic materials that can help raise public awareness, all of which can be used to identify and address any developmental concerns early.
Addressing children’s needs at an early age is critical for their healthy development and success in life. To read more about this initiative, click here.
New Annual Report Profiling State-funded Pre-K Programs in the U.S.
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) released the 2013 edition of the “State Preschool Yearbook” today, providing data on state-funded prekindergarten for the 2012-1013 school year. The Yearbook tracks national trends in pre-K enrollment, quality, and spending and also offers state-by-state profiles, outlining state policies that affect pre-K access, quality, and resources.
Some key findings include:
- Enrollment declined: In 2012-2013, enrollment nationally decreased by about 9,000 4-year-olds. Twenty states increased enrollment, while 11 states reduced enrollment.
- Funding increases nationally were small: Total state funding for pre-K programs increased by $30 million in real dollars, about a 1 percent increase. State pre-K funding per child increased by $36 (inflation-adjusted) from the previous year, to $4,026.
- The number of states meeting NIEER quality benchmarks is status quo: Four states, plus one of Louisiana’s three programs, met all 10 NIEER benchmarks for state pre-K quality standards, the same as in the previous year.
The full report will soon be available online. To read more and see state profiles, go to www.nieer.org