Some of the most fascinating research is being done in the development of the minds of little children. What can be more fun to watch than a young child’s first steps or to hear that first word. Suppose progress just does not happen as we think it should. By the time they get to kindergarten, these children are already behind. Catching up is really difficult.
Across the nation, the realization that pre school has to be more than day care has reached legislators. Do we understand what quality pre school is? What should be taught, and how do these children learn? Who is teaching?
What is happening in states? We learned that a 16 year old can be an instructor in some pre school programs in Florida. We need better standards. If we want to judge progress, what makes good reading? Here are some sources for programs in different states.
Center for the Developing Child. Harvard University. The site has information about the interrelationships among key concepts: brain architecture, serve and return, toxic stress, executive function and innovation. This research is becoming the basis for early childhood education.
STATE LAWS AND POLICIES
The Education Commission of the States produces updates on state laws on policies. There are also several reports on the site e.g. Initiatives from Preschool to Third Grade: A Policy Makers Guide, a primer on effective strategies for K-3 academic success and the foundation for P-3 approaches.
National Women’s Law Center. Turning the Corner: State Child Care Assistance Practices. The report summarized program improvements from 2013-14 and looks ahead from February 2014. The report summarizes policy changes by states for early childhood: income eligibility, waiting lists, co payments, provider reimbursement rates, and time limits.
Early Education and Childcare Bill Tracking System will be updated December 16, 2014.
Federal Technical Assistance for Early Childhood. The site has links to a number of research studies and centers.
The State of Pre School 2013. National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers. Data, standards and state by state reports are included.