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Universal Preschool News

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In this section, you'll find editorials, legislation, public policy and trends on issues relating to preschool, pre-kindergarten, childcare and the push toward universal preschool education. Particularly of note are articles concerning the states claim of a compelling interest in compulsory preschool education. Visit often for the latest preschool news.

The Evidence on Universal Preschool Calls for universal preschool programs have become commonplace, reinforced by President Obama's call for "high-quality preschool for all" in 2013. Any program that could cost state and federal taxpayers $50 billion per year warrants a closer look. This report reviews the major evaluations of preschool programs, including both traditional programs such as Head Start and those designated as "high quality." These evaluations do not paint a generally positive picture. The most methodologically rigorous evaluations find that the academic benefits of preschool programs are quite modest, and these gains fade after children enter elementary school. by David J. Armor October 15, 2014 [More Results from cato.org]
Lawmakers quietly considering universal preschool After California's voters last June defeated a $2.3 billion universal preschool initiative, Proposition 82, the issue of early education seemed dead. But reports of its demise have proved premature. The debate over how much to spend on pre-K and for which kids is now in the hands of the state politicians, and the issue will resurface this week when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger releases his revised 2008 budget. by David L. Kirp May 7, 2007 [More Results from San Jose Mercury News (CA)]
The Price of Day Care Can Be High There is one place in North America where parents of young children don't have to worry about child care. In Quebec, full-time day care costs just $7 a day, thanks to a government program aimed at one of the thorniest problems that workers in their 20's, Starting in 1997, the Quebec Family Policy subsidized day care for 4-year-olds at government-approved centers around the province. By 2000, the program had expanded to cover any child not old enough for kindergarten, all the way down to infants. This is universal day care, an audacious idea that recognizes the revolution in women's work over the last 30 years. by David Leonhardt June 14, 2006 [More Results from New York Times (Canada)]
Is Universal Preschool Beneficial? An Assessment of RAND Corporation's Analysis and Proposals for California Almost two-thirds of California families currently choose to send their 4-year-olds to preschool.Of those who do, almost half choose a preschool program operated by the state of California, while the other half choose a privately operated preschool. If Proposition 82, an initiative on the June ballot, is implemented those figures will radically change. Most family- and other privately owned preschools will vanish, replaced by government-run, taxpayer-funded preschools. This report assesses RAND Corporation's cost benefit analysis and finds that it significantly overestimates the upsides and drastically underestimates the downsides of universal preschool and the California proposal. Using RAND's own data and alternative assumptions based on the studies they reference, it is easy to demonstrate that universal preschool generates losses of 25 to 30 cents for every dollar spent. by Christopher F. Cardiff and Edward Stringham May 30, 2006 [More Results from Reason Foundation [pdf]]
Program Benefits Homeschool Families with Kindergarten, Preschool Lesson Plans EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA -- Kindergarten and preschool lesson plans are now available to homeschoolers and parents who want to help their children with early reading skills. The program focuses on reading and writing skills. The lesson plans also inspire creativity and draw from a wide variety of subject areas from the traditional preschool and kindergarten curriculum. by David M. Bresnahan October 10, 2005 [More Results from American Chronicle]
Don't judge a preschool by whether it has computers Unless you count the plastic one next to the two real-but-not-connected telephones in the dress-up corner of the yellow room, there's no computer in the classrooms at Watertown Cooperative Nursery School. In the search for the perfect preschool, that could make or break some parents' decision. Teaching director Margaret Cleremont makes no apologies. "If what they are looking for is reading skills and worksheets and an emphasis on academics rather than on social and emotional development, we're not for them," she says. by Barbara F. Meltz September 29, 2005 [More Results from The Boston Globe]
I hear that kids in daycare get sick a lot. Can I do anything to prevent this? Kids do pass infections to each other easily in a group setting such as daycare, particularly during the winter months. You can't do much about it unless you switch to a nanny or decide to stay home yourself. [Great idea!] by David Geller July 22, 2005 [More Results from parentcenter.babycenter.com]
County readies for free preschool Universal preschool " or free and voluntary preschool for all " is creating a huge buzz in California, with the prospect looming of a June 2006 ballot initiative led by Rob Reiner to fund such as proposal. First 5 Commission leads effort to create countywide program. Contra Costa County had been mulling the idea for free preschool for more than a year now. But on Thursday, about 75 representatives of early childhood education, private preschools, K-12 school districts, the parent community and nonprofit organizations met to begin the planning process. by Rebecca F. Johnson, June 3, 2005 [More Results from Inside Bay Area - Tri-Valley Herald (CA)]
Opinion: Preschool is No Answer Those who call for more state funding for preschool age children are ignoring one important fact: American preschoolers are doing better than ever. Throughout the 20th century, the scores of preschool age children on IQ and kindergarten readiness tests have climbed steadily upward.

In short, American children start school better prepared than ever. It's not until they move up through grade school and on to high school that their performance declines.
by David F. Salisbury January 10, 2002 [More Results from CATO Institute]
Much Too Early! Realistic developmental needs in early childhood education and preschool, discussed by Professor of Child Development, Dr. David Elkind. In one sentence, Froebel, father of the kindergarten, expressed the essence of early-childhood education. Children are not born knowing the difference between red and green, sweet and sour, rough and smooth, cold and hot, or any number of physical sensations. The natural world is the infant's and young child's first curriculum, and it can only be learned by direct interaction with things. by David Elkind, Ph.D. February 5, 2001 [More Results from Best Homeschooling.org]