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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.

Former Livermore preschool employees testify about abuses The owners of a Livermore preschool shut down last year covered babies' faces with blankets as they slept and occasionally used those blankets to tie them to the crib, two former employees told a judge Thursday during a preliminary hearing. Lida Sharaf, 33, and her sister, Nazila Sharaf, 36, owners of Sunnyside Preschool in Livermore, were arrested in April 2013 on suspicion of child abuse after a former employee filed complaints about the facility that included swaddling infants so tightly that they could not move their arms or legs. by Karina Ioffee March 21, 2014 [More Results from]
Pre K Scholars Launches New Website Pre K Scholars has adopted a strategy that focuses on homeschoolers, parents of 3-5 year olds and preschool and kindergarten teachers seeking primary and supplemental classroom materials. Pre K Scholars began in 2008 with its Teacher Kit, a comprehensive preschool curriculum with supporting instructional materials in a box that initially sold for $800.. Its target was a former teacher turned stay at home mom who would like to teach kindergarten readiness in her home. "We built the website to support that strategy. We offered signup sheets for classes and even allowed teachers to have their own webpages within our website," reflected Schwary. March 1, 2012 [More Results from]
Editorial: Now not the time to cut preschool funds Decades after 1,000 poor Chicago kids attended an intensive, high-quality early childhood education program in the early 1980s, their lives are far better than similar kids who did not, a new study shows. This research is particularly timely as Illinois politicians tussle over a final state budget. Early childhood education, which generally gets high marks for quality, is slated for a 5 percent cut. That will translate into a loss of roughly 4,300 seats. June 11, 2011 [More Results from]
New L.A. study affirms benefits of preschool Children enrolled in Los Angeles Universal Preschool programs made significant improvements in the social and emotional skills needed to do well in kindergarten, according to a study released Monday. The study, commissioned by the organization and conducted by the San-Jose-based Applied Survey Research, measured the readiness skills of 437 children at 24 preschools in the fall of 2008 and reassessed 364 of those children in sping 2009. by Carla Rivera April 19, 2010 [More Results from Los Angeles Times]
Why nursery schools are bad for little boys It is one of life's little ironies that, just as neuroscience has confirmed the huge importance of attachment in early learning, the people who once selflessly took on the role of faithful assistants to each generation are no longer available to do the jo There has so far been little research into the emotional effects of institutionalised early care, but what there is gives cause for concern. Government researchers have noticed a "small but significant difference in a large group of children" for whom daycare led to "withdrawn, compliant or sad" behaviour or to higher levels of aggression. by Sue Palmer May 19, 2009 [More Results from Times Online]
Questions for Candidates As November elections approach, homeschoolers should try to find out the positions of the candidates on the issues of most importance to parents. NHELD has compiled a short list of suggested questions. What is your position on compulsory public pre-school (universal pre-school) for infants and toddlers? October 9, 2008 [More Results from Home Educator's Family Times]
When Should a Kid Start Kindergarten? According to the apple-or-coin test, used in the Middle Ages, children should start school when they are mature enough for the delayed gratification and abstract reasoning involved in choosing money over fruit. In 15th- and 16th-century Germany, parents were told to send their children to school when the children started to act "rational." And in contemporary America, children are deemed eligible to enter kindergarten according to an arbitrary date on the calendar known as the birthday cutoff... by Elizabeth Weil June 3, 2007 [More Results from The New York Times]
Poor Behavior Is Linked to Time in Day Care A report from the largest study of American child care finds that keeping a preschooler in a day care for a year or more increased the likelihood that the child would become disruptive in class - the effect persisted through sixth-grade. Every year spent in day care centers for at least 10 hours per week was associated with a 1 percent higher score on a standardized assessment of problem behaviors completed by teachers, said Dr. Margaret Burchinal, a co-author of the study and a psychologist at the University of North Carolina. by Benedict Carey March 26, 2007 [More Results from The New York Times]
Is your baby playing with its toes yet? If not the government wants to know why Babies will be assessed on their gurgling, babbling and toe-playing abilities when they are a few months old under a legally enforced national curriculum for children from birth to five published by the government yesterday. When children enter compulsory schooling, they should be able to read simple sentences using a phonics-based approach, count reliably up to 10 and sing simple songs from memory, as well as respecting others' beliefs and learning to share and take turns. by Lucy Ward March 14, 2007 [More Results from Guardian Unlimited (UK)]
Hi-tech toys offer no educational gain, say researchers Parents who invest in toy computers and other electronic games marketed as boosting learning for babies and pre-schoolers could save their money and help their children to learn themselves, according to new research. A government-funded study examining the role of technology in the lives of three- and four-year-old children and their families found that the hi=tech devices - one of the fastest growing sectors of the toy market, aimed at infants as young as nine months - are no more effective than traditional ways of introducing basic literacy and number skills. by Lucy Ward November 14, 2006 [More Results from Guardian Unlimited (UK)]
Pre-K program lacks students Only 56 4-year-olds are in the Brooksville summerprogram to get ready for kindergarten. Only 56 students have enrolled so far in the program at Brooksville, Pine Grove and Westside elementary schools, said elementary curriculum specialist Elaine Wooten. While nearly 1,000 other Hernando students took advantage of a similar school-year program offered by private child care providers, she said, the summer turnout has been a disappointment. by Tom Marshall June 28, 2006 [More Results from St. Petersburg Times (FL)]
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)]
Props. 82, 81 rejected CALIFORNIA VOTERS soundly rejected an effort to create universal preschools throughout the state. In defeating Proposition 82, Californians wisely ended a two-year effort by actor Rob Reiner and other backers of creating state-operated preschools with revenue solely from high-income taxpayers. Evidently voters realized that Prop. 82 was unfair taxation of a mobile sector of the population and that the measure was a highly inefficient way to provide preschools for children who were not already attending classes. Proposition 81, the statewide library bond measure, also went down to defeat even though Democrats, who usually favor such issues, came out in larger numbers than Republicans. June 6, 2006 [More Results from Contra Costa Times (CA)]
Vilsack wants preschool for all 4-year-olds DES MOINES -- Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack said Tuesday that he will ask the Legislature to guarantee preschool for every child. The proposal, which would cost $15 million in its first year, would make preschool a recurring part of the state budget rather than an optional expense that must be renewed each year. House Speaker Christopher Rants, R-Sioux City, said the governor's plan would guarantee preschool by expanding the K-12 school funding formula to include 4-year-olds. by Dan Gearino January 13, 2006 [More Results from Quad-City Times (IA)]
Preschool ads draw fire from critics SACRAMENTO - Two television ads tell Californians that children who go to preschool are more likely to graduate from college. A radio spot describes a 4-year-old named Amy who is helping to improve the economy and fight crime simply by attending preschool To most Californians, the ads may seem little more than public service announcements encouraging parents to send their young children to preschool. But to opponents of actor-director Rob Reiner's pending $2.3 billion universal preschool initiative, the spots feel more like taxpayer-financed political advocacy that primes voters for the June election. They criticize the fact that Reiner chairs the state commission paying for the ads and also leads the initiative campaign that may benefit by its message. by Kevin Yamamura December 23, 2005 [More Results from Contra Costa Times (CA)]
Universal preschool trend has critics TROUTDALE - All across the country, governors and legislators from both parties are pouring money into universal preschool programs. In New Mexico, Gov. Bill Richardson is preparing to press for universal preschool in the 2006 legislative session, a move that could cost about $59 million a year, and Illinois has set aside $90 million over the next three years for early-childhood education. In all, spending on pre-K programs is just over $2.5 billion nationwide, according to Pre-K Now, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group. by Julia Silverman December 19, 2005 [More Results from The Seattle Times (WA)]
Mixed response to toddler plans There has been a mixed reaction to the government's idea of a national curriculum for babies and toddlers. Under the Childcare Bill, childminders would teach the curriculum to children "from birth" - with some worrying that it might be too prescriptive. The National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations called the proposals "bizarre". November 9, 2005 [More Results from BBC News (UK)]
JCCEO Celebrates 40 Years Of Head Start The Head Start program for preschool children is 40 years old this year, and the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity Head Start Program celebrated this milestone at all its centers. Begun in 1965 as a summer program, when the need to help low-income children prepare for kindergarten and first grade became apparent, the program has served thousands of children here in Jefferson County, and more than 22 million children across the nation. by Community News October 27, 2005 [More Results from The Birmingham Times]
Playtime, nursery rhymes and progress tests Plans for a national curriculum for babies will only add to pressure on parents, says Alice Thomson The blue indicator line shows. "I'm pregnant." It all seems so easy. All you have to do is wait nine months and there's your baby. You can take them home and they are all yours. You can cuddle them, play with them, care for them and enjoy watching them grow. That's what you think. From the moment you inform the state that you are having a baby, there's a third parent in the relationship. It starts the moment that you tell your doctor. October 11, 2005 [More Results from Telegraph News (UK)]
Official: babies do best with mother One of the most detailed studies of UK childcare has concluded that young children who are looked after by their mothers do significantly better in developmental tests than those cared for in nurseries, by childminders or relatives. The study on children from birth to three will reignite the controversy over the best way to bring up young children. It found babies and toddlers fared worst when they were given group nursery care. Those cared for by friends or grandparents or other relatives did a little better while those looked after by nannies or childminders were rated second only to those cared for by mothers. by Yvonne Roberts October 2, 2005 [More Results from Guardian Unlimited (UK)]
Hidden stress of the nursery age · Study finds hormone level soars when daycare starts · Extra time with parents needed to help calm down Toddlers starting at nursery after being at home since birth experience high levels of stress in the first weeks after separating from their mothers, and are still showing "chronic mild stress" as long as five months after their first day in the new environment, according to a study measuring hormone levels in young children. by Lucy Ward September 19, 2005 [More Results from Guardian (UK)]
Too much learning damaging children's play, says report Young children are being denied the chance to play at being pirates and astronauts because they spend so much time learning to read and write, according to research published today. Role play games such as pretending to be doctors or police officers are vital to help children learn how to make friends and develop their imagination, the University of Plymouth study found. But the pressures of the formal primary school curriculum, such as the drive to teach literacy, mean there is too little time for play, the research said. September 8, 2005 [More Results from Guardian (UK)]
Human Services chief bids farewell Under Borland's leadership, the county undertook welfare reform before it was launched on a national level. Now the agency is supporting an effort to make preschool available to every child in the county, another area where it is leading the state. At her request, the supervisors on Tuesday approved a $1.75 million grant over three years from her agency to the First 5 San Mateo County Preschool for All program. by Laura Ernde July 17, 2005 [More Results from San Mateo County Times]
Dawn to dusk care plan for schools All children under 14 in England will be offered "dawn to dusk" care under a radical extension of the current school day, which the government hopes will become known in the education lexicon as "Kelly hours". But today's announcement by the education secretary, Ruth Kelly, is likely to be overshadowed by questions from teachers' leaders about how the so-called extended schools - open from 8am to 6pm - will be funded, and warnings of the bureaucracy involved. by Rebecca Smithers June 13, 2005 [More Results from Guardian Unlimited (UK)]
Three-year-olds 'face criminal risk test' Children as young as three should be targeted as potential criminals, according to a leaked government report. The Home Office study suggested nursery staff should be trained to spot tots at risk of becoming criminals when they grow up. The publication said that infants not "under control" by the age of three were four times more likely to be convicted of a criminal offence once they reached maturity, according to a report in the Sunday Times. The 250-page report by the Home Office strategy unit, entitled Crime Reduction Review, was drawn up to identify the most effective ways of cutting crime by 2008. by Helene Mulholland June 13, 2005 [More Results from Guardian Unlimited (UK)]