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Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children

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  • New America: Increasing Early Childhood Teachers' Education, Compensation, and Diversity  These concerns forced me to question my beliefs about the benefits of a college education for ECE professionals, as well as diversity and equity. In the final analysis though, I maintain that a four-year degree should be the standard for ECE teachers and that such a policy can be compatible with the goal of fostering a racially and linguistically diverse workforce, one that reflects the demographics of the children and families it serves.
  • U.S. News: Education Inequality Starts Early  High-quality early childhood education programs can prevent or mitigate these disparities, but our current early care and education arrangements often exacerbate them instead. With 65 percent of mothers of young children working, most families need some type of child care for their children while mom is at work, but families' ability to access quality care varies based on income. Paying for care is a big challenge for low-income families: Census data indicates that poor families who pay for childcare spend 30 percent of their incomes on care, compared to 8 percent for families not in poverty. This means that lower-income families are less likely to send their children to formal child care at all, instead relying on a patchwork of informal arrangements. But such unstable arrangements don't support children's development or their parents' ability to maintain stable employment. For low-income families who do use formal child care, the high percentage of income going to care means less money for other investments in children's learning and development, such as books, museum trips or college savings. 
  • Building Bright Futures: Working Across Language and Cultures  This blog post is about how family serving agencies across Vermont are working to improve how they provide services to clients whose primary language is not English. As the Chittenden Building Bright Futures Regional Coordinator I worked with agencies such as Champlain Valley Head Start, DCF-Economic Services in Rutland and Burlington, King Street Center, and eleven others over the Spring to improve their language access practices.
  • Center for American Progress: Trump’s Immigration Policies Are Harming American Children  For the nearly 6 million U.S.-citizen children living with at least one unauthorized family member, life in Trump’s America is frightening. Since the election, adults across the country have reported spikes in fear and distress among young children from immigrant families. Now more than ever, citizen children are worried that they could be separated from their parents or forced to leave their communities. If the Trump administration continues to target immigrant families, it risks undermining the economic power of an entire generation.
  • NAEYC TYC: Welcoming Dual Language Learners  It's important for teachers to create a welcoming environment for children and families from all cultures and who speak different languages. Here are a few quick tips to make great beginnings for young dual language learners (DLLs):
  • School Readiness Consulting: Ripe for Push Out: The Preschool Edition   It doesn’t take much to notice how suspensions and expulsions are affecting some children at higher rates than others. Specifically, 78% of suspended public preschool children are boys. And, black children are 3.6 times as likely to be suspended as white preschool children. This rate is alarming, especially considering how many Black children are enrolled in public Pre-K to begin with.


  • Child Trends: Not on Medicaid? Your neighborhood school might be  With more than 15 million kids eligible for Medicaid support, there’s a fair chance your neighborhood school relies on Medicaid to provide critical services—from school nurses, vision and hearing screenings, and immunizations, to mental health counseling, health education, and referrals to other community-based services. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, nearly $4 billion in school-based health services were paid for by Medicaid in 2015.

Early Learning

  • American Academy of Pediatrics: Quality Early Education and Child Care From Birth to Kindergarten  High-quality early education and child care for young children improves physical and cognitive outcomes for the children and can result in enhanced school readiness. Preschool education can be viewed as an investment (especially for at-risk children), and studies show a positive return on that investment. Barriers to high-quality early childhood education include inadequate funding and staff education as well as variable regulation and enforcement. Steps that have been taken to improve the quality of early education and child care include creating multidisciplinary, evidence-based child care practice standards; establishing state quality rating and improvement systems; improving federal and state regulations; providing child care health consultation; as well as initiating other innovative partnerships. Pediatricians have a role in promoting quality early education and child care for all children not only in the medical home but also at the community, state, and national levels.
  • T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood National Center: Requiring Early Childhood Degrees Is the Right Strategy!  As the importance and use of formal early childhood education programs has grown, pundits have raised questions about the worth of such programs. In particular, with increasing use of public funding for early care and education, observers have asked how much they cost in relation to their benefit and whether teachers of young children are really teachers. To address some of these questions, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), a part of our nation’s most esteemed scientific body, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine convened a panel to study the science of early childhood development and to examine what educators working with children from birth to eight need to know and be able to do. I had hoped that their examination of the issue as presented in “Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation” , and their recommendation that we as a nation move to requiring all teachers of young children have a bachelor’s degree, would significantly advance our policies and thinking about teachers of young children.

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