Reviewing the Evidence on Early Education: Where MacLean’s Went Wrong
Full day kindergarten for four and five year olds in Ontario has many champions – parents, educators, researchers and the children themselves. But it does have its detractors. In this response to The Munchkin Invasion appearing in the May 27/2013 issue of MacLean’s magazine, Charles Pascal, the author of Ontario’s blueprint for early learning, and researcher Janette Pelletier discuss the pitfalls of using disconnected research to draw broad policy conclusions.
What Universal Child Care Does for Norway
Source: The Globe and Mail, May 16, 2013
Excerpt: "Michael Krashinsky, an economist at the University of Toronto, agrees that an educated work force is a productive one. But he adds the trick is to get them while they are young. He feels Norway’s universal child care and early education programs are key to Norway’s highly productive work force."
NU: Harper Government Supports Nunavummiut Children
Source: Public Health Agency of Canada, May 14, 2013
Excerpt: "The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Nunavut, announced funding for a project to provide capacity to expand the availability of preschool programs for children ages 3 to 5 years of age living in communities across Nunavut. "We want children to achieve their full potential," said Minister Aglukkaq. "That's why we are investing to have qualified early childhood educators deliver culturally relevant programs that prepare Nunavut children for school and a good start in life.""
AB: Children First Legislation - Enhancing Supports and Protection for Alberta Children
Source: Alberta Human Services, May 14, 2013
Excerpt: "Government, stakeholders and service delivery partners have identified opportunities to enhance legislation, tools, processes and policies to improve the security, education, health, safety and well-being of children and youth in Alberta. The Children First Act was brought before the Legislative Assembly on May 7 and is currently being debated in the house."
US: Dual Language in Early Education Best for Youngest ELLs
Source: Education This Week, May 14, 2013
Excerpt: "Young English-language learners who are still developing oral and literacy skills in their home languages benefit most in early-childhood programs that regularly expose them to both languages. That's one of several major takeaways in a new federally funded analysis of the large, and growing, population of dual-language learners, ranging from birth to 5, already enrolled in, or headed for, early-childhood-education programs."
NU: Nunavut Will Train More Early Childhood Educators
Source: Nunatsiq Online, May 14, 2013
Excerpt: "Nunavut Arctic College will use $1.1 million in federal funds to train more early childhood educators for jobs in daycares, schools or as operators of their daycare centres, Dan Shewchuk, the minister responsible for the college, said May 14 in the legislative assembly."
US: Poverty as a Childhood Disease
Source: The New York Times, May 13, 2013
Excerpt: "Poverty is an exam room familiar. From Bellevue Hospital in New York to the neighborhood health center in Boston where I used to work, poverty has filtered through many of my interactions with parents and their children."
Do Mothers Bear Too Much Responsibility for their Kids' Happiness?
Source: CBC News, May 11, 2013
Excerpt: "In her new book, The Nature and Nurture of Love, author Marga Vicedo looks at the longstanding belief that mothers are the sole determinants of the emotional health of their children. The notion stems partly from attachment parenting, a highly attentive parenting style that became especially popular after the publication of The Baby Book by William and Martha Sears in 1993. Attachment parenting grew out of a postwar theory that suggests the emotional bond that a child forms with its parents has lasting consequences."
QC: Thousands Protest Quebec’s Cuts to Private Daycare Subsidies
Source: Montreal Gazette, May 11, 2013
Excerpt: " The PQ government has announced a cut of $15 million in subsidies to private daycares. A crowd that organizers estimated to be 8,000-strong gathered at 11 a.m. on Saturday to protest the cuts they say will unfairly penalize the 50,000 children currently in private daycares."
US: Bills to Revamp Early Childhood Education Advance
Source: San Francisco Chronical, May 10, 2013
Excerpt: "Proposals to tie public funding to student performance and issue letter grades to Louisiana's public and private early childhood education programs are finding easy passage through the Legislature. Two Senate bills are the cornerstones of Gov. Bobby Jindal's attempt to restructure early childhood education and to create uniform standards for kindergarten readiness."
It's Not Like There's an Instinct Called Mothering
Source: The Globe & Mail, May 9, 2013
Excerpt: "There is far more to mothering than giving birth. Just ask Alison Fleming. The University of Toronto Mississauga psychology professor has spent the past four decades researching the complex neurobiology and psychology involved in motherhood. Through her work, she has learned that while the hormonal changes associated with birthing help prepare females to take care of their young, maternal behaviours don’t just come automatically; they develop over time."
US: Studies Find Vocabulary Instruction Lacking
Source: Eye on Education, May 9, 2013
Excerpt: "Children’s vocabulary is a key ingredient of learning to read with comprehension, but recent research finds limited instruction in vocabulary in kindergarten – and too little to enable children with small vocabularies to close the vocabulary gap that is evident long before they begin school."
US: Giving Kids a Head Start Through Nutrition Education
Source: The Huffington Post, May 9, 2013
Excerpt: "If you want to make a difference in the lives of our nation's most vulnerable kids, partner with the National Head Start Association. Head Start takes a holistic approach to early childhood and school readiness, providing health, nutrition and social services to more than 1 million kids and their families. Share Our Strength just announced such a partnership to bring our interactive grocery store tour, Cooking Matters at the Store, to 10,000 Head Start parents this year."
Forest School Canada - New Website
May 8, 2013
Description: "Forest School Canada is a national education initiative of the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada, and is striving to become a not-for-profit organization in the upcoming months. Our mission is to foster rich learning experiences, ecological literacy, and healthy living by connecting children to nature through the use of the Forest School model in the early, primary, and secondary years. We have big dreams. We envision Forest School programs as integral to every school in Canada, whether they’re in rural, urban, or suburban settings. We seek to create and support a national community of practice in Forest School education, and to be linked with an international community that exemplifies best practices."
ON: More Support for Low-Income Families, Ontario Government Proposes Increase in Child Benefit
Source: Ontario Government, May 6, 2013
Excerpt: "Premier Kathleen Wynne visited the Early Years Centre at the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office where she highlighted the 2013 Budget's proposed increases to the Ontario Child Benefit, which helps about one million low- to moderate-income children across the province."
AB: New Alberta Legislation to Focus on Children’s Well-Being
Source: Edmonton Journal, May 6, 2013
Excerpt: "Alberta’s Human Services minister said the government will focus Tuesday’s legislative agenda on children. Minister Dave Hancock said the proposed Children First Act will impact areas ranging from early childhood development to information sharing between agencies that serve kids."
US: Science, Technology and Engineering in Pre-K
Source: Eye on Early Education, May 6, 2013
Excerpt: "It’s an exciting time to build upon three-, four- and five-year-olds’ natural curiosity about the world around them. So it’s promising that Massachusetts is updating its preschool framework for science, technology and engineering."
ON: Child Care Missing From Ontario Budget
Source: Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, May 2, 2013
Excerpt: "Child care advocates are frustrated and angry at the lack of child care funding in the 2013 provincial budget. "There has never been a more important time to invest in child care. Investments in child care pay for themselves and can help boost Ontario’s economy. It is time to harness the power of high quality child care to transform our province" said Sheila Olan-MacLean, President, OCBCC."
US: The United States Is Far Behind Other Countries on Pre-K
Source: Centre for American Progress, May 2, 2013
Excerpt: "Early childhood education and school readiness is essential to preparing our children to succeed in an increasingly competitive global economy. Compared to other countries, however, the United States lags far behind on preschool, trailing a number of other countries in enrollment, investment, and quality."
US: Bill Expanding 4-Year-Old Kindergarten Advances
Source: New England Cable News, May 1, 2013
Excerpt: "After years without headway, an effort to expand full-day 4-year-old kindergarten to more poor children in South Carolina advanced Wednesday in the Senate.
A 6-1 vote sent the measure to the full education committee. But it may be the finance committee that propels the bill, which calls for extending statewide a program that's remained a pilot since its 2006 creation."
What Do Babies Think? (Video)
Source: TED Radio Hour, April 29, 2013
Description: "Alison Gopnik’s research explores the sophisticated intelligence-gathering and decision-making that babies are doing when they play. She offers a glimpse into the minds of babies and young children, to show how much and how fast they learn."
Night Nurseries: Sweden's Round-The-Clock Childcare
Source: BBC News Magazine, March 19, 2013
Excerpt: "Sweden has long had a glowing reputation for its generous childcare facilities and is regularly ranked as one of the best places to raise a family. Each child is guaranteed a place at a public preschool and no parent is charged more than three per cent of their salary, with fees capped at SEK 1260 ($197, £132) a month for the country's highest earners. All other costs are covered by the state, which spends SEK 56.6bn ($8.9bn, £5.0bn) a year subsidising preschool services, more than its annual defence budget.
Most public nurseries offer care from around 06:00 to 18:00. But with the numbers of parents working flexible or unconventional hours going up, local councils are increasingly providing overnight and weekend services."
Pre-School is Good for You – An Interview with Dr. Edward Melhuish
Source: CBC, May 2, 2013
Description: "Rachel Cave talks with British Academic Edward Melhuish about research on preschool education."
MB: Budget 2013 Invests in More Child Care Spaces to Help Manitoba Families: Premier
Source: Government of Manitoba, May 1, 2013
Excerpt: "Budget 2013 will give families better access to quality child care by opening up to 1,000 new spaces over the next year, Premier Greg Selinger announced today. "Our government is focused on what matters most to Manitoba families and for growing families that includes better access to good quality child care," said Selinger. "More child care spaces will support parents while they are at work and help prepare young children to succeed at school, while also creating jobs for qualified early childhood educators across the province.""
ON: Ontario Budget: Child Care and Anti-Poverty Advocates Cheer Liberal-NDP Deal
Source: The Toronto Star, April 30, 2013
Excerpt: "The Liberals added $242 million over three years to help stabilize the province’s struggling child care sector as 4- and 5-year-olds move into all-day kindergarten. They also boosted both welfare and disability benefits by 1 per cent at a cost of $55 million. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath had originally asked for just disability rates to increase by 1 per cent."
MB: Budget 2013: Building and Improving Manitoba Schools
Source: Government of Manitoba, April 30, 2013
Excerpt: "To meet the needs of families in the growing Waverley West neighbourhood, the province will build an early learning to Grade 8 school in the area that will serve families in this community for years to come, Premier Greg Selinger announced today."
QC: Merits of Kindergarten for 4-Year-Olds Debated in National Assembly
Source: The Montreal Gazette, April 30, 2013
Excerpt: "Yolande Brunelle, at the time principal of École Saint-Zotique in Montréal’s Saint-Henri district, told a Quebec National Assembly committee Tuesday she started her school’s kindergarten for 4-year-olds program in 2009 to give children in disadvantaged areas a head start in school. The committee is hearing briefs on Bill 23, which calls for the introduction of kindergarten for disadvantaged 4-year-olds across the province, starting in September. The Saint-Zotique experiment is the model for the proposed plan, as an alternative for children who do not attend Quebec’s $7-a-day daycare."
QC: Daycare Association Decries Early Kindergarten
Source: The Montreal Gazette, April 29, 2013
Excerpt: "The Parti Québécois government wants to offer kindergarten classes, starting at age 4, for disadvantaged children needing extra preparation to succeed in school. But at National Assembly hearings Monday on Bill 23, which would allow the change, school-board representatives applauded the idea while kindergarten teachers and representatives of CPEs, Quebec’s parent-managed, publicly funded daycare centres, were opposed."
BC: The 2013 Child Care Election Platforms - Do They Move Us Towards the $10/Day Plan?
Source: Coalition of Child Care Advocates, April 29, 2013
Excerpt: "Thanks to more than 1 million British Columbians who support the $10/Day Child Care Plan and want immediate action to solve BC's child care crisis - child care has become a provincial election priority. Leading up to this election, we called on politicians to make a commitment to the vision reflected in the $10 A Day Child Care Plan. We knew that it would take time to fully fund and implement the Plan but we were clear that the first steps, however small, needed to begin transforming early care and learning services from the failed ‘user fee’ market model to a publicly funded and delivered system. The first steps needed to begin the process of building a child care system."
US: Preschool Funding Reached 'State Of Emergency' In 2012: NIEER Report
Source: The Huffington Post, April 29, 2013
Excerpt: ""The state of preschool was a state of emergency" in 2012, said Steve Barnett, NIEER's director. Between the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years, pre-K spending on state programs dropped by more than $548 million overall, and $442 per student (to $3,841) when adjusted for inflation, according to the report."
US: Chicago Expanding Pre-K Programs For Next Fall
Source: CBS Chicago, April 24, 2013
Excerpt: "Four-year-old Richard Cruz can spell his name, recite the alphabet, and count. It’s just a snippet of what he’s learning at Chicago Commons... "He also knows how to write his name fully, he knows how to count up to 60, he knows how to write the numbers. He exceeds as well at everything. Socially, mentally, he’s on top of it, and he’s actually beginning to learn to read," his mother Gloria Cruz said. "I think the center has a lot to do with it.""
BC: Vancouver Dedicates $5-Million Budget Surplus to Childcare Reserve
Source: The Vancouver Sun, April 24, 2013
Excerpt: "The City of Vancouver has announced it will dedicate the 2012 budget surplus of $5 million to the city's Childcare Reserve for the purpose of creating new child-care spaces. This is the largest ever increase in child-care funding from the city."
US: Historian Argues That Politics Have Hijacked Family Policy
Source: The Paramus Post, April 24, 2013
Excerpt: "The most frustrating thing about President Obama's promising new plan for universal pre-Kindergarten is that we could have had it -- and almost did -- more than forty years ago."
ON: Extended Childcare Program Coming to Upper Grand Schools
Source: Guelph Mercury, April 23, 2013
Excerpt: "The Upper Grand District School Board signed agreements with childcare providers to offer before- and after-school care at 24 schools in the board. Operators signed three-year contracts with the option of renewing for up to five more years. The agreements are prompted by implementation of full-day kindergarten. It was the Ministry of Education’s vision that schools would offer an extended-day program to complement full-day kindergarten and provide a seamless day for students who need it."
ON: City Seeks Labour Study into Shortage of Educators
Source: The London Free Press, April 22, 2013
Excerpt: "Despite Ontario’s focus on early childhood education — being rolled out to every public school in the province — London’s childcare sector is suffering an acute labour shortage, city staff say.
To find out why there’s a shortage of early childhood educators (ECEs), especially in a city running Canada’s highest metro jobless rate, politicians on London’s community and protective services committee will be asked to approve a labour market survey Monday."
Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance Study on Income Inequality in Canada
Source: Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada, April 5, 2013
Excerpt: "This submission is intended to bring to your attention the evidence about the importance of early childhood education and care (ECEC) in addressing Canada’s growing "equality gap" in a variety of ways including reducing poverty and supporting workforce participation of parents, especially mothers."
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