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Examining the push to get kids starting school strong.
Paying for pre-K
October 16, 2018
To fund pre-K, advocates in Indiana pitch tax credit scholarships, ‘pay for success,’ tax hikes
“I think there needs to be partnership across the board. Everybody has to have skin in the game," said Madeleine Baker, CEO of the Early Childhood Alliance in Fort Wayne.
October 11, 2018
In a tough business, startups vie to become the Uber and Lyft of child care
A growing cadre of companies aim to attract thousands of home-based child care providers to a notoriously tough field by making the job easier and more lucrative.
October 10, 2018
90 days until no paycheck: Time running out for Illinois child-care providers in subsidy program
It’s hard to dispute the importance of training child-care providers on how to administer CPR or how to properly report suspected child abuse.
September 27, 2018
This award-winning preschool teacher runs a top-ranked program out of her home. Just don’t call her a babysitter.
A preschool teacher talks about why she isn't a babysitter, how she handles challenging behavior, and how the community’s leading industry figures into the classroom.
leading the state
September 18, 2018
Three things we heard at a gubernatorial candidates forum on early childhood
A gubernatorial candidates forum Monday highlighted some of the big early childhood ideas championed by each campaign, but also left plenty of unanswered questions.
September 13, 2018
Jeff Bezos says he will use his riches to open Montessori preschools
The preschools will be free and inspired by the Montessori approach, in which children direct their own learning in an environment prepped for them to explore.
September 11, 2018
As 4-year-old preschool programs become the norm, Denver looks to reach 3-year-olds next
The Denver Preschool Program's new spending on 3-year-old classrooms fits with a growing recognition that such investments amplify the impact of 4-year-old preschool programs.
Back to school
Updated September 5, 2018
Emanuel touts pre-kindergarten, but will his envisioned $175 million initiative survive him?
Emanuel’s $20 million plan this year offers 3,700 free pre-K seats to low-income families and will boost the number steadily until every 4-year-old has access to pre-K.
Teach preschool for America
August 28, 2018
With preschool teachers in short supply, Colorado’s Teach For America is pulled into early childhood market
Teach For America has begun placing corps members into Colorado preschools, prompting both enthusiasm and trepidation.
early literacy matters
August 23, 2018
Tennessee launched a pre-K pilot program aimed at boosting literacy. Here is what happened.
A pilot program led by the State Department of Education at 134 early childhood programs across the state led to more growth in literacy skills among 7,000 of Tennessee’s youngest students.
August 21, 2018
Chicago schools want to delay plan for tackling the gifted gap
Chicago Public Schools wants to delay for a year a plan to make gifted services available to more children outside of selected enrollment,…
Getting ready for school
August 16, 2018
Kindergarten ‘boot camp’ aims to ready young Detroit children — and their parents — for school
These young children are getting the extra boost they need before they start their first day of kindergarten through the Detroit school district's new program.
August 14, 2018
Mike Pence passed up a big federal preschool grant. Now Indiana could have a second shot
Early childhood advocates are waiting to see if Indiana’s current governor will pursue federal funds — which could be a key piece of making pre-K more broadly available.
Asked and answered
August 9, 2018
Longtime advocate (and current First Lady) Diana Rauner sizes up the challenges ahead for early education in Illinois
Fluent in the languages of developmental psychology (her Ph.D., from the University of Chicago) and finance (her MBA, from Stanford University), Illinois First…
August 1, 2018
Trauma can make it hard for kids to learn. Here’s how teachers learn to deal with that.
There’s no debating that childhood trauma seriously impacts how students learn. Researchers have tied stressful events such as divorces, deportations, neglect,…
July 31, 2018
Can in-house child care keep young teachers in the classroom? These districts want to find out.
To help attract and retain teachers, school districts in Colorado and the nation are increasingly offering in-house child care to district employees.
July 30, 2018
For Michigan’s 3- and 4-year-olds with special needs, ‘it’s hard’ to find a place to learn
Why it's so hard to get toddlers with special needs in school.
July 26, 2018
How much do children benefit from preschool? Ask this Indianapolis kindergarten teacher
In the growing conversation about expanding early learning opportunities in Indiana, a central question is: Is preschool worth it?
the youngest learners
July 12, 2018
How social studies can help young students make sense of the world
Civic engagement matters today more than ever, yet social studies in the early grades are sidelined. Educators sometimes seek help outside of school.
the youngest learners
July 11, 2018
Will new standards improve elementary science education?
Science has rarely been considered a priority in elementary school, but that may be changing.
the youngest learners
July 10, 2018
How to help struggling young readers
Children who can’t read well by third grade are more likely to drop out. Research-based coaching could make a critical difference.
the youngest learners
July 9, 2018
In Berwyn, learning how to boost math skills in the early grades
Early math skills get far less attention than literacy in high-poverty classrooms. One Illinois school district is working to change that.
July 6, 2018
How one small Indiana city sees child care as a potential economic driver
In Indiana, a popular argument for expanding early childhood education relies on the workforce benefits.
The Right Resources
July 3, 2018
‘We didn’t have options’: A new Staten Island charter school aims to fill a gap for students with dyslexia
The elementary school was approved by the Board of Regents in June, and it’s set to be the first charter school in the state — and among only a few public schools nationwide — devoted to educating children with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities.
June 28, 2018
New grant aims to bring programs like arts and nutrition to Detroit preschools and childcare facilities
The funds are one strategy to address a critical shortage of quality early childhood facilities in Detroit where an estimated 28,000 young children don’t have access to quality care.
June 27, 2018
VIDEO: How a Detroit preschool teacher tries to meet her students’ needs
Chalkbeat spoke with Bruce as part of a “story booth” series that invites students, educators and parents to discuss their experiences in Detroit schools. Do you know someone who has a story to share? Reach out to us.
June 5, 2018
No walls: Forest preschools let kids run free, but can they change to reach diverse families?
Two states are working to create rules for "forest preschools," a move that could expand the model's footprint and open the way for low-income families to participate.
May 31, 2018
Shelby County Commissioners reveal tentative plan to fully fund pre-K for families who can’t afford it
County government could add an additional $2.5 million for pre-K for the new fiscal year starting on July 1, according to a new recommendation.
May 18, 2018
A growing Jeffco program trains future early childhood workers while they’re still in high school
A new training program at a Jefferson County high school seeks to help cultivate the early childhood workforce of the future.
May 9, 2018
Colorado schools gave out nearly 1,800 suspensions to young students with disabilities last year
A Chalkbeat analysis shows that in Colorado last year, special education students in kindergarten through second grade received a disproportionate number of suspensions.
May 3, 2018
Tennessee continues funding for 900 free pre-K classrooms. How many will be in your district?
Tennessee will dole out $86 million in state funding next school year to maintain more than 900 free preschool classrooms. The awards, announced Thursday by…
April 30, 2018
Text messages, toiletries, and backpacks: Indiana gets creative with pre-K outreach in rural areas
Indiana is spending $22 million to double the number of children served by On My Way Pre-K and reach 15 additional counties, many of them rural.
April 25, 2018
Preschool funding for students with disabilities hasn’t changed in Indiana since 1991
Across the state, 13,066 students qualify for special education preschool services.
April 24, 2018
Report says Tennessee’s pre-K program needs consistent monitoring and more rigor to get better
Tennessee met only five of 10 quality benchmarks designed by a national advocacy organization that recently released its annual preschool report.
April 23, 2018
From reading to breastfeeding, Detroit dads learn how to engage with their pre-K children
Although he grew up without a father or male role model, Dwayne Walker is the kind of dad who goes on his 5-year-old…
April 19, 2018
Despite top scores in quality standards, Michigan’s early education programs neglect English language learners
Michigan’s 4-year-olds receive some of the highest quality education and care available in the country — that is, if your child can speak…
April 18, 2018
Colorado’s state preschool program doesn’t serve English learners well, report finds
Colorado’s public preschool program fails to meet most targets for effectively serving young English learners, according to a new state-by-state report released today.
April 18, 2018
Why Indiana ranks second to last in the nation for access to its pre-K program
State leaders noted the state’s recent expansion of pre-K wasn’t reflected in the report.
April 9, 2018
In this program, artists help prepare children for kindergarten — and their teachers learn, too
Artists help students—and their teachers—learn with songs and stories
April 3, 2018
7 things to know about how Colorado schools punish their youngest students
As educators debate harsh school discipline nationwide, here's a look at which Colorado districts are suspending young children at the highest rates.
try try again
March 29, 2018
Will there be another legislative push to limit early childhood suspensions in Colorado? Not this year.
A year after a state bill to curb suspensions of young students died in the legislature, advocates have decided not to bring forward a new version.
March 26, 2018
Nonprofit charged with getting Memphis’ youngest students kindergarten-ready says city’s $6 million is just the start
The city of Memphis recently pledged $6 million for pre-kindergarten seats. But it's just a drop in the bucket of a $40 million pre-K plan.
March 26, 2018
Child care substitutes are in short supply. A new Colorado law could make them a little easier to find.
The bill could make it easier for child care centers to staff their classrooms when regular teachers are absent.
March 8, 2018
Three years in, an ambitious experiment to improve the odds for kids at one elementary school is scaling back
After three years, an ambitious project meant to change the trajectories of young children at one high-poverty elementary school is scaling back.
March 1, 2018
Colorado could get its first 24/7 child care facility for families in crisis
The Grand Valley Crisis Nursery would provide free short-term care for young children whose parents are experiencing emergencies or periods of high stress.
February 28, 2018
Most Detroit kindergartners miss too much school. They’ll likely struggle to read later.
Truancy might bring to mind teenagers skipping class to hang out with their friends or play video games, but in Detroit, it’s the…
(Very) early education
February 26, 2018
Michigan’s governor wants to catch young students before they fall behind
Federal money currently pays for that program, but for the first time, Gov. Rick Snyder wants to add $5 million more in state funds to make it available to more families.
hope on the horizon
February 15, 2018
With promise of new federal money, more low-income Colorado families could get help with child care
Thousands of additional Colorado families might be able to pay for child care if a federal spending bill due in March fulfills the pledge of a recent budget deal.
February 9, 2018
A giant leap: How one Colorado community plans to double its child care spots in three years
Leaders in Mesa County want to tackle everything from low test scores to employment problems by improving early childhood care, but there are serious challenges ahead.
Head Start restart
February 1, 2018
Months after ‘scary’ disruption, Detroit Head Start programs get new management, make room for additional kids
Although four sites were closed in the process, Head Start providers not only created enough programs for the children who were displaced, but classrooms were added to serve even more, enough to eventually enroll 600 children.
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