Last Week’s Best Articles | Early Childhood Education Edition

Our team is always seeking the latest news in the field of education. As advocates for a quality education for ALL students, we know we have to stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on in the education spheres of our nation…from the White House to the local public school district, from new legislation to the small acts of bravery and kindness made by a single teacher, from the milestones and celebrations to the hazardous injustices affecting many of our nations students.

This week, we’re focused on the importance of Early Childhood Education.

Every child should have the opportunity to attend a high-quality preschool that prepares them for kindergarten and beyond. This is especially true for kids from low-income families. Ages zero through five are the most critical years for brain development. Children who attend a high-quality preschool outpace peers who don’t have access to one. It’s no wonder that low-income kids are falling behind early and often, and through no fault of their own. Let’s invest in them.

Note: If you’d like to learn more about what people of faith can do to help ensure more children have access to high-quality early childhood education, join Zakiya Jackson of The Expectations Project for ‘Does Early Childhood Education Make a Difference?,’ a free webinar at 1 pm eastern on Thursday, March 8th. {REGISTER}


Dear America — All Children Deserve Quality, Affordable Preschool via Huffington Post

Looking back on our own experiences with daycare or preschool, most of us probably recall lessons about numbers, colors and cooperation, and lots of playtime. As basic as many of these topics may now seem, research shows early childhood learning environments lay the groundwork for academic achievement later in life.

Although the benefits to early learning opportunities are clear, the problem for many families remains in accessing affordable, quality programs — which creates a cycle that further widens economic divides.


Education Inequality Starts Early via US News

By the time they enter kindergarten, children from the lowest socioeconomic backgrounds are already far behind their peers in the highest quartile of socioeconomic status on measures of early reading and math skills. High-quality early childhood education programs can prevent or mitigate these disparities, but our current early care and education arrangements often exacerbate them instead.

We are unique among developed countries in that our public policies and systems for early childhood education are not built on an expectation of universal access to preschool for all children ages 3-5. And we spend a smaller percentage of GDP on supporting young children and their families than most developed countries.


Racial Profiling in Preschool via The New York Times

That black adolescents receive harsher disciplinary punishments at school than their white peers for the same offenses is troubling enough. But federal data showing that even at the preschool level black students are nearly four times as likely to be suspended as their white peers is especially shocking. What it suggests is that racial biases are creeping into classrooms filled with 4-year-olds and that schools are effectively criminalizing black children, particularly boys, when they are barely out of diapers.


One thing to read this week…

The Weighted Task of Pre-K Teaching via The Atlantic

There is a big debate raging about the educational needs of little children, one that is entangled with larger questions about poverty and equity. The debate doesn’t center on whether the United States should support disadvantaged children to get ready for school, but how. Do children at risk of falling on the losing end of achievement gaps need a strict focus on the basics, or do they need the more holistic, learn-to-love-learning approach that middle-class parents tend to clamor for? It’s a thorny question, and parents and teachers sometimes fall on surprising sides of the spectrum.

Although the benefits to early learning opportunities are clear, the problem for many families remains in accessing affordable, quality programs — which creates a cycle that further widens economic divides.

 


Did any of these articles particularly speak to you? We would love to know your thoughts! Let us know in the comments below:

Showing 3 comments
  • rodgers
    Reply

    Joanne, I”ll have to remember the name Wendy Dunham. I am not a “Mimi yet, but I have a library of books for my little ones when the day comes. Having been a preschool teacher in a Christian preschool, you can imagine the collection I have. I do love the characters and the lessons taught in this series of books definitely worth looking into! Thanks for sharing and congrats” on one one the way!! Blessings, Bev xx

  • Gracie Simon
    Reply

    Some people don’t see the inequality in schools as institutional racism and don’t care because they don’t take the time to check on their kids. I can say “check on your kids” and don’t allow carpal punishment because they will whip yours ( kids of color) but not Caucasian kids. Learn the rules and be a voice for your kids.

  • Elizabeth Benton
    Reply

    Yes I agree that teachers have to do their part in helping children develop their brains by the food that they eat in school and before they get to school this will help them to concentrate and after they get in school teachers responsibilities or to nurture each child accordingly as their needs are and I do believe in nursing a child their strength the ability their IQ and asking them question and listening to them is very important not only in school but at home also

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