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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.

Public school for 4-year-olds coming soon Next fall, Onalaska will join the rising ranks of school districts that offer 4-year-old kindergarten, and Holmen might not be far behind. According to the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, almost half of the school districts in the state have 4K programs, although those school districts only account for half of the state's 4-year-olds. This fall, seven school districts added 4K programs - Bloomer, Kiel, Monroe, New Glarus, Eau Claire, Park Falls and Stanley/Boyd - and next fall there will be at least one more: Onalaska. by Randy Erickson December 2, 2005 [More Results from Onalaska Community Life (WI)]
Research Disputes Benefits of Early Education Arizona's move toward more government preschool and kindergarten programs is not unprecedented. In France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, there is nearly universal enrollment of three-and four-year-olds in center-based institutions. A few states across the country have adopted similar systems. Georgia created the first statewide universal preschool program for four-year-olds in 1993, and Oklahoma, New York, and West Virginia have moved in a similar direction. In 2002, Florida voters adopted a constitutional amendment requiring the state to provide free preschool for every four-year-old child. by Darcy Olsen, with research assistance from Jennifer Martin November 24, 2005 [More Results from Eagle Forum]
Reiner Steals From Children Six years after actor-director Rob Reiner won voter approval in 1998 for a 50-cent-a-pack cigarette tax, millions of dollars raised by the measure in LA County have been spent on travel and administration but the universal preschool program it was suppose A recent state audit found the commission had only spent 15 percent of its funds. Since its creation in 1999, the commission has received $820 million in tobacco tax revenues. Similar problems have arisen elsewhere in the state. by Troy Anderson November 16, 2005 [More Results from Smokers Club Inc]
UK Proposes Mandatory Preschool from Birth LONDON, - A proposed law to mandate that all children enter preschool from birth is being debated by UK lawmakers. Introducing the bill, Children's Minister Beverley Hughes said the program would provide "integrated care and education from birth. We want to establish a coherent framework that defines progression for young children from nought to five." by Terry Vanderheyden November 11, 2005 [More Results from LifeSite]
Full-day kindergarten would mean big changes North Syracuse district officials are closely watching a proposal before the state's Board of Regents that would mandate full-day kindergarten in all districts as well as other early childhood education programs. Superintendent Jerome Melvin told school board members on Monday night that the district would need half an elementary school building to accommodate a full-day kindergarten. The proposed policy also would require pre-kindergarten in all districts and services to children from birth to age 2. It also drops the compulsory school age from 6 years old to 5 years old. by Michele Reaves November 10, 2005 [More Results from The Post-Standard (NY)]
Homeschool group uses Berkeley research to encourage parents to keep kids at home A new study on the effects of preschool on children, which finds attendance harms kids' emotional and social development, is being used by a homeschool organization to help encourage parents to educate their children at home. "The report's a bit sobering for governors and mayors " including those in California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina and Oklahoma " who are getting behind universal preschool," Fuller said. Fuller says those elected officials pushing for compulsory preschool should rethink the idea. by Ron Strom November 10, 2005 [More Results from World Net Daily]
Preschool Damages Children's Social Skills and Emotional Development BERKELEY - Preschool has a negative effect on a child's social and emotional development, according to a study of 14,000 US preschool children. The new research from University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University, found that the social skills of white, middle-class children suffer - in terms of cooperation, sharing and engagement in classroom tasks - after attending preschool centers for more than six hours a day, compared to similar children who remain at home with a parent prior to starting school. by Terry Vanderheyden November 10, 2005 [More Results from Life Site (CA)]
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)]
Day Scare Will child care stunt your kid's social skills? Three studies find downsides... As if overcrowded classrooms and school budget cuts weren't enough, parents who opened up Tuesday's New York Times found something else to worry about: the findings from three new studies about child care that call into question some of its supposed benefits. Parents who thought their children were acquiring valuable social skills at day care discovered that two of the studies, which focused on cognitive and social development in kindergartners and third-graders, found that while kids who spent long hours in child care developed strong reading and math skills, they tended to have poorer social skills than children who stayed at home with a parent. by Priya Jain November 2, 2005 [More Results from Salon]
Too much preschool harmful, studies say Two new studies have concluded that extended time in preschool or day care can thwart a child's social development, a finding already fueling a debate surrounding a nationwide movement to expand early education programs. One study found that the social harm persists through third grade, regardless of how well caregivers work with preschoolers. Preschool advocates in California want voters to approve a measure heading for the June ballot that would raise the tax on the wealthy to fund more preschool programs. by Helen Gao November 1, 2005 [More Results from San Diego Union Tribune (CA)]
Preschool study finds bright side, dark side / It helps language, math -- can hurt social development As taxpayers, parents and educators debate the value of preschool for every child, a new study by UC Berkeley and Stanford finds for the first time that middle-class children -- receive a boost in language and math skills from preschool. But its darker findings bolster earlier, more controversial conclusions that preschool can hinder social development. The study, "How much is too much' The Influence of Preschool Centers on Children's Development Nationwide," was released today and comes as Hollywood movie director Rob Reiner leads a group of universal preschool advocates pushing for a June 2006 ballot measure that would tax the wealthiest Californians to fund preschool for all who want it. by Carrie Sturrock November 1, 2005 [More Results from San Francisco Chronicle (CA)]
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]
NHSA: Funds for 35,000 Head Start At-Risk Children Slots Would Vanish Under 2% Across-the-Board Federal Spending Cut WASHINGTON -- Despite being one of the most successful programs in the federal government, Head Start, which gets America's poorest children ready to learn in kindergarten and beyond, would be decimated by funding cuts. NHSA calculates that the effects of a 2 percent cut would result in the equivalent of closing enrollment to at least 35,000 currently served children. Although House leaders did not have the votes to push through a broad-based spending cut last week, they have vowed to press ahead with the plan. October 27, 2005 [More Results from PR Newswire Association]
Pre-K enrollment lower than expected ORLANDO - Enrollment in Florida's new $387 million prekindergarten program is not meeting expectations, missing projections by tens of thousands of children, state officials said Friday. Gladys Wilson, deputy director of early learning for the state agency that manages the program, told a conference of small-business leaders assembled by the nonprofit Florida TaxWatch that only about 80,000 4-year-olds are enrolled. That's 54 percent of the 147,000 expected to attend. October 15, 2005 [More Results from The Gainesville Sun (FL)]
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)]
Program Benefits Homeschool Families with Kindergarten, Preschool Lesson Plans EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA -- Kindergarten and preschool lesson plans are now available to homeschoolers and parents who want to help their children with early reading skills. The program focuses on reading and writing skills. The lesson plans also inspire creativity and draw from a wide variety of subject areas from the traditional preschool and kindergarten curriculum. by David M. Bresnahan October 10, 2005 [More Results from American Chronicle]
Study: Preschool Kids Drive Flu Epidemics When the flu strikes, preschool kids may be the first age group affected, passing the flu on to other people, a new study shows. If so, vaccinating 3- and 4-year-olds against flu might help curb flu epidemics, write researchers in the American Journal of Epidemiology. by Miranda Hitti October 1, 2005 [More Results from FOX News]
Preschool: Two ways it has changed my three-year-old Ever since Bunny started preschool about a month ago, I have noticed two big changes in her. First, she is much more affectionate with us than she ever has been. I see her watching parents drop off crying kids or kids that don't want to leave their mama or papa’s arms. by Stefania Butler September 29, 2005 [More Results from Blogging Baby]
Don't judge a preschool by whether it has computers Unless you count the plastic one next to the two real-but-not-connected telephones in the dress-up corner of the yellow room, there's no computer in the classrooms at Watertown Cooperative Nursery School. In the search for the perfect preschool, that could make or break some parents' decision. Teaching director Margaret Cleremont makes no apologies. "If what they are looking for is reading skills and worksheets and an emphasis on academics rather than on social and emotional development, we're not for them," she says. by Barbara F. Meltz September 29, 2005 [More Results from The Boston Globe]
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)]
Will New CA. Bill Stop Homeschooling? When it comes to preschool, the race is on. I remember questions from other moms about what I was going to do regarding preschool when my oldest son was a baby. I said "we're homeschooling" because it was an easy answer and I had indeed thought about doing so, but still I felt compelled to check out preschools, to apply frantically, and to make a deposit so that my child wouldn't be left out of the race. I was already feeling as though I wasn't good enough to teach my own child. by Tricia S. Vaughan July 30, 2005 [More Results from News With Views (CA)]
Early Childhood Early Childhood Articles/Research Head Start helps poor, disadvantaged children narrow a gap in reading skills compared with other preschoolers, but the program doesn't help them catch up in math or their ability to comprehend what people say to them. July 25, 2005 [More Results from]
I hear that kids in daycare get sick a lot. Can I do anything to prevent this? Kids do pass infections to each other easily in a group setting such as daycare, particularly during the winter months. You can't do much about it unless you switch to a nanny or decide to stay home yourself. [Great idea!] by David Geller July 22, 2005 [More Results from]
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]