I chose the National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER) because it had a lot of very interesting research and updated news from a variety of publications concerning early childhood matters. Sara Mead’s article entitled “Pre-K for All” for the US News and World Report issue of March 26th 2015 was particularly interesting because it covered our topic for this week. In her article she makes the argument for Pre-K for all children. She brings up the fact that a lot of children who would benefit from high quality early childhood programs such as the Head Start program do not qualify for state subsidies because their families have incomes just above the cut off for eligibility. These families lose out because they make too much to be subsidized and too little to afford a high –quality early childhood education. She concludes that we should invest in policies that enable all children, especially those in low-income families, to access quality pre-k programs.
The second was an article by Steven Barnett and Milagros Nores of the Rutgers Graduate School of Education and it was titled “The Economics of Early Childhood Programs: Lasting Benefits and Large Returns”. The article outlined the potential gains for early childhood education and care (ECEC) and concluded that ECEC can be a strong public investment because it increases educational achievement and attainment by improving the test scores and avoiding grade repetition which sometimes causes children to drop out of school. It decreases economic and educational inequality by giving all children access to the same sound early foundation. By investing in early childhood education and care we are also reducing future problems of delinquency, drug use and early pregnancies and less welfare dependency.
Sara Mead made an interesting statement in her plea for continued support for early childhood programs and care in her US News and World report. She admits that there are some problems that are encountered in funding the early childhood programs and some have less than desired outcomes, but she asks that the policy makers and the public consider all the evidence that is available for the pros of early childhood education.
“Sure, some at risk children will succeed without access to high quality preschool. We have all heard stories of people who smoked their whole lives and never developed cancer or emphysema; who were thrown from a car while not wearing a seat belt and suffered no injury; who dropped out of school and went on to great success; and who took a long shot from half-court to score the winning basket. We also know better than to think these stories are a guide to success in our personal lives or basketball. Policy makers need to apply the same type of good sense to pre-k and take the high percentage shot” (Mead, S. March 26, 2015).
There were a large number of research and resources covering the topics of economics, politics and science in early childhood that answer questions concerning the evidence of long term cognitive benefits of early childhood education, the estimated effects of state and local preschool programs, is Head start effective, can government improve the quality of public preschool?. This website has a lot of articles covering all subjects concerning early childhood research. By exploring this website I found a lot of articles on early childhood education matters from different states and the different and steps they are all taking to put early childhood education on the forefront of education.
Mead, S. (March 26, 2015). Pre-K for all. US News and World report. Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge_bank/2015/3/26/5-reasons-we-need-universal-pre-k.
Barnett, S., & Nores, M., (March 15, 2013). The economics of early childhood programs: Lasting benefits and large returns. Retrieved from http://nieer.org/sites/nieer/files/economics%20of%20ECE_Loyola_Nores.pdf