Providing better quality and more intensive public education for children from poor and at-risk backgrounds can significantly increase their chances at ending the cycle of poverty.
Research conducted on a long-term data set from some of Chicago’s most-challenged neighborhoods has found that four to six years of educational interventions in a child’s life ended up producing enormous benefits by the time the children made it into early adulthood.
Data show that only half of all children in the United States are ready for school when they enter kindergarten, and that learning gains from early childhood programs are often lost as children get older. A new book co-edited by Judy Temple, professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative, explores the features of successful early education programs and the ways to sustain their benefits long-term.
The increasing prevalence of childhood and adult obesity has led to a high priority on the identification of innovative approaches to prevention. Given that the prevalence of adult obesity has doubled over the past 3 decades and currently affects 40% of U. S. adults, comprehensive and multi-level efforts beginning in early childhood are increasing recommended as the one of the most impactful and cost-effective. However, few if any routinely implemented programs have demonstrated they lead to sustained reductions in childhood obesity, let alone into adulthood.
Quality in early childhood programs has been a longstanding priority in policy and practice. Identifying the contribution of specific elements of high quality or effective learning experiences (ELE) is critical in scaling effective programs to population levels.
Strengthening early education means doing what works for all children. This is the vision of the Minnesota Early Learning Council and is directly supported in the World’s Best Work Force statute. The unifying goal is that all children will be ready for school at kindergarten entry.
The new year provides an opportunity to accelerate progress in early education. Minnesota has high aspirations. The World's Best Work Force statute states that by 2020 all children will be ready for school.
Although Gov. Mark Dayton has championed early education with the new voluntary pre-K program for 4-year-olds and other investments, Minnesota remains far short of the 2020 goal and continues to lag other states in access to high quality programs.
In a recent symposium presentation at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) conference in Chicago on November 4, 2017, 50 years of the CPC program was described with a focus on future directions. The session was chaired by Arthur Reynolds (Professor, University of Minnesota) and Lisa Heiskell-Topkins (CPC Manager, Chicago Public Schools).
A new study shows that successful implementation of preschool to 3rd grade programs yields benefits in increasing school readiness, improving attendance, and strengthening parental involvement in school education –– strategies that can close the achievement gap for children at risk.
Sustaining early learning gains requires a comprehensive and effective system of services from preschool through the school-age years. Findings from the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress show the urgent need to improve achievement, as only 37% of U. S. 4th graders are proficient readers.i One year of preschool will not solve this problem. Reflecting the dual importance of high-quality preschool and effective K-3 services, Child-Parent Center (CPC) P-3 is a school reform model designed to create a strong and sustainable culture of learning through 3rd grade.
Cumulative Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are associated with many deleterious physical and mental health outcomes, but early childhood interventions and education programs, such as CPC P-3, may facilitate healthy development among ACE-affected children. CPC P-3's unique system of supports helps promote lifelong well-being by reducing family stress and exposure to adversity and by promoting children’s school readiness, achievement, and socio-emotional learning.