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Why Early Childhood Education Had a Good Year

Why Early Childhood Education Had a Good Year

According to Kris Perry, executive director of the First Five Years Fund in an article for The Hechinger Report, early childhood education saw a particularly good year in 2015 thanks to landmark legislation and overwhelming community support.

Federal support, Perry says, was at an all-time high for early education this year and as a result several pivotal pieces of legislation were passed or re-authorized.

"Recognizing the critical need for early health and learning, Congress re-authorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) for two additional years,” Perry said.

These federal programs, she says, help states promote the youngest learner’s healthy development through community-based programs that focus on disadvantaged children and families without easy access to early ed.

Federal support didn’t stop there. With the No Child Left Behind overhaul and the consequential passing of Every Student Succeeds Act, the major legislation helps to include early childhood education as a top priority.

ESSA, Perry says:

  • supports state and local efforts to strengthen standards alignment
  • enhance[s] local flexibility and decision-making by making early learning an allowable use of education funding
  • supports early childhood-focused professional development for elementary teachers and school leaders
  • calls on states and districts to evaluate their local needs and embed early learning within their Title I plans

"2015 marks a true turning point for child development in the United States: a moment in troubled times when a Congress came together and acted on overwhelming research from experts, demand from voters, and actions taken by state and local leaders across the country to support the development of children from birth to age 5.”

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

12/28/2015

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