What's Ahead in Early Ed: October 2016 

Dear Friends,

Happy fall and I hope all is well. I have updates for you below, but I also want to share how the personal and the professional came together for me recently. Last month my son Robby started kindergarten in Oakland Unified, and I saw firsthand how his years in good child care and preschool helped prepare him for kindergarten. He’s bringing a curiosity and love of learning to navigating conflicts at recess, going on scavenger hunts to find letters in his classroom, and using bears in jars to sort, count, and identify patterns.

Working together with parents, it takes skilled educators and caregivers who have the training and ongoing professional development they need to create learning experiences that lay this strong foundation. Below, we feature updates on how to better understand the kinds of supports we are providing educators and how we might strengthen them.

Deborah Kong PhotoSincerely,
Deborah Kong 

Early Edge California

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Common Sense Voter Guide

Common Sense Kids Action’s California Kids Campaign launched its first voters guide to help make sense of the 17 state propositions on the November ballot. Ballot initiatives that impact kids and families receive a For Kids or Against Kids rating; those that don’t have a direct impact on kids are labeled Neutral. 

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Funding the Next Generation

For a look at local efforts to create measures to fund and sustain children’s services — some of them on next month’s ballot — check out Funding the Next Generation, founded and directed by Margaret Brodkin. 

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    Early Childhood Education Workforce

    Recognizing that the distinct occupational classifications of “child care worker” and “preschool teacher” do not reflect current practice and research, the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment and Early Edge responded to the Office of Management and Budget’s request for comments on the 2018 revision of the Standard Occupational Classification. Updating the classifications would make it easier to analyze data to inform policy, investments, and planning. View a white paper on the topic by the Administration for Children and Families.

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    CTC Child Development Advisory Panel

    The Commission on Teacher Credentialing panel met last month to further review and update the Child Development Permit Matrix, which authorizes services in the care, development,  instruction, and supervision of children in care and development programs. Be on the lookout for three field surveys that will ask practitioners about changes to the permit matrix, competencies, and performance expectations. 

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    Early Edge California convenes Superintendents Advisory Council on Early Learning

    The council met for its second meeting last month. Established in May, this council serves as an expert body that brings on-the-ground perspectives on what challenges and opportunities communities face as they move toward greater alignment between early learning and K-12. Recently, the council discussed the state of TK,  the impact of the new Common Core Standards on kindergarten classrooms, and fostering a supportive political climate for early learning. 

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    New Head Start Performance Standards and Child Care and Development Fund Regulatory Changes Issued: Both regulations were drafted at the same time, with the vision that “No matter what door a child walks in through — whether child care, Head Start, or prekindergarten  their experience should be high-quality, their social-emotional development fostered, and their learning stimulated,” according to Linda Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development at the Administration for Children and Families. 

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    ESSA Guidance on Supporting DLLs and Educators: The U.S. Education Department issued new guidance on how states and districts can better serve DLLs using Title III funds, including specific guidance on early learning. Aseparate document highlights how Title II funds may be used to support teachers and leaders, including professional development of early educators. 

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    Two Recent Head Start Studies Show Long-Term Gains: A recent study shows the effects of Tulsa’s CAP Head Start program on middle school academic outcomes, finding that participants of Head Start had higher math scores, lower retention rates, and less absenteeism compared to peers who did not attend Head Start. Another study dives into adult outcomes by comparing Head Start participants with their siblings who went to another program or did not have preschool, finding participants were more likely to graduate from high school as well as pursue and complete higher education. The results also show Head Start participation may lead to more positive parenting as an adult.

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      The New America Care Report: This recent report examines child care cost, quality, and availability across the nation and proposes changes to the ECE infrastructure, including improving training, pay, and professionalization of the workforce and focusing resources on programs aimed at dual language learners.

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      Child Trends' ninth edition of the biennial child welfare survey: Child Trends conducted a national survey for SFY 2014. This fact sheet provides a look at California’s child welfare expenditures. Child Trends has also launched its new website, including a Research by State page. 

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      2015 State of Preschool Yearbook Appendix A: The annual report by National Institute for Early Education Research offers new focus on preschool teacher workforce and dual language learners.

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      First 5 California 2016 Child Health, Education, and Care Summit

      Nov. 8-10, 2016
      Register here

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