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Early childhood education resources

Below are resources for early childhood professionals and those serving the early childhood community.

A Closer look at the Early Childhood Educator Preparation Program Innovation  The Illinois Education Research Council (IERC), Innovations for High Quality, Aligned Early Childhood Educator Preparation (IERC 2016-3) released a study that explores the innovations and strategies that two-and four-year higher education partners implemented to build capacity for the early childhood workforce in Illinois and create a more aligned system of credentials and degrees. Through the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), 20 Early Childhood Educator Preparation Program Innovation (EPPI) grantees developed new models and innovations for early childhood educator preparation that revolved around articulation arrangements, alignment of assessments, advising and supporting students, early math, English Language Learner instruction, infant and toddler programs, and improving field experiences.  Read more about how the grant recipients addressed common barriers and practice-oriented issues experienced in early childhood educator preparation, as well as the challenges and catalysts they encountered in this work.

Collaboration Initiatives in Illinois  At the local level, more than 50 cross-sector local early childhood collaboratives have formed – either “organically,” or in response to a state initiative. Most of these collaboratives were formed with the explicit purpose of weaving these state and federal programs and services together with local resources into a comprehensive system for their community’s young children. Publicly-funded collaboratives include:

  • All Our Kids (AOK) Networks
  • Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&Rs)
  • Early Intervention/ Local Interagency Councils
  • Early Head Start/Head Start
  • Healthy Start Community Action Networks
  • Innovation Zones
  • Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Communities
  • Preschool Expansion Grant

Compiled by the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development, a new  crosswalk of publicly-funded early childhood collaboration initiatives aims to provide early childhood stakeholders with a brief overview of these initiatives’ purpose, goals, objectives, and systems-building strategies. A map and directory of these collaborations are also available from the Partner Plan Act website.

The recent volume of the Future of Children focuses on education from Prekindergarten through third grade.

New America’s Early and Elementary Education Policy team reviews the records of Secretary of Education and Health and Human Services nominees, Betsy DeVos and Tom Price respectively, and what they might mean for early childhood education moving forward.

Child Welfare  The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation released a brief on the use of social science research in early education to improve the child welfare system. It specifically points to the potential of early care and education for young children in the child welfare system.

STEM  Vanderbilt researchers released findings from a new longitudinal study that show children’s math knowledge in preschool is related to later on achievements. The study’s authors particularly call out the importance of focusing on comparing quantities and pattern knowledge in preschool.

High-Quality Birth-to-Five Programs Produce an Even Greater Return on Investment  Nobel Laureate James Heckman’s new analysis of two landmark FPG projects finds an even higher return on investments in early care and education than previously believed.

Big News Out of Georgia: Pre-K Students Are Sustaining Their Progress in Kindergarten  FPG’s new evaluation of the state’s Pre-K program finds that students are maintaining growth in language, math, and general knowledge skills.

Head Start’s State-to-State Gaps Held Up in Most Comprehensive Report Card Yet  In the most comprehensive study of the program yet, “State(s) of Head Start,” released Wednesday, researchers from the National Institute for Early Education Research, at Rutgers University, looked at data on Head Start programs from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories. (Christian Science Monitor, Deccember 14)