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

Putting Degrees Within Reach: Strategies for Financing Early Educator Degrees  High quality early childhood educators have a deep understanding of child development as well as mastery of a complex set of skills needed to foster learning in young children. They shape our youngest learners’ experiences as they develop cognitive, behavioral, and social skills.  This report proposes a set of financing strategies for ensuring that educators can attain college degrees with limited out-of-pocket costs.

Pretend play may help preschool children learn to regulate their emotions  Research from George Mason University finds that children who participated in an imagination-based play group saw bigger gains in emotional control over eight weeks, relative to children placed in a storytelling group and a group in which children played with blocks.

Benefits of Pre-K do not fade with age It turns out that NC Pre-K (as well as Smart Start, which serves younger children) continues to have strikingly positive benefits for children that do not fade out at all. Instead, latest research confirms those benefits last at least through the end of eighth grade.

Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Spotlights on Innovation in the Field  The Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnership Spotlights on Success in the Field presents stories that highlight innovative practices. These practices are put in place to meet the goals of EHS-CC Partnership programs. The spotlights cover a wide variety of topics, such as ongoing monitoring, professional development, and fiscal responsibilities.

Research highlights the successes and challenges of partnerships between Early Head Start/Head Start and child care programs  A new review highlights existing research on partnerships between Early Head Start/Head Start and child care programs, which aim to expand early care and education access to meet the needs of low-income working families. Research shows that these partnerships increase both child care providers’ professional development opportunities and the availability of high-quality care for families. Studies also point to the need for more collaboration and alignment at the federal and state levels to make these partnerships easier for providers to participate in.

Community bond – New family resource center in Plano to help parents and children  For years, the Sunday school nursery room at the United Methodist Church of Plano, 219 N. Hale St., sat vacant.  In 2016, the Rev. Steve Saunders, pastor at the church, thought about recreating the space for the community to use.  “We had this underutilized space, and we wanted to do something with it to help benefit the community,” Saunders said. “We are here to be a blessing to others and care about the next generation.”  At the same time, Laurel Mateyka, principal of Plano’s P.H. Miller Elementary School and director of the P.H. Miller Preschool, was thinking of adding a family resource center to the preschool program, but there was not enough space at the school.

State School Board Asks New Illinois Governor to Quintuple Early Childhood Spending  The State Board of Education is putting Illinois’ new governor to the test with a $2.4 billion-plus request to help fund a universal preschool system for 3- and 4-year-olds.