In the News

A Solution to the Child Care Shortage?

A Solution to the Child Care Shortage?

TELLURIDE, CO, JULY 7, 2017 – In San Miguel County there are approximately 383 children under the age of 5.

With only 211 child care slots, and just 14 of those slots designated to infant care, the region is facing a dire shortage in the child care realm, a problem exacerbated by the lack of qualified care givers.

That’s why Kathleen Merritt, executive director of Bright Futures — a Telluride-based nonprofit that focuses on early childhood education in the county — asked San Miguel County Commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday to consider adding a ballot item to this fall’s election that would help fund child care initiatives.

The proposed measure would raise property taxes to finance early childhood teacher recruitment and retention, parent education programs and financial assistance for families that can’t afford the high costs often associated with child care. Read more.

How Private Funding Creates Disparities Among Detroit’s Pre-K Classrooms

How Private Funding Creates Disparities Among Detroit's Pre-K Classrooms

DETROIT, MI, JUNE 19, 2017 – LaWanda Marshall and Candace Graham both teach pre-kindergarten at the Carver STEM Academy on Detroit’s west side. Both have colorful, toy-filled classrooms, computers for students to use and assistant teachers to help guide their 4- and 5-year-olds as they learn and explore. But Marshall’s classroom has other things too—lots and lots of other things that regularly arrive like gifts from the pre-K gods. Read more.

Santa Fe Soda Tax Rejected After Record-High Turnout

SANTA FE, NM, MAY 2, 2017 – Santa Fe voters delivered a decisive rejection of a proposed 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages to support early childhood education Tuesday in a special election.

As of 10 pm Tuesday night with votes counted in all but one voting convenience center, the proposal was losing by a near-15 point margin.

The vote capped the end of an intense, expensive and heated debate that saw nearly $1.9 million in direct spending overall from political action committees on both sides as of May 1. More than $1.2 million of that money was spent on opposition to the tax proposal, while a PAC in support of the tax spent roughly $685,000 to convince city residents to vote yes on the measure. Read more.

The Pre-K Imperative

DURHAM, NC, APRIL 28, 2017 – The messages from the Early Education/Preschool Task Force draft report released this week are clear.

To perhaps oversimplify, they are these: High-quality, pre-kindergarten programs can increase success as children enter public schools, in their kindergarten year and beyond. Children in low-income households are most in need of this help, and right now, many of them are least likely to get it with our present capacity. This community has the wherewithal to provide pre-K programs for the most vulnerable and, eventually, to all 4-year-olds. But getting there will be a heavy lift. Read more.

Pre-K Task Force Recommends Preschool for All 4-year-olds in Durham

DURHAM, NC, APRIL 27, 2017 – With 38 percent of its children entering kindergarten without having achieved reading proficiency, a task force that has been working on a proposal to bring universal Pre-K to Durham said Thursday that the time has come to act on a plan to give more low-income children a better chance to succeed in school.

The plan, presented by Durham’s Community Early Education/Preschool Task Force during an afternoon session in the County Community chambers, calls for increasing and expanding quality for Pre-K to all low-income 4-year-olds in 2019. Read more. 

Santa Cruz County Votes to Establish ‘Thrive by Three Fund’

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA, JANUARY 26, 2017 –  At the urging of Supervisors Ryan Coonerty and Zach Friend, on January 24th, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 1 to establish a “Thrive by Three Fund” to help fund effective programs serving very young children (prenatal through age three). The Board Directed CAO Susan Mauriello to dedicate $350,000 for the Thrive by Three Fund in next year’s budget.

A large group of children’s advocates including Mary Lou Goeke of United Way, Dr. Salem Magarian of Santa Cruz Community Health Centers, David Brody of First 5, and community activists Allison Guevara and Shebreh Kalantari spoke at the meeting, urging the Board to make this investment in proven programs that support babies, toddlers and families during this incredibly important time in a young child’s development. Read more. 

 

How did In Dayton and Cincinnati Ohio Win Ballot Initiatives for the Preschool Promise?

How did In Dayton and Cincinnati Ohio Win Ballot Initiatives for the Preschool Promise?

In November 2016, voters in both Dayton and Cincinnati Ohio passed ballot initiatives to fund universal preschool programs.  Part of the public will building effort involved partnering with public media stations ThinkTV and CET.  Watch the programs:

http://www.thinktv.org/education/power-preschool/

http://www.cetconnect.org/education/power-preschool-cincinnati/

Dayton Preschool Board Approves $5.5 Million Budget

Dayton Preschool Board Approves $5.5 Million Budget

DAYTON, OH, MARCH 3, 2017 – Dayton’s Preschool Promise board approved a $5.5 million planning budget for the next 16 months, with about half of that money aimed at improving the quality levels of local preschool providers.

The two main budget categories are $2.76 million to “expand quality” and $1.71 million to “assist families,” which includes tuition assistance. Most of the money comes from Dayton’s income tax increase. Read more. 

Universal Preschool Access Could Help Next Generation Thrive

Universal Preschool Access Could Help Next Generation Thrive

ASHEVILLE, NC, FEBRUARY 24, 2017 – A diverse group of influential local stakeholders is pushing for universal access to preschool in Buncombe County. Styling themselves the Asheville Buncombe Preschool Planning Collaborative, the members aim to make quality preschool accessible to all county residents. The group includes representatives of the Asheville City Schools, the Buncombe County Schools, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Mission Health, A-B Tech and Asheville City Council, among others. Read more.