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As 2014 comes to a close, PACE would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of PACE Spotlight, a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Tuesday, Jan. 6.
Do child care centers have to pay staff for time spent in training?
From Nov. 18:
Most states require child care teachers and staff to take a specified amount of annual continuing education. Teachers and staff often attend training sessions after regular working hours. Does the center have to pay them for this training time? That question has caused considerable confusion across the country in recent months. Many states require annual staff training. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires that staff get paid for training time if the training is required to keep their jobs. Yet regional offices of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor have ruled differently as to whether providers must get paid for training time.
Full-day preschool associated with increased readiness for kindergarten
Medical News Today
From Dec. 2:
As every parent knows, preschool must all too often be purchased at a hefty price. In addition to the hot debate over whether preschool itself is really all that important, a new study sparks a fresh debate on whether part-day or full-day programs are best suited to prepare a child for school.
Worthy work, still unlivable wages
From Nov. 25:
Recently, New America hosted the release of Worthy Work, STILL Unlivable Wages: The Early Childhood Workforce 25 Years after the National Child Care Staffing Study, by Marcy Whitebook, Deborah Phillips and Carollee Howes. The Staffing Study first shined a light on the fact that many early care and education teachers earn poverty-level wages a quarter of a century ago. This new report provides an update on the state of the child care workforce and offers new evidence of their economic insecurity.
Kindergarten-readiness tests gain ground
From Oct. 14:
For 20 kindergartners at Parr's Ridge Elementary School, the morning is packed with singing and dancing, playing an alphabet game with sticks, and cutting big oval shapes out of paper. And while these are typical classroom activities, many also double as something else: parts of an assessment. These bouncy, sneakered children are part of a leading-edge project in the testing world to figure out how to assess the youngest students in ways that welcome their playful energy and their varied paths of development, and then use the results to shape instruction.
Early childhood education that focuses on executive function improves later school performance
From Nov. 18:
Science is beginning to show more than ever that a child's performance in school is largely dependent by how much they know prior to beginning kindergarten. According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds score 60 percent lower in cognitive tests than kids with richer parents. When it comes to math scores, poor black kids score an average of 21 percent lower than whites, while Hispanics score 19 percent lower. Pre-K and kindergarten classes are meant to balance these disparities, but curriculums and resources often vary between poorer and richer schools.
Preschools mandating flu shots in some states
Counsel & Heal
From Oct. 14:
In an effort to increase vaccination rates and prevent the spread of the flu, preschools in New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut will mandate flu shots for children attending licensed day-care centers and preschools. Rhode Island is set to enforce similar policies next year. "School entry requirements have proven to be the best way to vaccinate children," said Alexandra Stewart, an associate professor at Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, reported by FOX News. "It's a good way to catch people."
The research says high quality preschool does benefit kids
Preschool Matters ... Today
From Oct. 28:
First, if one really believes that today's preschool programs are much less effective than the Perry Preschool and Abecedarian programs because those programs were so much more costly and intensive, and started earlier, then the logical conclusion is that today's programs should be better funded, more intensive and start earlier.
Debate aims to define universal preschool
From Dec. 2:
As public support and awareness of the importance of preschool grows at the federal, state and local level, there is a debate in the early childhood education world over how to achieve "universal preschool" and what form it should take. In San Francisco, "universal preschool" means access to free or reduced-cost slots in preschools for 4-year-olds based on family income. In New York City, it’s a new program that aims to give preschool seats to all 4-year-olds regardless of income. The term "universal preschool" means different things in different places and in politics, words matter.
Pre-K has changed. Can teachers keep up?
From Nov. 11:
Sarah Carr, a contributor for Slate, writes: "Earlier this fall, I visited Emma Markarian's prekindergarten classroom in the Bronx to see some 4-year-olds in action. The 15 preschoolers spread out to different activity centers across the classroom. In the block area, the youngsters learned essential math skills (including what it means to add or subtract a block from a structure), physical science skills (balance, height and weight), and literacy skills (they label and describe all of their structures, like castles and skyscrapers) — all through play."
What does the evidence show on preschool?
From Oct. 21:
A recent article by Professor David Armor repeats many of the common arguments made by researchers opposed to current proposals for expanding preschool. The article was published online by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. The article's arguments have been frequently made by opponents of universal preschool. In particular, these arguments are similar to those made by Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution, who has previously co-authored a blog post on preschool research with Professor Armor.
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