May 24, 2016
Exclusive Preview

New report looks at "crucial role" of early childhood ed in moving English learners toward proficiency   
Sarah Tully: EdSource 
Promoting Success for English Learners: The Essential Role of Early Childhood Programs is a soon-to-be-released EdSource issue brief that looks at the challenges facing California's early education programs as they work to help children who are learning English as well as their home language prepare for success in elementary school.

According to the brief, California is at "a pivotal moment in the implementation of a range of reforms that are putting additional pressure on educators to ensure that dual language learners succeed."

Increasingly, early childhood education programs, including those that serve babies and toddlers, are seen as key first partners in helping children become proficient in both their home language and English. Given these higher expectations, the brief states, it is "essential to revisit strategies--and devise new ones--to strengthen the role of early education programs in promoting the greater success of dual language learners."

The brief identifies seven challenges that California's early education system faces in serving dual language learners, such as lack of teacher preparation and a shortage of multilingual educators. It also provides a range of potential solutions, such as examples of existing programs, resources and program models.

Watch for the full report at soon or email us to be notified when it is released.

Erin Brownfield: EdSource
On May 13, a revised version of the state's budget was released. It included no new funding for early education, and the controversial "consolidation" block grant for early ed that child advocates have strongly opposed remained unchanged.

EdSource's Jeremy Hay asked several of the state's leading voices in early childhood education policy and practice for their reactions.

Click here to read the blog. Have anything to add? Add a comment to the blog or let us know.

According to a report from the Child Trends Hispanic Institute, about 113,000 young Latino children living in California were missed (or "undercounted") by the 2010 census. This undercounting has implications for the allocation of public resources for federal programs such as Head Start and the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant.

The Invisible Ones: How Latino Children Are Left Out of Our Nation's Census Count compares census data to population estimates and finds that California has by far the largest number of undercounted young children of any state, and that Latino children are more likely to be missing from census data than children from other ethnic backgrounds.

By understanding which areas are most likely to have a large number of undercounted young children (such as urban areas with a high proportion of renters and multiple generations of families living together), the authors hope to help produce more accurate counts in the 2020 census.

Click here to read the full report.

California lags in national report on public preschool systems

Michael Collier: EdSource

A new report finds that California's publicly funded preschool system ranks low in program quality, state spending and access, writes EdSource's Jeremy Hay.

"The state's performance on the institute's quality standards checklist was among the nation's worst. It received passing scores in four of 10 quality areas; among categories it failed to pass were providing support services for children, requiring bachelor's degrees from lead teachers, establishing maximum class sizes and requiring regular inspections by the state."

In an article for The Atlantic, Lara N. Dotson-Renta writes that many early education classrooms, in becoming increasingly academic, have forgotten the importance of free movement for childhood development. She cites Nancy Carlsson-Paige, author of Taking Back Childhood, who believes young children learn best by using their bodies: "If you walk into a good kindergarten class, everyone is moving. The teacher is moving. There are structured activities, but generally it is about purposeful movement." Read more here. 
Education news site "The 74 Million" looks at one key aspect of Hillary Clinton's education platform: home visitation programs for low-income families. Research links the programs with improved outcomes for children living in poverty. Clinton has long supported universal preschool as well as home visitation. Read more about her platform here. 

Erin Brownfield, editor