Deputy Assistant Secretary Libby Doggett
I celebrate one month at the Department and I want to thank all of you for your
warm wishes and support. It’s wonderful to have such an outstanding
community of advocates, providers, policy makers, and other great
thought-partners to help us promote high-quality early learning for all our
children from birth to third grade.
whirlwind job started with the Secretary’s Strong Start, Bright Future back-to-school bus tour
throughout the Southwest where I highlighted President Obama’s
at a number of early learning events in the Phoenix, Arizona area. I spoke
with tribal leaders in Scottsdale, higher education instructors at Rio College
in Tempe, and career and technical education (CTE) students at East Valley
Institute of Technology in Mesa. I was vividly reminded of the challenges
our field faces in building a well-qualified, well-compensated early childhood
workforce. We have to do a better job of seamlessly connecting our
community colleges with our four-year universities and bringing innovative
approaches to building our labor force through CTE, community
college-university partnerships, apprenticeships, distance learning courses,
alternative certification programs, and other creative means.
the quality and effectiveness of the early learning workforce is one of the
three early learning objectives in the Department’s Draft Strategic Plan for
Fiscal Years 2014-2018, for which ED is currently seeking comment by October 4th.
Our Race to the Top – Early
(RTT-ELC) program also includes a focus on the development of workforce
knowledge and competency frameworks and progression of credentials. As a
reminder, applications for the
FY13 RTT-ELC competition are due October 16th.
know that the quality and success of an early learning program depends upon the
skills and knowledge of the adults working with the children and families.
Building those skills and recruiting and retaining a professional workforce
attuned to our children’s culture and language has to be a priority, especially
as we look toward providing early childhood educators for the President’s Preschool for All proposal. We have a big
task ahead of us, but I know we are up to it!
ACF Details Importance of President’s Early Learning Proposal
beginning years of a child’s life are critical for building the early foundation needed for
success later in school and in life. Research
shows that brain development is most rapid in the first years of life. Leading
economists agree that high-quality early learning programs can help level the
playing field for children from lower-income families on vocabulary, social and
emotional development, while helping students to stay on track and stay engaged
in the early elementary grades.
Win-Win for Children: Raising Smart, Healthy Kids
Eight early childhood and public health
organizations released Raising Smart, Healthy Kids
In Every State, a report that details the early childhood and health
benefits of President
Obama's plan to expand early education through an increase in federal
tobacco taxes. Enacting this early learning proposal with an increase in
federal tobacco taxes would eventually provide two million children a year with
access to high-quality preschool and prevent 1.7 million kids from becoming
White House Early Learning Summit a Success
On September 18, business and not-for-profit leaders,
educators, and senior White House and Department officials met at Miami-Dade
College at the White
House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ Early Learning
Summit to discuss early learning within the Hispanic community. Although
Hispanic children represent the fastest-growing segment of the nation’s
population under age 5, less than half are enrolled in an early learning
program. Among the discussion topics were the President’s Preschool
for All initiative, encouraging both the private and philanthropic sectors
to increase investments, complementing federal investments, and encouraging
media to dedicate resources. (Note: Don’t miss Professor James Heckman’s video message, as well as
video [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] from the summit’s
Business Leaders Support Early Learning
On September 23, Secretary Duncan attended the 2013 National Business Leader Summit,
hosted by ReadyNation-America’s
Promise Alliance and the Georgia Early
Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), in Atlanta. He
discussed with business executives and public officials the importance of
investment in early learning to strengthen the economy and America’s global
competitiveness. During the summit, executives affirmed their
organizations’ commitment to early learning as a national economic priority.
Learning on College Campuses
support the participation of more low-income parents in higher education, the
U.S. Department of Education today awarded nearly $9.2
million to 58 postsecondary institutions to establish or support campus-based child care
services. Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program supports
the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the
provision of campus-based child care services.
Administration for Children and Families launches new webpage on how the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
will impact early childhood programs.
Beginning in 2014, 48 million uninsured Americans will have new
opportunities for health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance
The Food and Nutrition Service administers several
programs that provide healthy food to children including the National School
Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food
Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable
Program, and the Special Milk Program. http://www.fns.usda.gov/child-nutrition-programs.
The Office of Child Care (OCC) recently launched its Child Care Technical Assistance Network (CCTAN) Web site, now
live at childcare.gov. The Web site is a one-stop shop for all
materials from the CCTAN National Centers and features resources created by OCC’s
technical assistance (TA) network on a variety of topics related to the
administration of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program.
Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI)
takes the research that shows which practices improve the social-emotional
outcomes for young children with, or at risk for, delays or disabilities and
products and resources to help caregivers and service providers apply these
best practices in the work they do every day. TACSEI also supports the
implementation of the Pyramid
Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children
which is a tiered intervention framework of evidence‐based interventions for promoting the social, emotional, and
behavioral development of young children. Resources
and products from TACSEI can be found at: http://www.challengingbehavior.org/
For information regarding Race to the Top- Early Learning Challenge states and the FY11 Scopes of Work, please click here.
Deadline Fast Approaching
Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services are
holding a new competition and the applications are due October 16th. Additional information can be found here.
$15 Million to Support KEAs
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded more than
$15.1 million in Enhanced Assessment Grants (EAGs) to three state education
agencies—North Carolina, Maryland and Texas—to develop or enhance their
Kindergarten Entry Assessments.
Read the September 12th Press Release
W. Steven Barnett
Director of National
Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and Principal Investigator
for Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes
As a researcher your studies focus on early
learning including the economic benefits of high-quality preschool. What
evidence do we have about the benefits of high-quality preschool?
over five decades worth of evidence that good early learning programs can
substantially enhance children’s learning and development. The research base is
deepest for disadvantaged children and this evidence shows that the benefits
are greatest for disadvantaged children. As the broader population comes in, we
have more evidence for the general population. This evidence indicates that all
children can benefit from quality early learning environments. There is also an
increase in evidence internationally supporting these benefits.
How do you think
the President’s proposal to provide high-quality preschool for all four-year
olds will help our economy?
The President’s proposal is a direct response to
the problems evident in the early care and education field, which were
exacerbated by the recession. There is a lack of access to quality early
childhood programs, which is greatest for children from families above the
poverty line. These families are above the poverty line but the cost of quality
early learning programs is out of reach. The
President’s proposal, focusing on the first five years, is a good started
and important to the conversation regarding access to middle class families.
What do you see
as the challenges to providing high-quality preschool for all?
The biggest challenge we face is building the
public’s understanding of the needs for investment in early learning and
development. The investment is long term and connected to bigger problems we
face, which include competing in the global knowledge economy and holding down
the rising cost of school failure, crime, and healthcare. We also need to build
the ability of future generations to support a growing elderly population.
I think that it’s important we make early childhood
policy more evidence based. The Administration’s proposal is strongly evidence
based, but there are many details of policy. It is difficult to make evidence
based policy when there is not enough evidence. We need government support to
build a knowledge base to integrate at all levels. Policymakers need the
evidence based research in order to provide evidence based policy and continue
the work towards quality early learning and development environments.
from the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant has allowed
Massachusetts an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate early childhood
education so that the states’ children have access to high quality birth to
grade three education and experiences that will put them on an early path to
school success and productive citizenship. The Massachusetts Department of
Early Education and Care (EEC), the RTT-ELC lead agency, has prioritized its
work into five strategic areas of Program Quality, Educator Quality, Screening
and Assessments, Family and Community Engagement and Infrastructure. For more
information, please see Massachusetts’s Annual Performance
or the Massachusetts Department
of Early Education and Care.
ED Pubs web site is intended to help you
identify and order U.S. Department of Education products. All publications are
provided at no cost (including shipping) to the general public by the U.S.
Department of Education. A new
publication, Strong Start, Bright Future:
Helping Your Child Succeed in School, highlights early
learning. This bilingual
Spanish/English publication for parents and families has been
designed to provide parents with the latest research and practical information
to help them support their children and ensure their children’s success in
school and in life. Further, it builds upon the idea that all children benefit
from quality early learning programs and effective preschool experiences.
What Works Clearing House (WWC) reviewed the effects of First Step to Success, a 3-month school- and
home-based program intended to improve educational outcomes for students in
grades 1-3 with moderate to severe behavior problems. Forty-eight elementary
schools across five states participated in the study that measured 10 outcomes.
The research evidence for three outcomes--academic engaged time, problem
behavior, and academic competence--meets WWC evidence standards with reservations.
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