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Early Childhood Education: Do you believe your legislators have made early childhood education a high priority?

Comments: 17

More and more regulations are making it harder for home childcare businesses. Requiring anyone who cares for > 2 children to get a state license and earn a CDA diploma is a high burden which drives many to simply operate without a license. Having so many businesses operating "under the radar" means that many children may be at risk because basic health and safety guidelines are not being followed. Other rules such as allowing someone to care for up to 12 children, but only 6 for pay pressures childcare providers to cheat and sets a low limit on income. Providers who offer high quality care are being burdened with more regulations.

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Marla Nargundkar
Atlanta, GA

No! St. Paul has an initiative that was started in the business community. It has been amazingly incredible with an astronomical payback in terms of investment vs. benefits to the broader community. This program is reaching the end of its cycle but should be expanded all over the country!

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Patricia Knoblauch
MFT59
minneapolis, MN

No,the biggest problem I see with ECE is there is no consistency when it comes to education. There are too many different standards in different states. Yes we have to deal with the demographics. However, there are many basic needs that all ECE programs have, which include all-day assistance(a paraprofessional) and a class ratio of 20:1. Also be realistic and stop expecting pre-K classrooms to administer state assessments and report cards every 6 weeks. Our students need time to grow. Mandating state assessments to 4- and 5-year-olds takes the love out of what we do...and we just want to teach.

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Stacy Dixon
Fresno, TX

What we need to do is to expose private corporate run childcare centers. It needs to start with that. They are involved for profit by seeing that there is a need in communities. They are less interested in the well-being of the child and in providing a living to their staff. We also need to do a better job of educating the public (start with your friends and family) about the professional work we do and that it does not equal the salary/hourly pay early childhood teachers and staff receive.

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Mary Pikul
Oak Park, IL

Yes. Unfortunately forty years of data relating to universal pre-k in Georgia and Oklahoma have taught us that these students do not improve their academic success. Many of the parents/guardian of student's attending Head Start or pre-k are at home. An out reach daily reading readiness program requiring attendance with a parent or guardian is the appropriate intervention and prevention program.

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Melanie Lawson
Kansas City, MO

I don't think they value early childhood education as much as grammar or high school. Most people don't believe that preschool is necessary, however by the time most children get to kindergarten the teacher expects them to know basic information they would need to learn in preschool.

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Rasheda Phinn
East Orange, NJ

need to do more for early childhood.

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peggy cobbins
625
st paul, MN

Much Moore can be done.

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Deborrah Hines
Wtulocal6
Washinhton, DC

No. Early chiildhood is the most important developmental phase of a child's life. So many of our children lack continuity in their lives to prepare them for the educational experience that we have to support them in different ways, and early education plays a pivotal part at the beginning.

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Barbara McCall St John
Rochester teachers Association
Rochester, NY

In the past year children were placed into my classroom from situations where problems were identified and I knew nothing. Children who had past identification had all of this dropped. We ended up with screamers, truama, etc. on the first day of kindergarten. There was nothing in place for success of children with problems. Children are screened but, nothing is done in the beginning to help their teachers prepare for them. It is sad when the first months of school become a nightmare for students and teacher. It is easy to blame the teacher but, sometimes too much is expected of one person.

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Lynn Morris
Marion County
Rivesville, WV

Early childhood education never has been a priority for legislators. I hope this will change. I know too many ECE teachers who give more than 100% of themselves and can't make enough money to support their own children. What a shame!

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Soma Preciado
washington, DC

No! We are struggling to maintain a center that is continually bombarded with hits from the legislature. Our license fee just went from $150 to $7,800. Studies show that the first five years are the most important, and the legislature is trying to cut voter-protected funding to early eduction in our First Things First program. Our last govenor spent emergency funding and now this govenor is sweeping education funds to compensate. Why not use a Pell Grant system to send toddlers to preschool instead of waiting until college when the brain has already pruned vital synaptic connections?

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Gwendolyn Sherwood
Saint Johns, AZ

I looked at the salary survey and I would be a little pleased if I made that amount now. I take home an estimation of $805 every 2 weeks. I make only a couple of dollars more than my highest paid teacher. I own a very small child care center and cannot afford to pay my staff what they are worth and maintain our school environment to the highest quality. The early years are the most important, so why are the teachers, providers and caregivers not compensated for the service we provide to human life?

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debra Bright
Pittsboro, NC

No, we are underpaid and we wear many hats, but we do it for the children. We love our jobs and we love childern, whereas legislators focus on elections. The only time you will see legislators in the low-income areas is around campaign time. They need to come around in the housing development and get involved in the community.

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candy Brunson
Wilmington, NC

No! I do not believe legislators focus on much more than re-election. For example, in Connecticut, the legislature wants to include a "parent trigger" in an education bill that would allow parents to call for the closing of an under performing school simply by filing a petition. This is parent NEGATIVE involvement. Perhaps they should truly spend time in schools and find a method to encourage POSITIVE parent involvement. The latter would require more time and effort than politicians are willing to invest.

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Richard Hamasian
Meriden Federation of Teachers
Meriden, CT

Despite evidence to the contrary, legislators continue to ignore the importance of early childhood education. With the demise of so many "intact" families, early education becomes even more important in providing the experiences that are absent in so many homes due to poverty or lack of parental oversight. Kids want to learn and they will soak up what's around them. We need these amazing "little sponges" in an educational environment that nurtures both experiential and social readiness. Early childhood education is the foundation that we need before we can "rebuild" a first class education system in this country!

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Linda Ray
OSEA
Gresham, OR

No, but they should. Early childhood is where a lot of students get the requisite skills to become good citizens and good students. In addition to academics, early childhood focuses on social/emotional skills that are necessary for students to grow into well-rounded individuals.

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Jameelah Wright
East Orange, NJ

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