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Parent involvement in early years grows with help from community groups

Ed Source – Ashley Hopkinson

“In recognition of the importance of involving parents in their child’s education as early as possible, community-based organizations in California have developed a range of strategies to increase parent engagement long before a child enters kindergarten.” (more)

Study shows colorful blocks can prep preschoolers for a future in math

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A 4-year-old lines up colorful blocks in a row: red-red-green-red-red-green. Her teacher encourages her to replicate the pattern using soft toys: bear-bear-monkey-bear-bear-monkey. Another child uses blocks to build a doorway, figuring out how to balance blocks on top of others. This isn’t just play.” (more)

Making the preschool magic last as children get older

The Hechinger Report – Jackie Mader

“Many of the nation’s top preschools have found that the magic ingredient in supporting kids and boosting their academic success is involving parents and providing intensive support to families. Christopher House, a nonprofit that runs a high-performing elementary charter school and a small network of public preschools in some of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, has infused parental support into its model. And it has taken its efforts beyond the preschool years in an attempt to tackle fade-out, a problem that notoriously afflicts even top preschools. Too often, after launching kids into school far ahead of their peers, even high-quality preschools with intensive family support see students’ academic gains slowly diminish. After a few years, the effects are often hard to discern. To make the preschool magic last, the Christopher House network accepts children from newborns to fifth-graders, embracing the whole family as a part of the child’s success from one grade to the next.” (more)

Accountability for Early Education — A Different Approach and Some Positive Signs

Education Next – Susanna Loeb

“Early childhood education in the United States is tangle of options—varying in quality, price, structure, and a range of other dimensions. In part as a result, children start kindergarten having had very different experiences in care and very different opportunities to develop the skills and dispositions that will serve them well during school. Systematic differences across groups by income, race, ethnicity, home language, and geographic location are particularly troubling because inequalities that appear early are often sustained through school and affect prospects throughout life.” (more)

Connections between early childhood program and teenage outcomes

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“A new study published in PLOS ONE by researchers from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development examined the long-term impacts of an early childhood program called the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) and found evidence suggesting that the program positively affected children’s executive function and academic achievement during adolescence. The program targeted children’s self-regulation skills while also raising the quality of inner-city Head Start classrooms serving high-risk neighborhoods in Chicago. Researchers have been following the children involved in the study since the beginning of preschool through the high school years.” (more)