MDAEYC Montgomery County Chapter is celebrating the Week of the Young Child! Come join us at Wheaton Regional Park on Sunday, April 30th, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm for family fun (event flyer ENGLISH / event flyer ESPANOL). MDAEYC celebrates the Week of the Young Child each year, raising awareness of the importance of early learning for children, families, and early childhood education professionals.
Families with young children can come out and enjoy our free activities: face painting, crafts, music, movement, and snacks. Information about early learning and community resources will also be available.
Early childhood teachers and providers can come out and volunteer to staff the event. Volunteers can earn 1 PAU for participation at the event. Multilingual volunteers are encouraged to participate. Interested volunteers should contact Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. Please include “April 30” in the subject line to indicate that you are volunteering for this event.
MDAEYC Montgomery County Chapter thanks our partnering and sponsoring organizations for their support of early childhood education at this event and throughout the year: MDAEYC ~ Montgomery College Workforce Development ~ Montgomery County Child Care Resource and Referral Center ~ Discount School Supplies ~ Latino Child Care Association of Maryland.
Pre-K for PA Infographic
Pre-K for PA released a report prepared by ReadyNation/America’s Edge which shows the economic boost that prekindergarten investments can generate in the state economy. For each dollar invested in pre-k in Pennsylvania, a total of $1.79 in economic activity is generated in the state.
The report also estimates that if Pennsylvania invested funding in pre-k to provide access for all 3- and 4-year-olds in the Commonwealth, that investment would generate an additional $800 million in goods and services outside the early learning services sector. This additional $800 million would be generated in the following major Pennsylvania sectors as follows:
- professional, business and other services (23%);
- insurance, money and finance (18%);
- construction and real estate (17%);
- retail and wholesale trade (13%);
- health services (12%); and
- other sectors (17%).
Pre-K for PA is an issue campaign in support of access to high-quality pre-k for every 3- and 4-year-old in Pennsylvania. Its founding organizational members are key early childhood and children’s organizations (Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, Public Citizens for Children and Youth, the Pennsylvania Head Start Association, PennAEYC, PAEYC, and DVAEYC) and supporters of pre-k investments (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Mission: Readiness, and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia).
This report is one in a series of reports by ReadyNation I co-authored which document the potential economic impact of investments in early learning.
Edited to add: Press coverage of the report:
Those of us working on children’s issues know that investing in high-quality early learning for young children pays off over the long run, with better academic performance in school, increased rates of employment, and decreased involvement with crime. Less well known are the impressive short-term benefits of early learning for the local economy.
The business leaders’ organization ReadyNation/America’s Edge released a report today, which I contributed to, illustrating the short-term economic activity that can be generated by early learning in Illinois. As the report states:
For every $1 invested in early care and education in Illinois, an additional 94 cents are generated, for a total of $1.94 in new economic activity in the state. This strong economic boost for local businesses is higher than investments in other major sectors such as transportation, retail trade and manufacturing. This strong economic boost for local businesses is higher than investments in other major sectors such as manufacturing ($1.79), transportation ($1.91) and retail trade ($1.93).
While investments in any industry generate additional economic activity, what’s impressive here is that the early learning sector has one of the highest “multiplier effects” in the local economy compared to other major sectors. Although the figures cited here are specific to Illinois, the same general pattern holds true across the country, with the early learning sector at or near the top compared to other major sectors.
Early learning promotes economic development. Not only does it help kids get the right start in life, it generates additional economic activity in the local economy which benefits businesses and our communities. When policymakers are faced with tough budget choices, its good to know that early learning is an investment that can help children learn, help parents work and help grow the economy.
The press release for the report.
At last week’s virtual #Rally4Babies, policy leaders, government officials, and celebrities all showed support for increased investments in services to help the nation’s infants and toddlers get the right start in life, including Early Head Start, quality child care, and home visiting. The event, hosted by ZERO TO THREE and a number of other organizations, was held via Google+ hangout, and participants around the country could join up on-line to watch.
Among the statistics cited to make the case for the importance of starting early was the dramatic difference in vocabulary between more and less advantaged children by age three. Economically advantaged children know 1,100 words by age three, but economically disadvantaged children know only 500 words by that age. This word gap is stark, with economically advantaged toddlers having twice the vocabulary of toddlers in poverty.
This statistic comes from a classic study by Hart and Risley, published in 1995. If you are unfamiliar with the study, it is worth a look, providing a rich, detailed data set that documents how different trajectories in language development begin and unfold. (Here are two articles summarizing its key findings: an excerpt from their book, and Todd Risley’s article). This study observed 42 families for an hour each month for nearly 2 1/2 years, recording the interactions between children and parents, yielding over 1300 hours of interactions that were then carefully studied and coded. The study started when babies were 7 to 9 months old and followed them until they turned three.
We know that the goal of having children reading at grade level by the third grade is a hot policy topic, and a policy priority supported by 19 governors, according the the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. The dramatic vocabulary gap documented by Hart and Risley shows just how critical the earliest years are for laying the foundations of language learning and literacy. Hart and Risley’s team followed up on children’s language skills in third grade and found that children’s vocabulary at age three was indeed a strong predictor of later vocabulary and reading in third grade.
To reach the goal of on-target third grade reading, start with babies. As Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said at the Rally4Babies, we need to get out of the catch-up game. It is much harder to help children catch up who have already fallen behind in their vocabulary and pre-reading skills; it is so much more effective to provide a rich and supportive environment for learning from the start. Those supports include high-quality early learning and home visitation services for at-risk children and families.