April 12, 2013

In this Issue:

  1. 2014 Budget Proposal Includes Significant Investments in Early Childhood Education
      Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Early Learning - April 10, 2013
  2. The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) Launches its Web Site
      Source: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes - Retrieved April 9, 2013
  3. Understanding the IDEA Part C Regulations: the Role of EHDI
      Source: National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management - Retrieved April 12, 2013
  4. State Pre-K Funding: 2012-13 School Year
      Source: Education Commission of the States - April 10, 2013
  5. Kindergarten Policy Characteristics
      Source: Education Commission of the States - April 5, 2013
  6. Birth Through Age Eight State Policy Framework
      Source: Alliance for Early Success - April 12, 2013
  7. Research-Based Digital Education Resources for Bilingual Preschoolers
      Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement - April 11, 2013

1. 2014 Budget Proposal Includes Significant Investments in Early Childhood Education

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Early Learning - April 10, 2013

On April 10, 2013, President Obama sent his fiscal year 2014 budget request to Congress. The budget request includes an historic new investment, Preschool for All ($75 billion over 10 years), which would make preschool available to all 4-year olds from low- and moderate-income families. It also includes funding to increase or maintain key investments in a number of other programs that seek to improve outcomes for young children, especially for those with high needs, including:

  • Preschool Development Grants ($750 million)
  • Early Intervention Programs for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities ($463 million).
  • Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities ($373 million)
  • Head Start ($9.6 billion).
  • Early Head Start - Child Care Partnerships ($1.4 billion).
  • Child Care and Development Fund ($5.8 billion).
  • Voluntary home visiting services ($15 billion over 10 years).
  • A new Child Care Quality Initiative ($200 million).

To learn more, see the U.S. Department of Education's Investing in Early Learning budget document. The President's proposal is just one step in the annual appropriations process. Congress will decide on final funding levels during the upcoming year as it develops annual appropriations bills in the House and Senate.

2. The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) Launches its Web Site

Source: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes - Retrieved April 9, 2013

The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) recently announced the launch of the CEELO Website. CEELO is one of the 22 Comprehensive Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. It is focused on providing technical assistance to state education agencies (SEAs) with the following goals:

  1. Improve states' knowledge about and use of early childhood comprehensive assessment systems
  2. Enhance the use of assessment data and other information to improve program quality
  3. Increase the knowledge and skills of the early learning workforce
  4. Strengthen the alignment of birth through 3rd grade educational policies and systems
  5. Increase the coordination of resources and policies across statewide systems

The CEELO website provides additional information about the Center, a selection of useful early learning resources, information about upcoming CEELO events, and more!

3. Understanding the IDEA Part C Regulations: the Role of EHDI

Source: National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management - Retrieved April 12, 2013

The National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) has published a new document, Understanding the IDEA Part C Regulations: the Role of EHDI (2013). The document summarizes changes in the recent Part C regulations that are most relevant for Early Hearing and Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs and highlights elements of the Part C regulations that support increased understanding and coordination between EHDI systems and their state Part C counterparts. The goal is to ensure that infants and toddlers with hearing loss are identified, evaluated, and if eligible, have access to appropriate early intervention services.

4. State Pre-K Funding: 2012-13 School Year

Source: Education Commission of the States - April 10, 2013

The Education Commission of the States recently examined policies across all 50 states to determine 2012-13 state expenditures on pre-K programs serving 4-year-old children. Findings indicate that of the 40 states that provide funding for pre-K, 23 states plus the District of Columbia increased their funding levels, eight kept levels the same, and eight states made cuts. Overall, state funding for pre-K programs serving 4-year-olds increased by 3.6%. To learn more, see State Pre-K Funding: 2012-13 School Year (April 2013), by Michael Griffith.

5. Kindergarten Policy Characteristics

Source: Education Commission of the States - April 5, 2013

The Education Commission of the States recently reviewed kindergarten policies across all 50 states that address the following questions:

  • Are districts required to offer a kindergarten program? If so, is it full-day or half- day?
  • Are students required to attend kindergarten?
  • At what age can a student enter kindergarten?
  • At what age is a student required to attend school?

Findings highlight the significant variations that exist across the states. To learn more see Kindergarten Policy Characteristics (March 2013), by Emily Workman.

6. Birth Through Age Eight State Policy Framework

Source: Alliance for Early Success - April 12, 2013

The Alliance for Early Success (formerly the Birth to Five Policy Alliance) has developed a Birth through Age Eight State Policy Framework, with input from 150 early childhood experts, leaders, researchers, policymakers, and foundation officers. It is based on five underlying principles and outlines three policy priority areas essential for the healthy growth and development of young children: health, family support, and learning. Examples of evidence-based and innovative best practice policy options are provided in each of the three policy areas.

7. Research-Based Digital Education Resources for Bilingual Preschoolers

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement - April 11, 2013

The Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network's (HITN) Early Learning Collaborative is piloting two tablet-based Pocoyo PlaySets designed to provide fun and engaging learning experiences for young children as they develop English language, reading, and math skills. The playsets, which are available as apps for iPads, use a combination of activities, including interactive games and storybooks, sing-along songs, and a word machine, to help close the achievement gap between economically advantaged and disadvantaged children. For more information, see this notice from the U.S. Department of Education and view this video highlighting the Pocoyo PlaySets.

HITN's Early Learning Collaborative is funded through a U.S. Department of Education Ready to Learn (RTL) grant from the Office of Innovation and Improvement. The RTL program encourages and supports the development and use of video and digital programming to promote early learning and school readiness for young children and their families, as well as the dissemination of educational outreach programs and materials to promote school readiness.