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Early Childhood Development in the United States: History and current trends Presentation by Joan Early Childhood Development in the United States: History and current trends Presentation by Joan Lombardi, Ph. D Inter-American Symposium: Policies and Strategies for the Child’s Successful Transition to Socialization and Schools Valparaiso, Chile May 27 -29

Overview of the presentation l Status of young children in the U. S. l Overview of the presentation l Status of young children in the U. S. l History of early care and education l Current trends and initiatives

Variation by State: All Children Variation by State: All Children

Variation by State: Children Under Six Variation by State: Children Under Six

Source: National Center for Children in Poverty. (2006). Basic Facts About Low-Income Children: Birth Source: National Center for Children in Poverty. (2006). Basic Facts About Low-Income Children: Birth to Age 18.

Disparities in Early Vocabulary Growth Cumulative Vocabulary (Words) 1200 Higher income 600 Middle income Disparities in Early Vocabulary Growth Cumulative Vocabulary (Words) 1200 Higher income 600 Middle income Lower income 200 16 mos. 24 mos. Child’s Age (Months) 36 mos. Source: Hart & Risley (1995) Slide adapted from Center for the Developing Child

Source: Slide by Flavio Cunha Source: Slide by Flavio Cunha

Rate of return to investment in human capital Figure: Rates of Return to Human Rate of return to investment in human capital Figure: Rates of Return to Human Capital Investment at Different Ages: Return to an Extra Dollar at Various Ages Programs targeted towards the earliest years Preschool programs Schooling Job training 0 -3 4 -5 Preschool 0 Post-school School Age Source: Slide by Flavio Cunha based on Heckman and Masterov, 2004

Minnesota- early childhood creates 28, 000 jobs Minnesota- early childhood creates 28, 000 jobs

Characteristics of early childhood in the United States l Universal access to Kindergarten for Characteristics of early childhood in the United States l Universal access to Kindergarten for 5 year olds in the public schools, often part day. New trend to expand to full school day. l Diverse delivery system for children under age 5 (mixture of public school, private providers, religious providers, home providers, family, friends and neighbor care). l Range of quality in programs l Limited access to paid leave

Looking back on early childhood policy in the United States…. . l Two federal Looking back on early childhood policy in the United States…. . l Two federal programs Head Start and Early Head Start Child care l State investments

Head Start l Goal is school readiness for children in poverty l Started in Head Start l Goal is school readiness for children in poverty l Started in l 965 as a summer program for children before they start school, later moved to school year schedule l Comprehensive services- health, education, parent involvement, family support l Performance standards, monitoring and technical assistance l Federal grants to local programs l Now services half of all 3 and 4 year olds in poverty

Head Start and transition l Ongoing communication between the preschool program and the local Head Start and transition l Ongoing communication between the preschool program and the local schools l Alignment of expected outcomes from preschool into school l Joint training across preschool and school faculty l Outreach to parents to help them understand the importance of continued parent involvement as they transition to school (including helping parents of limited English proficient children understand the instruction and other services provided by the school) l Facilitating the transfer of records as children move on to schools

Early Head Start l Launched in l 995, to serve pregnant women and children Early Head Start l Launched in l 995, to serve pregnant women and children 0 -3 l Random assignment study, 3000 children, most effective programs: - Start prenatally - Provide continuity throughout the early years - Well implemented standards - Use combination of home visiting and center based services l

Child Care l Number of working mothers starts to grow in the l 970 Child Care l Number of working mothers starts to grow in the l 970 s l Many attempts to pass child care legislation in the 70’s and 80’s, Child Care legislation, l 990 l Block grant to states (children 0 -13) l Purpose work support, few quality protections l Funding primarily goes to parents to pay for child care of their choice

State investments grow l State public private partnership- 0 -5, with community wide planning State investments grow l State public private partnership- 0 -5, with community wide planning l Prekindergarten- mainly for four year olds, some states universal, some targeted to low income children (debate continues) l Home visiting- range of programs, some for infants, some for 0 -5, some targeted, some universal

Current issues l How to best respond to the diversity of languages and cultures Current issues l How to best respond to the diversity of languages and cultures l Assuring continuity of quality services 0 -8 (vertical alignment) l Assuring uniform standards across many types of programs (horizontal alignment)

Coordinated governance l State Early Learning Councils across sectors l Specialized agencies focused on Coordinated governance l State Early Learning Councils across sectors l Specialized agencies focused on early childhood

State Early Childhood Development System Early Learning Health, Mental Health and Nutrition Family Support State Early Childhood Development System Early Learning Health, Mental Health and Nutrition Family Support Special Needs/ Early Intervention

Quality across programs • Quality rating and improvement systems Multiple levels of quality Star Quality across programs • Quality rating and improvement systems Multiple levels of quality Star rating system Information to parents Quality improvement grants to reach higher levels of qualiy

Professional Development Systems • Development of new programs to meet new roles (infant and Professional Development Systems • Development of new programs to meet new roles (infant and toddler, literacy specialists, etc) • Articulation across levels of professional development (certificate, two year degree, four year degree, graduate) • Scholarship programs TEACH early childhood • Improved compensation and working conditions

Early Childhood Development System A sample format Engagement & Outreach Governance And Financing Across Early Childhood Development System A sample format Engagement & Outreach Governance And Financing Across programs and connected to other systems To consumers, public and private sector Programs Guided by Program Standards and Early Learning and Development Guidelines Children Ready for Success Comprehensive Services Monitoring and Improvement Health, Nutrition, Mental Health, Disability Services Parenting and Family Support Monitoring standards and ongoing technical support Professional Development Core competencies Access to Training and Higher Education J Lombardi, Adapted from the Early Childhood Systems Working Group

Creating caring communities • Linking schools to the surrounding child care community • Schools Creating caring communities • Linking schools to the surrounding child care community • Schools ready for children • Joint training • Outreach to informal providers- family, friends and neighbors • Involving everyone in the lives of young children from the libraries to the grocery store

Early Childhood: A New Era “Its time to make an historic commitment to education, Early Childhood: A New Era “Its time to make an historic commitment to education, we can start by guaranteeing access to quality, affordable, early childhood education for every child in America” Barack Obama

Since the election l Expanded health insurance for children l Invested $5 billion for Since the election l Expanded health insurance for children l Invested $5 billion for early childhood in the economic recovery (Early Head Start, Child Care) l Proposed challenge grants to the states to improve quality l Proposed to expand home visiting for first time parents at risk l Proposed Presidential Early Learning Council

Moving forward……. Old think l Learning begins at school entry l Care vs education Moving forward……. Old think l Learning begins at school entry l Care vs education l Child focus vs parent focus l Targeted vs universal l Transition from preschool to school New Think l Learning begins at birth l Care and education l Two generational/ comprehensive l Progressive universal l Continuity 0 -8 (vertical alignment)

Change begins with each of us…. each step counts……together we make a difference for Change begins with each of us…. each step counts……together we make a difference for children!