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Lillian Mongeau
Early Education Reporter

 Subscribe Here                                                                               June/July 2014 Issue 6
EdSource Today reports
Nurses help new moms navigate motherhood
Nurse Georgia Graves smiles at 6-month-old Avery Sanchez during a visit to the infant's home in Oceanside as part of the California Home Visiting Program. Credit: Lillian Mongeau/EdSource Today

Nurse Patty Leal smiled encouragingly at Kimberly Dean-Toney, 26, who had just finished reading a Sesame Street book to her 9-month-old daughter. She read enthusiastically while little Madilynn clapped and smiled and tried to eat the book.


"You did a really good job," Leal told Dean-Toney. Next time, "if (Madilynn) was turned to face you, she could see your smile."


Teaching new mothers the best way to read to their infants is just one of Leal's many responsibilities as a home visiting nurse. Nurses like Leal offer pregnancy advice, monitor child development and explain parenting techniques to women who are young, low-income, or struggling with domestic abuse. They begin working with new mothers in the first or second trimester and continue until the child turns 2.


 Read the full story on EdSource Today.
Poll shows support for public preschool funding
Source: Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates Credit: John Osborn/EdSource Today 

In a new national poll conducted by a bipartisan research team, respondents voiced their strong support for expanding public preschool, echoing other recent surveys on the issue.


Seven in 10 of the registered voters polled in a demographically and geographically representative sample said they supported the proposal before Congress to increase spending on early childhood initiatives. That proposal, called the Strong Start Act, was introduced at the end of 2013. It has gone through one revision and is moving forward in the Senate, but it hasn't budged in the House.


A poll conducted last year by the same team, Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research, found similar results. The poll was commissioned by the First Five Years Fund, which pushes for more generous early education policies nationally.  


Read the full story on EdSource Today.
Early Learning has a new home on
Now you can find early learning news on in one spot. Visit our newly designed website and click on "Early Learning" on the top navigation bar to get to an entire page dedicated to news and information about issues affecting the state's youngest learners!
Early learning in the spotlight 
Reading Rainbow uses Kickstarter to spotlight early reading
Screenshot from the into to the Reading Rainbow TV show which ran on PBS from 1983 to 2006. (c) PBS
Reading Rainbow raised an astonishing $5.4 million in June on Kickstarter, the crowd-funding site, to create new digitally based material that will be distributed for free to thousands of schools across the country.

Lavar Burton, star of the popular 80's and 90's PBS kids' show that encouraged kids to read, played himself in a humorous campaign video that captured the hearts of the 105,857 donors. The vast majority of backers donated $50 or less to the campaign for "rewards" like bumper stickers, tote bags and recordings of old Reading Rainbow shows. A handful of wealthier backers donated $10,000 for rewards like the chance to wear the visor Burton's character wore in Star Trek or a school assembly led by Burton himself.

The upswell of support for the return of many Millenials' favorite childhood television show--it aired from 1983 to 2006--put the importance of reading by 3rd grade for "every child, everywhere" in the spotlight this summer the way few other efforts could.


Read more about the record-making Kickstarter campaign on
As NYC expands pre-K, private programs fear teacher drain
Directors who oversee dozens of independently run preschool programs in New York City say that they cannot compete with the salary and benefits offered by the Education Department, so a program that promises to be a boon for families of young children may end up being a loss for them, an unintended consequence of Mayor Bill de Blasio's prekindergarten expansion.

Some have even criticized the department for aggressively recruiting teachers on its website and posters, going so far as to accuse the city of poaching.
Early Education News Briefs

Study shows home visiting reduces deaths for mothers, children
Why free play is the best summer school for young children
HHS releases rules for Early Head Start Partnership Grants

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital announced today the results of a decades-long study with Nurse-Family Partnership, a national nurse home visiting program, that shows reductions in preventable death among both low-income mothers and their first-born children living in Memphis.


NOTE: Link starts video. 


Read the full story in The Memphis Business Journal.

Unscheduled, unsupervised, playtime is one of the most valuable educational opportunities we give our children. It is how children strengthen social bonds, build emotional maturity, develop cognitive skills, and shore up their physical health. A new study reveals just how important these activities are in the development of children's executive functioning.  


Read the full story in The Atlantic. 

Partnerships between Early Head Start programs and private center- or home-based child-care providers are the focus of a $500 million boost to Early Head Start approved in January as part of a federal spending bill. The U.S. Depart. of Health and Human Services announced on June 6 the rules that will govern the nationwide competition.


Read the full story in Education Week.

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