I often reference Zero to Three in my posts on early childhood education. They are a wonderful resource for parents and professionals interested the health and development of infants and toddlers. Zero to Three is also one of the main sponsors behind an early learning movement called Rally4Babies, which kicked off last July with a virtual rally that can still be viewed on their website.
In January, CAP was proud to recognize Kari Alley-Melchior, a lead teacher at Sand Springs Early Childhood Center, for co-authoring an article for Zero to Three’s bi-monthly journal. The article, titled “Common Themes Impacting Quality of Early Care and Education Environments for Toddlers,” explored six themes aimed enhancing the quality of education in toddler classrooms:
(1) Developing language throughout the day;
(2) Implementing alternatives to whole-group time;
(3) Following through with behavior guidance;
(4) Scaffolding all areas of development;
(5) Using encouragement in multiple and appropriate ways; and
(6) Integrating various types of data.
The journal itself requires a subscription, but their digital only option provides substantial savings over the print edition. Zero to Three is currently offering a free look at the digital version of (more…)
Read Full Post »
I’m sure many readers remember my CAP co-worker, Elizabeth, the former writer for this blog. A few weeks ago, Elizabeth forwarded me a link to “Five Numbers to Remember About Early Child Development.” It is a quick multimedia guide put together by Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child in order to drive home the importance of early learning.
All of the information on Harvard’s site is worth discussing. However, it was the second fact on their list that really stuck with me, because it highlights how disparities in children’s vocabulary begin to appear at 18 months of age. After I visited the Harvard site, I seemed to keep running across new studies and initiatives based on this language gap.
Researchers have long known about this gap in a child’s language skills and its connection to a family’s socio-economic status. In 1995, Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley published a well-known study showing children in low-income families heard 30 million fewer words by age 3 than their peers in higher income families with more education.
Their study is detailed in the book Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children. The authors conclude that the amount of talk going on between infants and their caregivers plays a crucial part (more…)
Read Full Post »
Posted in Early Childhood Education, Policy, Poverty, Stories, tagged Arne Duncan, Early Childhood Education, Head Start, Kathleen Sebelius, Rally4Babies, Zero to Three on August 5, 2013|
2 Comments »
In case you missed it last month, on July 8th Rally4Babies hosted a virtual rally on Google+. Rally4Babies is a partnership sponsored by Zero to Three (The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families). The event, hosted by Soledad O’Brien, featured guests Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Department of Education, and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department Health and Human Services.
O’Brien and her guests talked about the success of Head Start, Early Head Start, Home Visiting Programs and other programs offering early childhood education. Secretary Sebelius described how babies are learning every day, and emphasized that a safe, secure and stimulating environment both inside and outside the home can “make a world of difference” in language development and other fundamental skills. Along those same lines, Secretary Duncan is concerned because low-income children who do not have the advantage of quality early learning experiences can start Kindergarten a year, to a year and a half, behind their peers.
Backed up by research from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, we know babies begin developing the skills necessary for lifelong learning shortly after birth. The Center’s InBrief report, Executive Function: Skills for Life and Learning, tells us the optimal window for dramatic growth occurring between ages 3 to 5. (more…)
Read Full Post »