Fab labs to launch in early childhood programs

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM will develop early childhood fab labs in Head Start programs

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES), a developer of digital fabrication laboratories (fab labs) and STEM curriculum and school design, has been named a partner in the Federal government’s new Early Education STEM initiative.

TIES is among a group of leaders who participated in April’s Early Learning Symposium hosted by The White House, in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and Invest in US. The event highlighted the importance of promoting active STEM learning for our youngest children and to celebrate a broad range of public- and private-sector leaders committed to promoting STEM learning across the country.

In March 2016, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, in partnership with TIES and FableVision, launched the world’s first Fab Lab for young learners (ages 3 to 10) to help them navigate the design process from concept to production, and turn their ideas into reality.…Read More

Business group urges support for early childhood programs

A report shows that interventions early in life have a higher rate of return.
A report shows that interventions early in life have a higher rate of return.

The Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), a nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has issued a new report called “Ready, Set, Go: How Business Should Support Early Childhood Education.” The report makes a compelling business case for why U.S. companies should invest in early childhood programs in their communities.

“Research shows that investments in high-quality early learning programs for children from birth to age five yield high returns, including increased earnings and decreased use of social services,” said Karen Elzey, vice president of ICW. “Achieving a world-class education system and creating a highly-skilled workforce begins with high-quality early learning opportunities.”

Interventions early in life have a higher rate of return than later interventions, the report says. It cites research showing gains among participants of early childhood programs so significant that “they have resulted in positive outcomes through adulthood.” Specifically, participants in early childhood education were less likely to be involved in criminal activity or be arrested; less likely to rely on social services, such as welfare; less likely to have children out of wedlock; and more likely than nonparticipants to earn more, own a home, or own a second car.…Read More

Fate of Early Learning Challenge Fund remains in doubt

Early learning programs help prepare children for later academic success.
Early learning programs help prepare children for later academic success.

Advocates of early childhood education continue to fight for a federal initiative that was intended to challenge states to develop effective, innovative models that promote early childhood programs.

The program, called the Early Learning Challenge Fund (ELCF), was authorized by Congress in September 2009 but was never funded.

Lawmakers had committed $8 billion for the program as part of a larger bill to overhaul college student aid, but in last-minute maneuvering designed to get the measure to pass in March, the $8 billion in ELCF funding was eliminated from the bill’s final version.…Read More

States slash early childhood programs as budgets bleed

Arizona has proposed cutting early childhood programs entirely, while Illinois plans to cut $48 million from its programs.
Arizona has proposed cutting early childhood programs entirely, while Illinois plans to cut $48 million from its programs.

States are cutting hundreds of millions from their early childhood education budgets, undermining years of working to help young children—particularly poor kids—get ready for school.

States are slashing nearly $350 million from their pre-kindergarten programs by next year, and more cuts are likely on the horizon once federal stimulus money dries up, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University. The reductions mean fewer slots for children, teacher layoffs, and even fewer services for needy families who can’t afford high-quality private preschool programs.

One state—Arizona—has proposed eliminating its 5,500-child program entirely. Illinois cut $32 million from last fiscal year’s early childhood education budget and plans to slash another $48 million this year.…Read More