Published Online: August 6, 2003
Published in Print: August 6, 2003, as Early Years


Early Years

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Kindergarten Data

The Education Commission of the States has launched a Web site featuring up-to-date information on states' kindergarten policies. The interactive site shows how states support, develop, and pay for full-day kindergarten, which is becoming more popular across the country.

The new database—part of a 21-month project financed by the New York City-based Foundation for Child Development—was unveiled last month at the ECS National Forum on Education Policy.

"Full-day kindergarten is popular among parents because it reduces the number of transitions a child must make during a day, and because it meets the needs of working parents," Kristie Kauerz, the director of the early-learning program for the Denver-based ECS, said in a press release.

"It also seems to be growing in popularity among policymakers because, in the current climate of student achievement and school accountability, research shows that full-day programs better prepare children for success in the early school years."

A New Focus

The NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, the organization that helped win passage of the federal Violence Against Women Act in 1998, has shifted its attention to another set of issues affecting women: child care, preschool education, and after-school programs.

For More Info
Information about the initiative, as well as the group's report, "Family Initiative: Better Child Care, Preschool and Afterschool," is available from NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. (Report requires Adobe's Acrobat Reader.)

The New York City-based advocacy group says its new "Family Initiative," announced this summer, will focus on mobilizing women leaders from a variety of sectors to work for higher-quality and more affordable child care and education programs.

The campaign is expected to stretch over six to 10 years, according to the group's press release.

While several nonprofit organizations, foundations, and business groups have also identified such goals among their top priorities, "these efforts have been hampered by the lack of a strong and cohesive public voice demanding significant investment in our children and families," according to the group's Web site.

The NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund was organized in 1970 by the founders of the National Organization for Women. It is a separate organization.

Linda Jacobson

Vol. 22, Issue 43, Page 14

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