Education

Early Years

December 10, 2003 1 min read

Kindergarten Counts

As part of its ongoing focus on kindergarten, the Education Commission of the States is researching the variety of policies and laws throughout the country related to this first year of formal schooling.

For example, nine states do not require districts to offer even half-day kindergarten. Six provide districts with financial incentives to offer full-day kindergarten, and four states require kindergarten teachers to be certified in early-childhood education or development.

States also vary on where they set the entrance age for kindergarten students, according to Kristie Kauerz, the program director for early learning at the Denver-based ECS.

She spoke last month at the annual conference of the Washington-based National Association for the Education of Young Children.

“Kindergarten is stuck in the middle of two worlds,” Ms. Kauerz told an audience gathered in Chicago. “It doesn’t fit fully in early childhood, and it doesn’t fit fully in K-12.”

But, she added, kindergarten has become critical as the “bridge year” between home or preschool and formal education.

And Ms. Kauerz said that kindergarten is getting more attention now that research shows the achievement gap between poor and nonpoor children develops even before youngsters enter school.

In the future, the ECS plans to examine how states define and pay for full-day and part-day programs, and it will look at standards of quality for kindergarten.

More information on states’ kindergarten regulations is available online.

Early Literacy

Child-care providers who care for children in their homes often miss out on the same training opportunities that are available to teachers in center-based early-childhood programs.

But Reading Is Fundamental, a family-literacy organization based in Washington, has produced a series of videos designed specifically to help those providers strengthen children’s early-literacy skills.

Financed by the U.S. Department of Education, the new “Gateways to Literacy” series includes topics such as reading aloud to children, and fostering a “print rich” environment.

For more information, call (800) 590-0041 or send an e-mail to info@rifnet.com.

— Jacobson

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read