September 18, 2013: The first California campus of Educare -- an early education nonprofit that has 18 locations nationally -- will open in fall '14 in a $14 million 35K-square-foot facility in San Jose, next to Santee Elementary School and will offer both child care and preschool. According to Lillian Mongeau, reporting on EdSource:
...Nearly 200 students from infancy to age 5 who are enrolled in federally funded Head Start, state-funded preschool or a local child-care program for children of teen parents will be eligible to attend classes at the center...The staff at these programs will also relocate to the new center and will receive additional training [beginning this fall]... The long-term vision includes a professional development institute where early child-care educators from around the state can take classes and observe model classrooms...
As Sharon Noguchi reported in the San Jose Mercury, $11.1 million has been raised to date; yesterday, Educare kicked off a campaign to raise an additional $3 million by the end of '13.
The editorial board of the Mercury weighed in yesterday, writing:
...If the results are strong in Santee -- if crime and the dropout rate decline, if test scores rise -- that will bolster already strong evidence that investments in early childhood education save substantially down the line on health care, incarceration and remedial education...
Educare describes its partnerships as "philanthropists, Head Start and Early Head Start providers, and school officials." The first Educare school opened in 2000 in Chicago with support from the Ounce of Prevention Fund and the irving Harris Foundation; in 2003, the Buffett Early Childhood Fund and the Omaha Public Schools opened the second site in Omaha. Buffett Early Childhood Fund and Ounce of Prevention then joined forces "to support other [community partnerships] to open 16 more sites, including one in Seattle, where they were joined by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. New partnerships are created in each city. In San Jose, as Mongeau reported, funders already include, "the Santa Clara County Department of Education, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Health Trust, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, First 5 Santa Clara County, the Franklin-McKinley School District and the East Side Union High School District..."
Ounce of Prevention's recent document (August 5, 2013) on "Considering a Multistate Approach to Early Learning Standards," by Elliot Regenstein, was featured in a discussion last month on Education Week, which noted it a gust post by Conor Williams, "Should the Common Core Extend into Early Childhood?":
...What --if anything-- can the early childhood education community learn from the Common Core? ...the early education community has long resisted formal, sharply-defined expectations for their students.
There are good reasons for this. Young students are spontaneous and curious; early childhood educators have long been wary of attempts to impose order and standardization, lest they dull students' love for school and learning. What's more, young students are hard at work developing social and emotional skills that can be difficult to measure in a standardized manner. If the Common Core is controversial, we should expect plenty of fireworks around any attempt to get states to cooperate on early learning standards.
As serious as that hurdle is, however, there are also good reasons to push forward with common early learning standards.... To the extent members of the early learning community want the Common Core to evolve in ways that are more reflective of research and best practice in child development, that cannot best be accomplished state by state by state -- that influence is most likely to be achieved by coalescing around a common set of early learning standards that can form the basis for a more structured conversation about how K-12 standards should evolve."
The document also notes that a common approach to early learning standards would be cost effective. Standards are expensive to produce -- and robust, research-based standards cost even more. States could save money (and time) by marshaling their resources and expertise behind a unified effort to develop common early learning standards to match their common K-12 standards. This would be particularly useful for the seventeen states that --as of 2010-- had no learning and development standards for infants and toddlers...