The Prichard Blog!
Today, the Prichard Committee released the results of its Early Childhood Cost of Quality study. The study is a year-long effort to provide state and local leaders with solid information they can use when coming up with budget decisions designed to increase access to quality learning environments for Kentucky’s youngest children. Throughout this year, Prichard Committee personnel were employed by with a statewide advisory group, nationwide experts, and other partners through the process of collecting data and developing cost models. We also spent lots of time interviewing school area preschool directors and child treatment middle directors to learn about how exactly they target limited resources to provide quality learning conditions.
The showcase of the year, by far, was going to with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers – and their educators – throughout the Commonwealth. 1. Quality will come down to two basic factors – stimulating teacher-student connections that promote learning, and assisting the specific needs of children and their families. The first factor is well-established in the research, reinforcing the necessity for smaller teacher-student ratios and professional settlement and training for educators.
Our visits raised the urgent dependence on the second aspect of quality. We have been to a few child care centers with professional personnel and space for healing services for children with special needs. We visited a few college districts with personnel who support families in building safe, nurturing home conditions for preschool children.
The dependence on both was clear. As a result, we built in these kinds of staff and services into our cost models at higher levels of quality. 2. The majority of children served in Kentucky’s preschool program have special needs. 3. Quality child treatment is often out of grab low-income working households. 22/day for tuition for 3-year olds. 4/day “dual co-pay” — the difference between your reimbursement rate and the tuition rate.
280/month). Confronted with these costs, low-income working family members may choose to enroll their children in centers based only on what they can afford rather than quality. 4. Local areas can design options to work for a variety of families. Once we interviewed and journeyed throughout the state, we saw a great deal of variant across local areas in the manner these are providing quality early youth experiences to meet households’ needs.
Some college districts highlight small course sizes in a half-day preschool program while others stretch resources to offer full-day programs. Partnerships across child treatment, school districts, and Head Start coordinate resources and provide more flexibility for families better. Many districts allocate substantial resources to provide transportation for preschool students to eliminate barriers to enrollment.
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We figured there is absolutely no one-size-fits-all model for quality early care and education, which local leaders use funds to support options specific to needs in their community. 5. Child-years leaders want to raise serve more families Early. We designed the scholarly research to light up the cost motorists for quality early years as a child environments.
In our interviews with preschool and child care directors, we asked an over-all question about their dreams also. If they had more funding, how would they prioritize it? Often, they replied with a quick and emphatic, “Serve more families and children in need!” This was another reminder to us that both quality and opportunity are crucial for Kentucky’s children.
Our hope is that the Early Childhood Cost of Quality study informs the critical decisions in Frankfort and in local communities about the level of investment needed for each child to prosper in quality early learning conditions. We are pleased to all of those who provided assistance, assistance, information, and encouragement along the trip.