Everyone, it seems, wants more children to attend pre-kindergarten.
Just last week President Barack Obama called for 6 million more high quality early childhood education slots by the end of the decade.
But the United States now has fewer children in state-funded pre-K programs, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. About 28 percent of 4-year-olds were enrolled across the country. Overall there were 4,301 fewer children in pre-K classes in 2013 when compared to the previous year.
A new campaign is urging parents to spend more time reading with their kids, and Kansas City is at the front of this push for early childhood education.
On Monday's Up to Date, Kansas City mayor Sly James and a representative from the U.S. Department of Education join us to discuss what cities can do to promote early learning for kids. We also talk with Mayor James about what the situation in Ferguson means for Kansas City residents. We also take a look at some economic and development issues facing the city.
There are roughly 2,300 child care providers in Missouri that don't have to follow any kind of health and safety regulations – a huge problem for parents trying to find suitable day care for their children.
"There are some folks out there who, either through negligence or circumstance, should not be in the business of providing child care," says Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, "and there's very little to stop them from setting up a sign, throwing a swing set out back and calling themselves a childcare provider."
It's all fun and games until... well, until you learn a lesson. Of course, that's part of the point of fun and games. Central Standard was inspired by multimedia arts reporter Julie Denesha's reflection on her childhood dollhouse to do a show on the developmental significance of toys and play.
The Shawnee Mission School District in January announced it would be putting laptop computers into the hands of all of its staff and students when the next school year begins.
To better understand this $20 million effort and what effect technology might have on the way educators teach, University of Kansas professor John Leslie Rury and University of Missouri -Kansas City professor Dr. Jennifer Friend joined host Maria Carter on Thursday's Central Standard.
Kansas lawmakers this year spared early childhood programs from the budget axe, but advocates for those programs say children didn't fare well overall in the 2013 legislative session.
The top concern, according to April Holman of the non-profit Kansas Action for Children, is that lawmakers balanced the budget using more than $9 million that should have gone into an endowment for early childhood funding.
From birth, the care and upbringing of a child is a stressful and demanding process. Tough questions that all parents face include who can I leave my child with when I go to work? Am I doing enough to help my child get on track with learning? And for some families, how can I get my child a good meal today? On this Central Standard we are exploring the challenges of childcare and early education for all parents, including the cost of childcare, how the government affects a child's early education and we highlight some local programs that help families in need.