early childhood education

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There’s a simple, inexpensive way parents can promote academic success in kids. Surround them with books.

Researcher Mariah Evans headed a 20-year, worldwide study that found “the presence of books in the home” to be the top predictor of whether a child will attain a high level of education.

More so even, than the education level of their parents. Those from highly educated and higher-income families however, may not feel the difference quite as significantly.

Legislators in Topeka recommended major funding cuts for the Parents as Teachers program, then they backed off. On this edition of Up To Date we learn about the Parents as Teachers program and why a Kansas House Committee looks at continued funding.

Guests:

woodleywonderworks / Wikimedia-CC

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.

Sarah Gilbert / Flickr--CC

The state of Missouri is going after a multi-million dollar federal grant that would pay for more children to go to high-quality preschool programs.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says it has applied for a $17.5 million Preschool Development Grant.

This is the same grant program that Kansas said no to last month.

Most educators agree that high-quality pre-school is crucial to improving education at all levels.

Phil Dowsing Creative / Flickr-CC

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.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

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."

The Importance Of Play

Apr 17, 2014
Mike Gonzalez

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.

How Technology is Changing Kansas City Classrooms

Feb 27, 2014
MSU Digital Photography (via Flickr)

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.

Choosing Childcare

Apr 4, 2013

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.


USMC

ABC and 123: They’re the basics of early childhood education, but the way kids learn these is up for debate.

Advocates are calling for Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to restore funding for early childhood programs now that the state has received its tobacco money.  That and more news from KCUR.