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Category: Birth to Thrive Blog

Washington families are struggling with the aftermath of the Great Recession, though there has been progress, particularly in the percentage of children with health insurance, a new report says.   Even though the recession ended in 2009, 19 percent of Washington children lived in poverty during 2013, up from 14 percent in 2008, the Annie E.[…..]

Summer is in full swing. When you head to the beach, lake, mountains or wherever you are lucky enough to relax, here are some interesting stories and commentary to tuck into your bag.   The Truth Behind the Word Gap – A thoughtful piece in The Dallas Morning News by researchers Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta[…..]

Seattle launches its new preschool program this fall, and it’s focused on building high-quality classrooms.   This week, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced the city’s new system will initially serve about 230 students in four programs. The programs were chosen because they are near low-performing schools, serve diverse communities and will engage families, the mayor’s office says.[…..]

Parent engagement is vital to a child’s early development, and Washington parents are doing a relatively good job, with a majority of moms and dads reading and singing to their kids, a new report says.   In our state, roughly two-thirds of parents (67 percent) with kids age 5 and younger tell stories and sing[…..]

Right now, we should all be proud Washingtonians!   The Early Start Act (House Bill 1491) is now on the governor’s desk, having passed the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, and the next biennial budget includes $158M more for early learning. As important as this historic investment in early learning is, we would[…..]

Good preschools are important, but preschools aligned with the first four grades of elementary school can be even more powerful because a PreK-3rd system can give students a strong start and foundation for success. Today, both Seattle and San Francisco are building these foundations.   As the city of Seattle prepares to launch its pilot preschool program[…..]

Early learning is playing on the national stage this week, with a new and dramatic proposal to change Head Start, and presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton endorsing universal preschool. Under the new plan from the Office of Head Start, the federal preschool system would move to longer days and a longer year, the Associated Press[…..]

We work best when we work together. But, one of the bigger challenges in early learning is bringing together all the diverse programs and funding streams that support the earliest years in a coordinated system. This problem is often referred to as silos — early education programs operating in isolation instead of working within an[…..]

We’ve reached the home stretch of the legislative session! You can help us get to the finish by making calls and/or sending emails to your legislators and urging them to support investments in high-quality early learning. Reach out to your legislators by phone or email (find your legislators here, and click on their names to[…..]

How universal will universal preschool be? This month, the Education Department released a vision of inclusive early education, as a draft policy statement, which spells out the importance of including children with disabilities in early learning — and recommends ways to go about it. The vision raises important questions for the growing number of universal[…..]