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Budget advocacy 101: Messaging to the barriers

One of our goals with "Little Citizens, Big Issues" is to showcase diverse voices and viewpoints from the community on issues affecting young children in the District. This post is by Lauren Hogan, director of public policy at the National Black Child Development Institute . Recently I attended a Children’s Budget Summit, sponsored by First Focus , a bipartisan children’s...

No time to abandon Head Start

Opponents of federal funding for Head Start found new ammunition in the results of the most recent study of the program by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The study released earlier this year followed 5,000 children between 2002 and 2006 and found no difference in academic achievement by the end of the first grade between students who...

DC school lunches go gourmet

Following national trends to defeat childhood obesity and to promote healthy eating standards, including efforts made by the First Lady to eradicate childhood obesity, an epidemic that affects over 20% of DC children, Top Chef contestants made a beeline for DC Public Schools last week. Their challenge? To whip up healthy lunch options for the District’s children, on only $2.50...

NPR on universal preschool in France

In case you missed it, NPR had a great piece on today's Morning Edition about universal preschool in France. Here's the audio link . As the Obama administration looks to promote preschool for every child in the U.S., it's instructive to hear how other countries in Europe have managed to do it. France has a longstanding commitment to preschool for...

PreK-3rd strategies: Building on success

One of our goals with "Little Citizens, Big Issues" is to showcase diverse voices and viewpoints from the community on issues affecting young children in the District. This post is by Lauren Hogan, director of public policy at the National Black Child Development Institute . When the D.C. Council passed the PreK Enhancement and Expansion Act in July 2008, it...

Introducing the D.C. Healthy Schools Act

One of our goals with "Little Citizens, Big Issues" is to showcase diverse voices and viewpoints from the community on issues affecting young children in the District. This post is by Kristin Roberts, community nutrition association at D.C. Hunger Solutions . Momentum is building in Congress to expand funding for childhood nutrition programs to ensure that low-income children have access...

Help shape D.C.'s Early Childhood Advisory Council

In the District, as in many states, child care, pre-kindergarten, special education services, Early Head Start, Head Start and early intervention operate in separate programmatic and policy silos, each with myriad—even conflicting—objectives and funding streams. The consequence is uncoordinated early childhood policy, which can often degrade access, quality and the return on investment of such programs. I can’t tell you...

What does "quality" preschool mean in D.C.?

One of our goals with "Little Citizens, Big Issues" is to showcase diverse voices and viewpoints from the community on issues affecting young children in the District. This post is by Jack McCarthy, managing director of AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation. In Washington, D.C., two of every three babies are born to single mothers who live in poverty. That’s more...

What does effective teaching look like in preschool?

There's a lot of talk--and policy--these days directed at fostering "effective teaching" to boost student achievement. You would think there was a common definition of effective teaching, or an agreed upon way to determine which qualities and approaches make teachers effective, but so far it has proven elusive. Even how to measure effective teaching is a subject of great debate....

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