Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Stimulative home and school are equally necessary

An NICHD longitudinal study of 1300 kids looked at the kids' homes, preschool or child care, first grade classroom, and math and reading scores through the fifth grade. When they controlled for socioeconomic status, they found that the kids that did best academically in school were the ones that had stimulative home life, stimulative preschool, and stimulative first grade. Having all three was important. That's not much of a surprise. And since preschool and first grade are sequential, what it means is that home and high-quality school are equally necessary.

It's good to know we can have an effect, but only high-quality child care has this effect. Much of Title 22 does not. So we policy geeks need to work on getting more professional development, including for family child care.

I don't care if they have a BA. I don't care if they have an AA. But I would really like to see all family providers get the content of a community college class in child growth and development spread over a series of workshops held in the evenings or weekends, and I'd like to see all Title 22 center teachers have 12 units of ECE. I think that would make me content with the overall workforce.

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