Program Standards In State Preschool Initiatives
Apr 08, 2009
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) today released their annual yearbook: The State of Preschool 2008. When early care and education programs provide comprehensive services (like those that the Head Start and Early Head Start standards require), they support high-quality early care and education for both preschoolers and infants and toddlers.
NIEER provides information on program standards and other items like eligibility and resources for each preschool initiative in an online appendix. Standards and services available vary greatly by initiative. NIEER surveyed 50 preschool initiatives in 38 states (some states have multiple initiatives) on eight types of services and found that:
- 40 required parent involvement activities.
- 36 required transition to kindergarten activities.
- 31 required parent support or training.
- 30 required referral for social services.
- 30 required child health services.
- 21 required nutrition information.
- 16 required parent education or job training.
- 7 required parent health services.
- 8 no longer require one or more of the above services in 2008, compared to 2007
- 3 have added one or more of the above services in 2008, compared to 2007
- In some initiatives, specific services are determined locally.
- Some initiatives reported other support services, for example developmental, social/emotional, mental health, and ESL support.
Initiatives with program standards that address these eight comprehensive services operate in Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, supplemental state funding is awarded to federal Head Start grantees to serve more children. States can review and strengthen their program standards for early childhood initiatives, for example through the use of economic recovery funds.