Meeting of the Board of Regents | March 2010
Report of the
REGENTS EARLY CHILDHOOD WORKGROUP
The Board of Regents
March 8, 2010
Your Regents Early Childhood Workgroup Committee held its scheduled meeting on March 8, 2010. All Committee members were present (Chancellor Emeritus Bennett and Regents Young, Chappey; Cea; Norwood. Other Board members in attendance were Chancellor Tisch and Regents Tallon, Rosa, Bendit, Phillips, and Dawson.
Early Childhood Education
Your Workgroup actively engaged in a discussion of two specific issues outlined below in an effort to reach consensus on moving ahead with this critical work:
- Guiding Principles that will drive the development of a theory of action to reform a comprehensive early childhood system; and
- The current provider landscape that represents the diverse system of early care and education for children from birth to age five.
Your Workgroup reached consensus on the five guiding principles put forth in the March Regents report: development, quality, access, accountability and transparency as well as the following understandings and recommendations:
- Education is the primary driver for improving New York State’s comprehensive early childhood system.
- Parent involvement is key and wherever possible the Regents should advocate for the reinstatement of federal funding for programs such as the Parent Information Resource Centers (PIRCs).
- Data collection should be an integral part of the P-12 data system. It will be important to collect the most salient data across systems.
- Adult education needs to be embedded as a component of the comprehensive system of early childhood education.
Your Workgroup also discussed the diversity of settings where more than 50 percent of children from birth to age five are served. There was a discussion about the differences among the settings, i.e., child care, Head Start, etc. Settings that offer full day programming, and in the case of low income families, those that are free or can be subsidized are most attractive to parents. School districts with universal Prek funding collaborate with many of these early care and education programs as eligible agencies which implement between 40% - 60% of their UPK programs.
Your Workgroup provided a list of external advisors as requested at the previous meeting. The Workgroup proposes that these individuals be invited to offer insight and recommendations as we work collaboratively to build a comprehensive, integrated system of early childhood education in NYS.
Your Workgroup was charged with including the percentages of children in each type of setting statewide at the next Workgroup meeting.
Your Workgroup recommended expanding its efforts by investigating international resources to enhance our work through researchers such as Dr. La Rue Allen and Dr. Sharon Lynn Kagan.
Your Workgroup recommended developing a compelling message that will increase awareness of the roots of early education by presenting scientific evidence of advancements in brain development and other research on early health and development and their impact on later student outcomes.
This concludes our report.
Regent Lester Young, Chair