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What's New

Satellite Conference Highlights Opportunities and Challenges in Pre-K
December 10, 2008 - Rhode Island KIDS COUNT hosted a national Pre-K Now satellite conference, Diverse Delivery of Pre-K: Opportunities and Challenges, attended by policymakers and child care providers from across the state. The conference included a panel discussion with providers from the New Jersey Abbott Pre-K System about the opportunities and challenges associated with implementing the Abbott Preschool system. Panelists included Cynthia Rice of the Association for Children New Jersey and Lorraine Cooke of the Egenolf Early Childhood Center in Elizabeth, NJ. View pictures from the event.

Children's Defense Fund Releases State of America's Children 2008
December 23, 2008: Accoding to the CDF report, children in America lag behind almost all industrialized nations on key child indicators. Among Early Childhood Care and Development indicators, CDF found that nationally, less than 3% of elligible children are enrolled in the Early Head Start program, and that in 33 states and the District of Columbia, the average cost of center-based child care for a preschooler is more than the annual tuition of a 4-year public college. View highlights from the 2008 report, early childhood care and development indicators, or view the entire 2008 report

RI Pre-K Law Garners National Attention
July 15, 2008 - Pre-K Now, a national public education and advocacy organization, highlights the passage of the Pre-Kindergarten Education Act in RI in "Today in Pre-K". The law calls for the creation and implementation of a state-funded Pre-K program serving 3 and 4 year olds in communities with high concentrations of low-performing schools.

America's Children2008 Report on Key National Indicators of Child Well-Being Available Online
July 14, 2008 - The newly released America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2008 profiles the status of the nation's children and youth, presenting up-to-date federal statistics on a variety of issues in one convenient reference. According to the report, math and reading scores of fourth and eighth graders have increased, but also shows that the teen birth rate and the proportion of infants born at low birthweight have also risen.

RIAEYC Spring Event: Public Policy 2008
On June 10, RIAEYC is hosting their annual Spring Event from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Waterplace Restaurant in Providence. The event will feature a presentation on PreK in Rhode Island by Judge Flanders, chairman of the Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education and Elizabeth Burke Bryant from Rhode Island KIDS COUNT.  To register call 467-1219 ASAP. Download and view the flyer.

New! Child Care and Early Learning Factsheet 
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT released its annual publication on the well-being of children and families in RI, the 2009 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook. The Factbook reports on 62 indicators of child well-being across five subjects: Family and Community, Economic Well-Being, Health, Safety, and Education. Read the Fact Sheet on the child care and early learning indicators.

Quality Child Care and Early Learning in Rhode Island
December 2007 - Rhode Island KIDS COUNT recently released an Issue Brief entitled "Quality Child Care and Early Learning in Rhode Island" about the importance of high-quality early learning opportunities to improve the odds that children will succeed in school and life. The Issue Brief highlights teacher qualifications, Program Cost, key program quality ellements, and strategies to expand access to high-quality child care and early learning programs.

The Impact of Maternal Depression on Young Children
January 2008 - Maternal depression is a significant risk factor that affects the well-being and school readiness of young children. This report presents the importance of addressing maternal depression as part of initiatives to ensure that young children enter school ready to succeed.

Preschool: First Findings From the Third Follow-up of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B)
A report released October 30, 2007 by the National Center for Education Satistics details findings from the first nationally representative study in the U.S. to directly assess children's early cognitive and physical development, the quality of their early care and education settings, and the contributions of both fathers and mothers in their lives. Approximately 10,000 children are being followed from birth through kindergarten entry. This report provides information on characteristics of the children at about 4 years of age.

Finding a Standards-Based Preschool
October 17, 2007 - Download the recently released brochure for parents entitled, Early Learning Standards Project: What Parents Should Know About Standards-Based Education for Preschoolers in English and in SpanishRhode Island's Early Learning Standards were developed to provide guidance to parents, teachers and administrators on what children should know before they enter Kindergarten.

New Brookings Report: Balance Federal Budget Through Investments in Children
August 6, 2007 - Spending $94 billion to deliver high-quality early childhood education for the nation's 3- and 4-year-olds and spending $39 billion on three other childhood initiatives over a 5-year period is one component of a strategy  for balancing the federal budget in Cost-Effective Investments in Children prescribed by The Brookings Institution, as part of the Brookings Budget Options Series.

Enriching Children, Enriching the NationInvestments in Children Yield Savings Over Time
May 3, 2007 - Investing in high quality pre-kindergarten programs would create significant government savings over time according to the Economic Policy Institute report, Enriching Children, Enriching the Nation: Public Investment in High-Quality Prekindergarten, by economist Robert G. Lynch. Lynch’s research shows, state-by-state and nationally, the social, economic, and budgetary gains that would flow from investing now to build either a universal or a targeted pre-K program.View the press release.

Release of Ready or Not: Preparing Rhode Island’s children to Succeed in School and Benchmarks for Progress
February 2007 - This report is an update of the final report of the Rhode Island School Readiness Team released in May 2004. The report focuses on key indicators used to determine the health development and well-being of young children

Review Draft Program Standards for RI's Quality Rating System
August 16, 2006 - Rhode Island is developing a reliable system to assess the quality of early care and education and after school programs. The Draft Program Standards are now available for review.

Maximizing the Use of EPSDT to Improve the Health and Development of Young Children 
Project THRIVE Short Takes
June 2006 - This second Project THRIVE Short Take examines the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program of Medicaid with a focus on young children. While the Medicaid EPSDT benefit covers health and developmental services for one in three children under age 5, most states do not meet national goals for screening. Short Take No. 2 describes how states can improve EPSDT rates through interagency collaboration.

School Readiness: Closing Racial and Ethnic Gaps, Policymakers and Practitioners Conference
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT co-sponsored a one day conference at the Brown University Faculty Club entitled School Readiness: Closing Racial and Ethnic Gaps to share findings of the Princeton University / Brookings Institution Future of Children Journal volume on School Readiness. Dr. Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, co-author and editor of the volumne, shared the findings of the journal with over 100 participants. Download the agenda, press release or Dr. Brooks-Gunn's presentation.

School Readiness: Closing Racial and Ethnic Gaps, Policymakers and Practitioners Conference Materials  and Pictures from the event are Available Online.

Release of Success Start: Rhode Island's Early Childhood Systems Plan
November 21,2005 - The RI Department of Health released the Plan at a breakfast event attended by more than 120 Rhode Island leaders in the early childhood field. A panel of state department directors commented on their plans for implementing key recommendations in the plan.

United Way of RI and RI KIDS COUNT Launch the Rhode Island Quality Rating System Partnership
November 21, 2005 - The The Quality Rating System (QRS) Partnership is a major initiative designed to improve the quality of child care centers, family child care homes and after-school programs across the state. Learn more about QRS. Read the coverage on Turnto10.com.

School Readiness Indicators as a Key Tool in Shaping Advocacy Strategies 
October 2005 - Presented at the Voices for America's Children's 2005 Child Advocacy Leadership Institute, this paper examines how child advocates can use school readiness indicators to inform their policy agenda and further their advocacy work. The paper also shares examples of how states are using school readiness indicators to move a policy and advocacy agenda for young children.

2005 Lipsitt-Duchin Lectures in Child Behavior and Development
Dr. Jack Shonkoff and Dr. Zigler, leading experts on public policy and preschool children, discussed the science of early childhood development as part of the 2005 Lipsitt-Duchin Lectures in Child Behavior and Development at Brown University. Read the article on the event in the Providence Business News and download Dr. Shonkoff's presentation. The event was sponsored by Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and Brown's Center for the Study of Human Development.

Rhode Island Early Learning Standards
 The Early Learning Standards were released in December 2003 by the Rhode Island Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and Human Services, along with Rhode Island KIDS COUNT.  A "tool kit" of fun activites for pre-schoolers will be available soon. Read the Early Learning Standards in English and in Spanish.