What We Heard From Early Childhood Educators During the Pandemic Year

In February, Philadelphia-based early childhood educator Adrienne Briggs found herself in a quandary. Partially in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, state licensing rules had changed in December 2020. But Briggs wasn’t able to get her hands on a hard copy of the new regulations, and no one, it seemed, could tell her what was … Read more

How Antiracism Work is Changing Early Childhood Education

In a recent Sesame Street video, cuddly monster Elmo picks up an autumn leaf and remarks about its color to a pair of more human-like Muppets who are sitting nearby on a park bench. “This leaf is red, like Elmo’s fur!” he says. Then Elmo reaches for another leaf. “This leaf is brown, like Russ’s … Read more

An Oral History of Early Childhood Educators During the Pandemic

Yessika Magdaleno, owner of a home-based child care program in Orange County, Calif., is a problem-solver by nature. When she opened her program 20 years ago, she attracted families by expanding her hours to nights and weekends to accommodate those with non-traditional work hours. When she felt that her own children were not well-served by … Read more

The Pandemic Was Disastrous for Early Childhood Education—And Both Kids and Adults Are Feeling It

The long-running pandemic has disrupted every facet of education. But the early childhood sector has been particularly devastated. Over the past 16 months, young children have experienced learning setbacks and fewer social experiences, while their educators have endured degraded working conditions, stress from job uncertainty and mental health declines. Much has been reported, written, observed … Read more

Chicago’s Pre-K Policy Has Important Lessons to Teach Us

As early childhood researchers, we’ve spent our careers steeped in an enormous body of work that documents the long-term positive impacts of quality early care and education on the lives of those fortunate enough to experience it. The pre-academic and social-emotional skills children develop in preschool—the ability to manage frustration, work with peers, ask for … Read more

Can Colleges Help Early Childhood Teachers Go Back to School?

The clock is ticking in Washington, D.C. By the end of 2023, workers who teach the littlest learners in the nation’s capital will be required to have advanced credentials in early childhood education. For some teachers, this feels like pressure. For college leaders, it feels like opportunity. And so two of the city’s universities are … Read more

Secretary Cardona Says Back to Normal Is a ‘Low Bar’ in Early Childhood Education

Getting back to normal may be a chief goal of cities, states and ordinary people as the pandemic subsides. But when it comes to the broken state of early childhood education in the U.S., the status quo would be nothing short of an unfortunate outcome, says Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. On Tuesday, Cardona convened a … Read more

Education Has a Three-Headed Crisis. Mental Health Is Only Part of It.

A year ago, I wrote “The Next Pandemic: Mental Health” for National Mental Health Month, published in May 2020 in EdSurge. We were two months into the pandemic in America and already early signs of a mental health crisis were emerging from isolation and trauma. It is now time to update this piece for 2021. … Read more

How Research-Informed Games May Result in Deep Learning Experiences

Time and again, there have been education techniques and pedagogy developed that challenged conventional teaching and learning methods. As new approaches are tried, it is important to also analyze the reasons why children may be apprehensive about learning. Games can be particularly effective for engaging learners, promoting active participation and motivating students, both in and … Read more

The Unintended Consequences of Universal Preschool

One of the hallmarks of President Biden’s $1.8 trillion American Families Plan is its ambitious proposal to create something tantamount to universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds. The plan calls for a national partnership with states that, when fully implemented, could put five million children into high-quality programs and save the average American family $13,000 … Read more