Early childcare costs can be very expensive. A federal block development program has help low-income parents offset the expense through subsidies since 1990. It is currently up for reauthorization.
The Senate is expected to take up a bill Wednesday that will ask states to increase how much they spend on professional development and training for the early childhood workers.
If passed, it would be the second reauthorization of a federal program that provides vouchers to low-income families to subsidize childcare costs.
When the Child Care and Development Block Grant was first passed in 1990, providing access for low-income children to childcare was seen as critical so parents could work or go to school.
"We've learned so much more about children's needs" since then, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md), co-author of the reauthorization bill, said at a press conference in Washington, D.C. Tuesday.
Reflecting an increasing awareness that the quality of that childcare is crucial, the bill would require states to increase how much they spend on training, from the current 4 percent to 10 percent of the program expenditures in 2018.
Army Recruiting/flickr Creative Commons
In this Creative Commons photo, students await the arrival of the US Army 82nd Airborne Chorus at Dominguez High School. On Tuesday, the school's schedule was upended when two-thirds of the teachers called in sick in what officials called a “concerted work stoppage.”
Teachers were back to work at a Compton high school Wednesday, a day after a sick out. Compton Unified School District officials said two-thirds of the teachers at 2200-student Dominguez High School called in sick Tuesday in a “concerted work stoppage.”
Officials Tuesday said they were concerned teachers at other schools would call in sick Wednesday.
“Teachers are back and there are no other reports of actions at other schools,” Compton Unified spokesman Ron Suazo.
In a statement the district said it believes teachers are dissatisfied with “the lack of progress” in labor negotiations between administration and the teachers’ union, the Compton Education Association.
Union leaders could not be reached for comment. Union President Patrick Sullivan told ABC7 that the sick out was not organized by the union.
Founding parent Tamara Hernandez begins a tour at Pasadena Community Church. Hernandez had the idea of starting a new school for a while, but only last winter did she begin working on the project with parents. "I just blurted out ‘I’m going to start my own school,’” she said. “And then as soon as I said it, it just started happening very quickly.”
Founding parent Duhee Lee looks at the second floor classrooms and outdoor space at Pasadena Christian Church. The parents, many of them from Pasadena, decided not to go the charter route, in part because the children would still be subject to testing and in part because of the restrictions that come with public funds.
Tamara Hernandez isn’t the first parent to be underwhelmed by her local public school. But she’s solving the problem in a way not many do: she’s joining other frustrated parents to start a new school.
She said the idea had been percolating in her head for some time. But the project didn’t get started until one afternoon this Winter, while brainstorming with parents about another way to bring change at the school.
“They wanted me to join their effort, and I just blurted out ‘I’m going to start my own school,’” she said. “And then as soon as I said it, it just started happening very quickly.”
So far, 14 parents have joined the effort. This ad-hoc group of founding parents came up with a name: The Oasis Trilingual Community School.
They want to create a thematic and inquiry-based school. Students would receive regular classes in art, drama, music, gardening, and PE - all built in to the school day, and all in equal measures of Mandarin, Spanish and English.
Minutes before her audition with Boston Ballet, 16-year-old Anna Barnes ran through her list of things to remember: Shoulders down, legs turned out, stretch.
Oh, and keep the nerves in check.
"It's really hard," she said. "You can just go crazy in your mind and that never helps."
Barnes was one of about 90 aspiring dancers who gathered at Westside Ballet in
Santa Monica in late January to try out for Boston Ballet's summer intensive program.
Summer intensives, which run for several weeks at ballet companies across the country, are seen as a critical stepping stone for young dancers wanting make it in the ultra competitive professional ballet world.
Boston Ballet is a prestigious destination and many of the dancers prepared by dancing 15-20 hours a week.
Inside the studio, the dancers, mostly girls, wore black leotards and pink tights. They each took a place at the barres set up in rows. Zippora Karz, a former New York City Ballet dancer, led them in a master class, instructing them in different exercises and choreography.
Head Start preschool programs make a difference to children who get little academic stimulation at home, according to a new study from U.C. Irvine. For children who are rarely read to at home, or whose parents don’t work with them on letter and number recognition or word pronunciation, daily Head Start classes matter, the report found.
As debate continues as to whether this publicly-funded preschool for low-income children has lasting academic impacts, the new study found that one year of Head Start can make a “bigger difference for children from homes where parents provide less early academic stimulation,” according to a press statement.
Head Start is a federally-funded program and serves over one million children per year. U.C. Irvine researchers looked at interviews with Head Start mothers from the beginning and end of the school year.