Priska Neely

Senior Early Childhood Reporter

Contact Priska Neely

I connect educators and caregivers of children ages 0–5 in L.A. County who live and breathe our early childhood system every day with academics, researchers and policy makers to reveal gaps between the two and shine a light on what’s working and what’s not.

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Stories by Priska Neely

Building a transitional kindergarten workforce

To help teachers earn needed credits, SMC developed the first transitional kindergarten certificate program at a community college. Classes are online and affordable.

How do you respond when your baby is in distress?

A new study published in the journal Child Development looks at how a mom's response when her baby is in distress can predict secure or insecure attachment.

#SoCalSoCurious: Is a nanny better than day care?

A listener asked us if adult interaction is better for toddlers than peer interaction. The answer is complex. We got five child development specialists to weigh in.

A new attempt to tackle an old problem with early education

A group of educators and policymakers is trying to streamline the state’s complex early childhood education system. A task force tried to do the same thing in 1988.

Study shows long-lasting impact of home visitation programs

The study adds to a large body of research on the effectiveness of home visitation programs, but it's the first to analyze the effects of gender.

‘You can’t explain feelings sometimes’: A foster teen turns to art

Glorianna, 19, spent almost all of her life living in group home. She says life as a foster kid is difficult, but drawing and writing helped her get through.

A tween finds 'weird wonderland' in theater

At the beginning of middle school, Monica Wilson thought theater was "wimpy" and "weird." After being in her first play, she instead calls it "weird wonderland."

The bill to keep child care workers safe

Back injuries, slips and falls are extremely common among child care workers — creating a ripple effect of problems for the workers and the families they assist.

'Lactation 101' grades colleges on accommodations

A new report grades the accessibility of policies for pregnant and parenting students at higher education institutions in LA County. Most schools are not passing.

Transitional kindergarten gets a good report card

A report evaluating the early years of the state's newest primary grade finds that it puts kindergarteners at an advantage in literacy and math.

Educators get schooled in working with 'exceptional' kids

In response to high preschool suspension rates, LAUP created a program to help educators working with kids with developmental delays, disabilities and behavioral needs.

Air Force test pilots are born in our back yard

Ninety miles north of Los Angeles, you'll find the home of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. Students there learn to work out the kinks of new aircraft systems.

New budget bodes well for state child care programs

The budget adds nearly 3,000 full-day slots in state preschools in the next fiscal year. It also addresses the unintended consequences of increases to the minimum wage.

Big funding boost trickles down to California's littlest artists

The state arts agency is awarding $15 million in grants — nearly double the amount last year. For the first time, this includes support for programs for kids 0-5.

'Nowhere to go but up': Joyner's year of transformation

After a year in the Turnaround Arts program, students at the school are more engaged. But academics still matter, and there have been improvements there, too.