Children’s Week 2013 a Big Success!
Thousands of advocates joined together in Tallahassee to ask their state legislators to prioritize children. ECEC members were there: meeting with legislators and making your voices heard! Thank you to everyone who took the time to come to Tallahassee and look for more information as planning for next year gets underway!
ECEC supports School Readiness investment
Thanks to School Readiness, parents are able to work and maintain employment, are less reliant on government resources and overall are more economically self-sufficient. The earliest interventions in a child’s life promote educational success, reduced crime, and future workforce productivity!
In the last ten years, the investment in School Readiness has dropped significantly – this means more children on the waiting list, and program providers with fewer resources to create learning opportunities and increase quality. As the recession subsides and revenue begins a steady climb, it is critical that there be an increase to the School Readiness program.
ECEC and partners in the state are advocating for a multi-year increase for School Readiness.
Increasing the funding for School Readiness by $54,400,000 for 5 years will enable early learning coalitions to address provider payment rates; implement the early learning educational standards associated with positive learning outcomes; and provide services to additional children and families currently on the waiting list.
On January 8, Senate President Don Gaetz visited a Childcare Network center in Destin and was welcomed as lunch was served. Childcare Network is an ECEC member and we are so thankful to the Senator for spending the time with children, parents, and the wonderful staff.
Thanks to the staff for a great job of showing the Senator the difference that School Readiness and VPK makes in real classrooms!
A special thanks also goes to all of the great partners who worked together to make these visits happen.
Access to Care for School-Age Children
Afterschool programs are essential to keep kids safe, engage children in enriching activities, and give peace of mind to working moms and dads during the out-of-school hours. Check out this Florida fact sheet from the Afterschool Alliance for more information.
Florida Among Top States for Access in Pre-K
Pre-K is a priority for states in the South, and NIEER takes a look at the success and problems in the region. 10 of the top 15 states for 4-year-olds are in this region of sixteen states. Florida has the highest enrollment in the nation for 4-year-olds at 76 percent. This is largely due to Florida’s Universal Prekindergarten program, which enrolled more than 100,000 4-year-olds in the first year alone and continues to grow.
State Board of Education Changes to VPK
ECEC member centers offer VPK in classrooms throughout the state. It is based on these daily experiences that we are concerned with the VPK Readiness Rate approved by the State Board of Education.
ECEC members support efforts that help identify providers based on quality in the marketplace and efforts that drive increased access to quality early learning opportunities. However, this new rule does not accomplish that and in fact may only punish younger learners who start behind their peers in VPK.
Collaborators in Florida