New York Update: The Yin and Yang of System-Building

New York City is a complicated place, where policy, politics, and advocacy often collide in a combustible mix. ECE advocates maintain a certain professional skepticism in their work with city agencies, whose leaders—especially in tough economic times like these—bring their own wariness to the table. Everyone left their swords at the door at Policy Trends in Early Childhood Services: Present and Future, a forum at NYCAEYC’s annual conference on October 16. Using Healthy Children, Strong Families, and Early Learning as a framework, with a focus on children from birth to eight, the panelists talked about the challenges of . . . Read full article →

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Books of Wonder: Parental Anxiety in the Post-NCLB Age

Last Friday, the front page of my hometown newspaper declared “Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children.” On top of child abuse, torture of Chinese dissidents, gender inequality in France, the diminishing status of picture books in the lives of young children was just enough to put me over the edge. But, as a former journalist, my skepticism quotient’s pretty high, and, sure enough, in the week since the story hit the world, the response—in the blogosphere as well as in the NYT Letters to the Editor and comments—has restored my faith. Or some . . . Read full article →

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Reading Roundup

Young children first learn to read and then read to learn, a practice we adults try to model across the developmental spectrum. Whoever coined that pithy phrase lived in the 20th century, and was not dealing with the deluge of information we confront daily. How do we find time to read? And when we do, what should we be reading? Part of my job is to serve as a filter for you. I can’t make that precious time for you to read, but I will try to make whatever time you do spend worthwhile, directing you to resources that enhance . . . Read full article →

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Moving Play Up on the Policy Agenda

Last week, a hand-written note arrived, via snail mail, from Vivian Gussin Paley. She expressed regret that she wouldn’t be in New York for a forum on Policy Trends in Early Childhood Services: Present and Future at NYCAEYC’s upcoming conference on October 16. But, she added, “I hope you and your colleagues will spend a bit of time talking about the need to re-establish play in the lives of young children.”

Veteran kindergarten teacher, prolific author, and MacArthur “genius” fellow, Paley has long been an advocate for children’s play (see A Child’s Work: The . . . Read full article →

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