News & Events
Governor Rick Scott Draws Attention to Early Learning in Florida, Signs Bill at United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education in Miami
Governor Rick Scott participated in a ceremonial signing of House Bill 7165 that restructures the state’s early learning system. The Governor held the ceremonial bill signing at the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education in Miami. Governor Scott said, “This bill will prioritize early learning education by moving many of its functions into the Department of Education, which will increase accountability and transparency for early learning programs.”
Children’s advocates from the capital area met Monday in Tallahassee to discuss — and at times debate — their top priorities for the families they serve.
Backers of higher quality early learning programs have been successful in the current legislative session, scoring a new far-reaching governance bill and the first new money for the programs in at least a decade.
“The Normalcy Bill” is a nickname for the legislation Governor Scott signed into law on Thursday. Children’s advocates are celebrating the new law they say will give the state’s more than 7,000 foster children lives like any other child. The bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Ben Albritton (R-Bartow) said, “It’s the beginning of a new day. It’s the beginning of a new freedom and a new opportunity for kids to be able to live their lives to the maximum.”
Bills intended to make Florida’s early learning programs more accountable to taxpayers and to overhaul their governance are advancing in the Florida Legislature.The House education committee approved its measure (PCB EDC 13-02) on Tuesday. The action brought compliments from children’s advocates, some of whom were upset that an earlier version had deleted educational requirements from the state’s “school readiness” program.
As a new parent gazing into your baby’s eyes for the first time you realize quickly this is the greatest responsibility you will ever have. Imagine the apprehension of first-time parents, the excitement, and of course, the lack of sleep. Now imagine as the baby grows, he fails to meet developmental milestones.
During a recent visit to the Early Childhood Learning Center at Temple Beit HaYam, Representative Gayle Harrell spent quality time reading to 4-year-old students in the Voluntary Pre Kindergarten (VPK) classroom and learned “what it’s all about” while doing the hokey pokey with a classroom of energetic 3-year-olds.
Allegations of “potential” fraud in Florida’s early learning programs have served as the basis for repeated attempts at a legislative cure – including this year – but are melting away under scrutiny by investigators. A December 2011 report by the state Office of the Auditor General alarmed lawmakers with projections that over a three-year period, parents with children in school-readiness programs could have used as much as $40 million worth of public-assistance benefits for which they were ineligible.
Improving early childhood education in this country isn’t about charity. It’s about business.How about a $7 return for every $1 invested in early childhood education, according to the National Dropout Prevention Center..
We applaud President Obama’s push, announced during his State of the Union, to improve and expand prekindergarten for all children in America. High-quality preschool can be an expensive proposition for any family; a universal component would help to ensure that all our children are better prepared when they begin formal schooling.
Preschool for All…
With a new crop of lawmakers soon to arrive in Tallahassee, children’s advocates Tuesday released a plan to expand health care coverage to the hundreds of thousands of Florida kids who don’t have it.
Funding for subsidized child care should be based on a region’s poverty levels, the number of children younger than five and the number who fall into “must serve” categories, local child care providers and advocates told a state early learning leader on Thursday.
Preschooler Caroline Harrison dropped a marble down the mouth of a ramp made of wooden blocks, watching as it rolled down the initial slope and toward the first turn. Her teacher, Matthew Roszkowski, made whooshing sounds as the marble navigated each turn before catching it at the end of the ramp.
Earlier this month, the Sun Sentinel reported on a Georgetown University study that suggested Florida is not investing enough in education to improve its workforce and business mix. According to the study, fewer dollars pumped into our education system will ultimately result in a lower skilled workforce. While that is not exactly a revelation, it is an important reminder…