The Importance of Nursery School

Many parents may be wondering if they really need to put their kids in nursery school. A lot of people think it is fine to put their children in school at the age of five for kindergarten. The immeasurable value of early education cannot be underestimated. Many parents may consider daycare over early education. The thing is that a fair number of preschools are also certified daycares, so you can still work and pick up your children afterwards. Let’s explore other important facets of nursery school that you may not be aware of.

The Importance of Early Education

While a lot of people may be quick to write off the importance of what you learn between the ages of three and five, recent studies suggest that preschool is very important. In these settings, children are exposed to numbers, letters, and shapes for the first time. They also begin to learn the names of colors and animals. Perhaps the most important facet of early education is the simple social interaction with other children. It is key that children learn how to get along with others and contribute to the whole in a meaningful manner, which they learn in an early education setting. The National Institute for Early Education Research did a study and found that nearly 40 percent of three year-olds and upwards of 66 percent of four year-olds were enrolled in early education programs. Their study also concluded that children who attended such programs entered kindergarten with better reading, basic math, and vocabulary skills. These programs sound pretty good, don’t they?

Choosing the Right Nursery School for Your Child

This requires a fair amount of research on your part. First, you must determine what program works best for your schedule. Generally, schedules range from full-time, half-days, or two to three days a week. If you work longer hours, you can find an option that also supplies daycare. Secondly, consider the location. You may choose between proximity to your home or work. Either way, these are logistical issues that you must consider. Perhaps the most important question to tackle is what kind of institution do you want to send your child to? There are programs in state schools, churches, private organizations, parent’s coalitions, and daycare centers. What values do you want instilled in your children? Make sure that the nursery school you send your kids aligns with your own values.

Early education is more than just a place to offload your kids while you go to work. The research is clear that children who start education earlier tend to be better students and have more basic skills. Education is the single most important gift you can provide for a child.

6 Ways That School Districts May Use Special Education Funds From ARRA Funds of 2009

Are you the parent of a child with autism receiving special education services? Are their services that your child needs but your school district is refusing to provide? Have you heard that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has extra money for special education services? Would you like to know a few items that school districts may spend the money on? This article will give __ suggestions on what the ARRA money for special education can be spent on.

The ARRA funds have 4 principles that are attached to them. Principle 1: Spend funds quickly to save and create jobs. Principle 2: Improve student achievement through school improvement and reform. Principle 3: Ensure transparency, reporting and accountability. Principle 4: Invest one time ARRA funds thoughtfully to minimize the funding cliff.

Funds need to be used for short term investments that have the potential for long term benefits.

6 Suggestions for use of special education ARRA funds are:

1. Teacher salaries and salaries for other trained educators. Possible use could also be trained para professionals that will help a child benefit from an inclusive placement.

2. Scientifically research based curriculums in the areas of reading and math, which are required by No Child Left Behind and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Many school districts are continuing to use outdated curriculums that are not proven to help children learn reading and math. Once a school district purchases the curriculum and trains their teachers the benefits will continue for years to come.

3. Obtain state of the art assistive technology devices and also provide training in their use to enhance access to the general curriculum for students with disabilities.

4. Provide intensive district wide professional training for regular and special education teachers, that focuses on research based curriculums and strategies in the areas of reading, math, writing, and science.

5. Provide intensive district wide professional development in the area of positive behavioral supports and plans to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. Many children with disabilities are continuing to be suspended and expelled for behavior that is part of their disability; though this is not allowed under IDEA. School wide use of positive behavioral supports and plans will benefit all children not just those with disabilities.

6. Hire transition coordinators to work with employers in the community to develop job placements and training for youths with disabilities. This will ensure that children graduating will have a job and a future!

These are just a few suggestions that can benefit all children with disabilities in America. I hope that you will get involved with your school district and have input on how the money will be spent to benefit children with disabilities in your district!