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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Hawaii: Report Looks at the State of Preschool
By News Release @ 2:46 PM :: 3149 Views :: Education K-12, Hawaii Statistics

The State of Preschool 2014

From NIEER, May, 2015

The 2014 State Preschool Yearbook is the newest edition of our annual report profiling state-funded prekindergarten programs in the United States. This latest Yearbook presents data on state-funded prekindergarten during the 2013-2014 school year as well as documenting more than a decade of change since the first Yearbook collected data on the 2001-2002 school year. Tracking trends long term is key to understanding the progress of early childhood education across the country and improving educational opportunities for America’s children. The Yearbook also provides narrative information on early childhood education efforts in the 10 states and the U.S. territories that do not provide state-funded pre-K. The Yearbook permits readers to assess progress and the current status of pre-K programs in each state, as differences among the states are remarkably large....

Programs that serve young children operate under a variety of names and auspices and include the federal Head Start program as well as privately and publicly funded child care. State prekindergarten programs play an increasingly important role as part of this larger array of programs. The 2014 Yearbook seeks to improve the public's knowledge and understanding of state efforts to expand the availability of high-quality education to young children in the 21st century. The National Institute for Early Education Research has developed the State Preschool Yearbook series to provide information on the availability and quality of services offered through these programs to children at ages 3 and 4 and serve as a resource to policymakers and educators seeking to start all young learners on the right foot....  

read ... 2014 yearbook

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Hawaii -- No Program

From NIEER Hawaii Files 

While Hawaii did not have a state-funded pre-K program during the 2013-2014 school year, the state has made several commitments to early childhood education.

The Executive Office of Early Learning launched a pre-K program in Hawaii’s public schools in 2014-2015. The $3 million program supports 20 classrooms in 18 schools across the state, serving approximately 360 students, and is supported by five Early Learning Resource Teachers with Master’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education. Voters defeated a proposed amendment to the state constitution in November 2014, upholding a provision in the Hawaii state constitution barring the distribution of public funds to private providers.

The Preschool Open Doors program, created in 1990, offers subsidy payments to low-income parents, allowing them to purchase preschool services for their 4-year-olds. On a case-by-case basis, families with 3-year-olds with special needs may be eligible, as funding allows. Payments are made directly to the service provider chosen by parents. Income eligibility is set at 85 percent of the state median income, and family incomes are reevaluated every six months. The program is implemented by the state’s Department of Human Services.

The federal Race to the Top (RTT) grant helps Hawaii’s Department of Education (DOE) fund preschool education for qualified low income families. These programs fall within two “Zones of School Innovation” school districts on Oahu and the island of Hawaii. Qualified families can access tuition assistance through the Preschool Open Doors project. The state DOE preserves fiscal oversight and data collection responsibilities. DOE funding is also provided for pre- and post-assessment of children in this program and to support longitudinal studies of the children’s development and learning.

Hawaii’s Pre-Plus Program was started in 2002 to support constructing preschool institutions on public school campuses with the goal of expanding full-day preschool services for low-income children in targeted areas. Private providers compete for minimal utility costs and no lease fees to operate on these sites. Seventeen Pre-Plus facilities have been built since the start of the program. Financial support for added construction has not been established.

The DOE also manages the Preschool Demonstration Program, an initiative planned to provide very young children with developmentally suitable and cognitively motivating activities. The program also works to expand inclusion opportunities for 3- and 4-year-olds with disabilities, as described in IDEA Part B. To help children smoothly transition to kindergarten, preschool programs are located in community elementary schools. Several preschool programs currently operate throughout the state, though there are plans to increase the number of schools throughout the state.

Established in July 2012, the Executive Office of Early Learning (EOEL) coordinates efforts on behalf of Hawaii’s children from prenatal to age 8. EOEL creates partnerships, and aligns policies and programs for health, safety, and school readiness. The former State Advisory Council on Early Care and Education, now known as the Early Learning Advisory Board, is working with EOEL on incorporating a comprehensive early learning system in Hawaii.

In 2014, Hawaii was awarded $2 million in a competitive federal Preschool Expansion Grant.

Full Text: NIEER Hawaii Files 

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