Early Education

Providing children with the experiences they need to succeed in school before starting kindergarten is critical. But what should those experiences be? Who should pay for them? As parents, school leaders and policymakers struggle to answer these and other questions, we cover what’s working, and what’s not, in early education. See all our Special Reports

Angelina Salgado, a toddler room teacher, reads a book about colors aloud in the toddler room at the Phoenix, Ariz., branch of a model program for young children called Educare. Most state child care regulations do not require educational activities like reading aloud.

We know how to provide good child care, we just don’t insist on it

A survey of all 50 states shows that most fall behind when enforcing standards of care. Can better regulation help?

Educare Arizona classmates Nathan Jaramillo, far left, Esteban Cuevas and Melissa Gordillo “read” books during free time in their toddler classroom. Children begin learning basic literacy skills, like which direction to turn the pages, around age 2. Lillian Mongeau/The Hechinger Report

Could we improve America by treating 2-year-olds better?

Toddlers are still considered the sole responsibility of their parents, but should society be helping with their care and education?

Clark Tinker, age 2 in this photo, looks up from playing with his toy truck to listen to his mother ask him a question.

What’s it like to be two years old? Fun. Confusing. Unapologetic.

Jumping, complete sentences, an intimate knowledge of trucks and other miracles parents can expect from the ‘terrible twos’

How preschool teachers feel about science matters, new research finds

Reading and math instruction doesn’t depend on whether teachers are confident in those subjects but that’s not true for science

LeMya Vaughn completes an activity on her kindergarten readiness program, UPSTART.

Thousands of parents are enrolling their children in online preschool

But experts question if computer-based programs help or hinder learning for young children

New research finds it hasn’t gotten easier for poor kids to catch up

Parental involvement and pre-K programs haven’t made a dent in the early childhood achievement gap

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Preschool’s hidden value may be in combating poverty

Head Start may not boost school test scores, but researchers find long-term, multigenerational benefits

New research finds “Magic 8” preschool classroom practices

After a widely publicized 2015 study found inadequate quality in Tennessee preschools, Vanderbilt researcher Dale Farran decided to “do something about it”

OPINION: The case for investing in high-quality early learning

Breaking the cycle of poverty

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