ERIC Number: ED463059
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Early Care for Infants and Toddlers: Examining the Broader Impacts of Universal Prekindergarten.
Lekies, Kristi S.; Heitzman, Emma H.; Cochran, Mon
In 1997, New York State passed legislation implementing Universal Prekindergarten (UPK), a new educational program with the goal of providing a voluntary, high-quality preschool experience to all 4-year-olds and improving school readiness. One of the program requirements is that school districts contract out at least 10 percent of UPK funds to community-based providers such as child care centers. This study examined possible unanticipated consequences of UPK, especially those that could be detrimental to the overall system of early care for infants and toddlers. Information was collected through surveys and telephone interviews completed by child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency directors and staff throughout the state, along with supplemental information from surveys conducted with district UPK coordinators. Findings and recommendations for enhancing the UPK program are highlighted under seven main topics: (1) CCR&R involvement in UPK implementation; (2) magnitude of potential UPK impact on infants and toddlers; (3) receipt of UPK funds; (4) perceived impacts on services to infants and toddlers; (5) competition for 4-year-olds; (6) community concerns; and (7) positive impacts. Findings indicated that the potential magnitude of UPK impact on infant and toddler programs was considerable. Concerns of widespread competition and loss of infant-toddler services did not appear to be warranted at the present stage of UPK implementation. It will be important to monitor possible impact of UPK on programs serving infants and toddlers in the future. CCR&R agency directors and staff identified several positive effects of UPK, especially better kindergarten preparation and greater recognition of the importance of early care and education. Concerns raised include lack of collaboration with community-based programs and the exclusion of family providers. (KB)
Descriptors: Agency Cooperation, Day Care, Preschool Children, Preschool Education, Program Evaluation, Program Implementation, School Community Relationship, State Programs
Early Childhood Program, Dept. of Human Development, Cornell University, Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-4401. Tel: 607-255-2457; Fax: 607-255-8767; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.human.cornell.edu/hd/cecp.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: A.L. Mailman Family Foundation, Inc.; Foundation for Child Development, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY. Cornell Early Childhood Program.
Identifiers - Location: New York