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ERIC Number: ED542900
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Beyond the School Yard: Pre-K Collaborations with Community-Based Partners
Wat, Albert; Gayl, Chrisanne
Pre-K Now
Support for publicly funded pre-kindergarten has increased tremendously in recent years as parents, educators and policy makers have come to recognize the many benefits of high-quality early education. As of 2008, 38 states and the District of Columbia invest in pre-k programs, and many school districts are doing so on their own with local and federal funds. In spite of this growth in funding and support, less than 30 percent of the nation's three and four year olds are served in publicly funded early education. Many principals, superintendents and school board members are seeking ways to provide more and higher-quality early learning opportunities for children. One strategy embraced by some K-12 officials is to include community-based programs (e.g., child care centers, Head Start, faith-based organizations, family child care homes, other non- and for-profit entities) in their pre-k systems. These leaders find that "collaborations"--partnerships with community-based early learning and care providers--can help address some challenges, such as the lack of resources and expertise or the inability to meet the comprehensive needs of children and their families. Collaboration also allows public school systems to avoid "reinventing the wheel" and instead to build upon the work of community-based programs and to enhance families' pre-k choices. The existing early education system is very diverse, with one third of all state-funded pre-k children enrolled in non-public school settings, such as child care centers, Head Start programs and faith-based providers. Collaborations with community-based programs ultimately enable school administrators to expand access to and increase the quality of all programs, no matter where they are housed. This report 1) provides school administrators and policy makers with an overview of the benefits and challenges of establishing collaborative pre-k programs, 2) highlights promising practices from communities undertaking these efforts, 3) suggests concrete steps to develop successful partnerships and 4) offers policy recommendations to help state and federal officials facilitate collaborations. The information and insights were obtained from interviews with national, state and local education leaders as well as a review of publications and Websites from state and national K-12 organizations. This research focused on the experiences of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee, which together illustrate how states with differing policy and educational contexts can develop and implement collaborations. Appended are: (1) Resource List; and (2) List of Interviewees. (Contains 21 endnotes.)
Pre-K Now. Available from: Pew Charitable Trusts, State and Consumer Initiatives. 901 E Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20004. Tel: 202-540-2000; Fax: 202-552-2299; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Nellie Mae Foundation
Authoring Institution: Pew Charitable Trusts, Pre-K Now
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut; Delaware; Maine; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; Oklahoma; Tennessee