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					      From the Marketing Side

                                                                                            initiatives, or legislative developments

      Growth Forecast For                                                                   in their state. Only four mentioned
                                                                                            quality when all states were asked the

      The Pre-K Market                                                                      same question in 2005.
                                                                                               In 2007, New Jersey will require all
                                                                                            Abbott preschool teachers to hold a BA
                                                                                            and be currently working toward pre-
                                                                                            school certification. Florida is working
      Bob Stimolo                                                                           on implementing a quality rating sys-
                                                                                            tem, and in Arkansas quality standards
                                                                                            are under development that “will meet
                                                                                            the highest level of standards once
                                                                                            implemented,” said one source.
                                                                                               The push for high quality programs




M
                                                                                            may result in more states requiring
                                                                                            a BA and/or specialized training in
                                  ike Wilson,   investing an additional $50 million in      child care and preschool education.
                                  president     pre-k funding. This marks New York’s        This should result in increased teacher
                                  and founder   first significant pre-k funding increase    wages, lower teacher turnover, and
                                  of Wilson     since 9/11 and California’s largest         increased demand for both Internet and
                                  Marketing     increase since 2004. There will also be     college-based credentialing programs.
    Group, issued his annual forecast pre-      huge pre-k advances in several smaller      Many states are also debating reduced
    dicting continued growth in the pre-k       states – notably New Mexico (up 237%),      pre-k class sizes and better teacher to
    market. Here is an excerpt from this        South Carolina (up 117%), Tennessee         child ratios that would ultimately create
    report:                                     (up 57%), Kentucky (up 45%),                more job openings for teaching staffs.
       The pre-k movement is benefiting         Pennsylvania (up 31%), and Colorado         It may also increase demand for some
    from increased support from voters,         (up 20%).                                   types of classroom supplies, equip-
    politicians, major company CEOs,                                                        ment, modular buildings, and partition
    teachers, and advocacy groups.              More Emphasis on Early                      products.
    Advocates, armed with new reports,          Learning
    are touting the economic and educa-         A study conducted by the National           More Preschool Programs
    tional benefits of pre-k. More states are   Institute for Early Education Research      Over the past year, the number of
    increasing the number of pre-k pro-         (NIEER) in December of 2005 discov-         schools with pre-k increased from
    grams and placing greater emphasis on       ered that children attending state pre-k    about 39,000 to 41,000. Most of these
    quality. This has driven state spending     had improved vocabulary, math, and          programs are in conventional elemen-
    to a new high.                              English skills when entering kindergar-     tary schools, but a growing number of
       We project that state pre-k funding      ten. Because of this and similar studies,   school systems are allocating separate
    will increase 9.7 percent to $4.564 bil-    states now view pre-k programs as vital     buildings for their early childhood pro-
    lion in fiscal year 2007, again growing     starting points for learning as they work   grams. The number of these special
    at a higher rate than spending for K-12     to close the achievement gap and com-       preschool buildings has grown from
    education which is budgeted to grow         ply with the No Child Left Behind Act.      4,389 to 4,883 during the past year.
    by 7.9 percent. For five of seven years,    This is contributing to a “push down”       School systems are also outsourcing
    state pre-k spending has increased at       effect where subjects or skills formerly    their pre-k programs to private centers.
    a significantly higher rate than state      taught in kindergarten are being intro-     The number of private child care cen-
    K-12 spending, as shown in the State        duced in the preschool classroom.           ters receiving public pre-k funding has
    Education Spending chart.                                                               increased from 1,534 to 5,131 during
       State funding for pre-k increased 109    More Attention to Quality                   the past year.
    percent from 2000 to 2007, compared         Many states are working toward adopt-
    to an estimated 42 percent increase         ing comprehensive early learning            Public Use of Private Sector
    in state funding for K-12 education.        quality standards for publicly funded       Private centers are eligible for public
    In 2007, 29 states plus the District of     pre-k programs. Studies that analyze        pre-k funding in all of the top 10 spend-
    Columbia will increase pre-k spending,      and compare the effects of low versus       ing states and in 18 smaller states. Use
    while only two – Louisiana and Kansas       high quality preschool show that high       of the already abundant private center
    – will decrease it. Two mega-states         quality programs dramatically increase      infrastructure eliminates the need to
    – California and New York – account for     benefits to children and society. Eleven    build new facilities, hire new staff, and
    the largest portion of this year’s $404.4   states surveyed in FY 2006 identified       buy new play equipment. The resulting
    million increase.                           quality improvement as a major trend        reduced cost allows states to provide
       California and New York are each         when asked to identify any new trends,      pre-k services to far more children than

8       NSSEA ESSENTIALS NOV/DEC 2006
would have been possible with con-         The Outlook For Pre-K                       the rate of growth will not be nearly as
ventional education funding. However,      Pre-k in the United States is a work-in-    dramatic as in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
most private centers still rely mainly     progress. The patchwork of sometimes           Infant/toddler care will become
on parent-paid tuition money. We are       overlapping state and Federal initiatives   increasingly common in private centers
projecting about 2 percent net growth      seems destined to continue, despite         in response to employment needs. The
in the number of private preschools in     inherent inefficiencies. However, we        level of professionalism will improve,
operation this year, mainly due to high    cannot entirely rule out the possibility    due to a combination of public man-
employment.                                of eventual evolution into a compre-        date and private competition for enroll-
                                           hensive national program similar to the     ments.
Flat Federal Funding                       centrally planned preschool programs           Less than half of the nation’s twenty
Federal pre-k funding will increase only   of some European countries. This            million children under the age five are
.3 percent in 2007 if Congress accepts     would require persuasive leadership         currently served by centers and school-
the Bush administration’s budget pro-      from a national politician, probably a      based pre-k. The market has a lot of
posals. This does not come as a sur-       President.                                  growing left to do.
prise, since between 2004 and 2006 the        Eventually we will have a resumption        For more information, you
federal pre-k budget grew only 1.1%.       of Federal funding growth supporting        can contact Mike Wilson by call-
Head Start, 21st Century Community         pre-k. State funding will continue to       ing 800.445.2089 or by email at
Learning Centers, Reading First, and       grow, virtually without interruption.       wilsonmg@earthlink.net
Early Reading First are level-funded       However, some states will increase
under the President’s budget request.      their pre-k funding faster than others.
Pre-k and Kindergarten Title I funding        Presently only 25.3 percent of all       Bob Stimolo, NSSEA’s Official School
has had steady growth for five straight    three- and four-year-olds are affected by   Market Consultant, is President of
years but would receive only a 1.5         public funding. An ever-increasing num-     School Market Research Institute (SMRI)
percent funding increase. The children     ber of three- and four-year-olds will be    and an education marketing consultant.
under five portions of the Child Care      served in the future. The private child     Reach him by phone: 800.838.3444,
and Development Fund would receive         care market will continue to grow as        mail: PO Box 10, Haddam, CT 06438,
a 2.9 percent increase. Even Start could   more states make private centers eligi-     email: info@smriinc.com, or visit: www.
again be scrapped.                         ble for public pre-k funding. However,      smriinc.com for more information.




            State Education Spending
                                                                                       STATE FUNDING FOR
Year          Pre-K Increase                       K-12*                               PRE-K INCREASED 109
              Increase                             Increase                            PERCENT FROM 2000
2001          21.8%                                3.7%                                TO 2007, COMPARED
2002          16.7%                                3.4%                                TO AN ESTIMATED 42
                                                                                       PERCENT INCREASE IN
2003            2.5%                               2.4%                                STATE FUNDING FOR
2004            4.3%                               6.4%                                K-12 EDUCATION. IN
2005          12.1%                                7.6%                                2007, TWENTY-NINE
                                                                                       STATES PLUS THE
2006          11.8%                                6.9%                                DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
2007(projected) 9.7%                               7.9%                                WILL INCREASE PRE-K
                                                                                       SPENDING.
*K-12 data provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures




                                                                                             NSSEA ESSENTIALS WWW.NSSEA.ORG       9

				
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