Only about one in six children who are eligible for childcare assistance in America actually receive it. In most states, childcare costs more than tuition at a four-year public university. And more than 50 percent of neighborhoods in America have a demand for childcare that exceeds supply.

But the Child Care for Working Families Act, reintroduced last month by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Bobby Scott and largely overlooked by the media, aims to change that. The legislation, which has been endorsed by all of the Democratic presidential candidates who are in Congress, would reach three in four children under age 13 by making quality childcare affordable for every low- and middle-income family who needs it.

Marciene Mattleman, 89, a feisty advocate for Philadelphia’s children who created a legacy of programs to promote literacy and afterschool activities, died Friday, March 29, after a four-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. “No one in this city has done more for the schoolchildren of Philadelphia and our region than Marciene Mattleman,” former Governor Ed Rendell said in 2015 when she retired as board chair of After School Activities Partnerships, one of the organizations she created.

As the desire to improve social emotional learning for all students grows, it is increasingly important to measure its effectiveness. But the field has lacked an organized method of identifying, choosing and using the best assessments to measure students’ competencies. Two newly developed tools can help.

  • The SEL Assessment Guide, created by CASEL and the SEL Assessment Work Group, is an online resource that helps educators select and effectively use the most popular SEL student assessments.
  • The RAND Education Assessment Finder, which lists more than 200 assessments of interpersonal, intrapersonal and higher-order cognitive competencies, allows educators and researchers to search different types of assessments.

Consider these ideas: Some kids are STEM kids and some are not. Students need to master science and math basics before moving on to STEM concepts. STEM focuses on future jobs, so educators should concentrate instruction in middle and high school.

Wrong, wrong and wrong, say the experts. In fact, such myths contribute to many students’ STEM struggles. Add to these a 2016 study that found kids show up for kindergarten with uneven exposure to STEM. That gap, which can dog students through middle school, is so real that researchers can more consistently predict future academic achievement based on preschool math abilities than on early reading or attention skills.

There is a remedy: Expose all children as early as possible to STEM and the gap narrows. Yes, you read that right. Researchers believe the science-math gap is really a pervasive early opportunity gap.

2019 Afterschool and STEM Advocacy Day Huge Success!

Advocates on the steps of the Rotunda at the Pennsylvania State Capital in Harrisburg, rallying for better out-of-school time opportunities.

PSAYDN held their annual legislative advocacy day in Harrisburg on Wednesday, March 27. More than 200 advocates – including parents, program providers, youth, educators, faith-based leaders, community and business leaders from across the state – came together to highlight the importance of out-of-school time opportunities in our state. The advocates visited with legislators, attended legislative sessions and rallied in the Rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol.

Photo: Advocates on the steps of the Rotunda at the Pennsylvania State Capital in Harrisburg, rallying for better out-of-school time opportunities.

Advocates Meeting With Senator Yaw’s Chief of Staff, Rita Zielonis

Photo: Front left to right: Savannah Bonson, Caroline Scheckter, Skye Ritter, Timmy Hamilton, Sylvi Gaisior, Ryder Jones, Katey Kwiterovich; Back left to right: Rita Zielonis, Ray Desmit, Quinn Stanford, Josh Wagner, Becky Namet, Michelle Russell

PSAYDN at Center for Schools and Communities
275 Grandview Avenue, Suite 200 | Camp Hill, Pa 17011 | (717) 763-1661
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