Relates to review of standards, guidelines and criteria for education, development or learning in programs.
Ayes (18): Flanagan, Farley, Lanza, LaValle, Marcellino, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Saland, Seward, Oppenheimer, Addabbo, Avella, Breslin, Montgomery, Serrano, Stavisky, Huntley
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to directing the commissioner of education to evaluate and report on early childhood education in day care centers
PURPOSE OF THE BILL: This bill would direct the Commissioner of the New York State Education Department to issue a report on early childhood education in children ages zero to five years old in daycare settings.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends Section 305 of the education law to require the Commissioner of the New York State Education Department to issue a report by December 31, 2011 regarding early childhood education in daycare settings.
Section 2 of the bill is the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: There are over 1.2 million children in New York State under the age of five. Approximately 500,000 of these children are in regulated care and 56,000 children in informal care. There are approximately 51,000 children in Head Start and Early Head Start serves approximately 5,700 children and expectant mothers. Over 67,000 preschool children with disabilities are in special education programs and services. There are 152 registered nursery schools serving children throughout New York State. In prekindergarten settings, there are over 102,000 children in eligible agencies.
The New York State Education Department (SED) currently has authority over education institutions serving children ages three and up. Oversight over child care. institutions under three years of age is done by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). While OCFS' regulations speak to the health and safety of a child, there is no education component. In New York State, early education is not mandated before age 6, but longitudinal studies have shown that children enrolled in structured, early education meet their developmental millstones at a significantly higher rate, compared to those who do not receive early education who often flounder by age 21. Learning begins in infancy and all children should be entitled to be in a clean, safe, healthy environment which will stimulate their growth emotionally, academically and physically. Additionally, it has been found that children enrolled in structured daycare have better mental health outcomes in the long term, than do their counterparts in more informal daycare settings.
The lack of education requirements and oversight by SED of all children starting at birth is of grave concern to a child's development and preparedness for kindergarten and beyond. At the national level a new grant program has been proposed, the Early Learning Challenge Fund, to eliminate the school readiness gap and
provide all children from birth to age 5 with the early start needed to succeed in school and life. In response to the proposed grants, the New York State Board of Regents created an Early Childhood Workgroup to examine the current system and make policy recommendations to: increase New York's chances for access to the new Federal grants; and, elevate all children's school readiness regardless of setting.
The study required in this bill will examine key issues in and roadblocks in overseeing a child care system that places a strong emphasis on education.
BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill would take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5650--B 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 8, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. FLANAGAN, ADDABBO, MONTGOMERY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education -- recommitted to the Committee on Education in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to directing the commis- sioner of education to evaluate and report on early childhood educa- tion in day care centers THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 305 of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 43 to read as follows: 43. A. THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES AND THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH, SHALL EXAMINE, EVALUATE AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING EARLY CHILD- HOOD EDUCATION IN DAY CARE CENTERS, INCLUDING GROUP AND SMALL DAY CARE. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL REVIEW AND ANALYZE THE FOLLOWING: EXISTING REQUIRE- MENTS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN ZERO TO FIVE YEARS OLD IN ALL DAY CARE SETTINGS; EDUCATIONAL/TRAINING REQUIREMENTS OF ALL DAY CARE EMPLOYEES SUPERVISING CHILDREN; HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES AVAIL- ABLE TO CHILDREN IN DAY CARE SETTINGS; AND ALL FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL DAY CARE FUNDING STREAMS. B. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL, ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST, TWO THOU- SAND TWELVE, REPORTS ITS FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GOVERNOR, LEGISLATURE AND BOARD OF REGENTS. THE REPORT SHALL INCLUDE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STRENGTHENING THE DAY CARE SYSTEM TO PROVIDE COMMU- NITY BASED CARE WITH A FOCUS ON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, INCLUDING THE CONSOLIDATION OF DAY CARE OVERSIGHT AND ENFORCEMENT WITHIN THE DEPART- MENT. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11510-03-2