Early Childhood Education

Simon Whitaker via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/2Wc9GL

From Chicken Soup for the Soul to The Secret, self-help is an 11-billion dollar industry. We’ll talk to a writer who attended workshops, conferences and visualizations to understand America’s fixation with being better. And, any pet owner will tell you that having a dog or cat enriches one’s life, but what about a pet tiger or bear? We’ll take a look into the underground world of exotic animal ownership in America. Plus, common sense tells us that reading to children is good for them, but it’s more powerful than you might imagine. We’ll look into the practice of interactive reading and share tricks for bringing up book worms in the age of screens and digital devices. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments. 

Woodley Wonderworks via Flickr CC

Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed into law a bill calling for every 3- and 4-year-old in Vermont to have access to at least 10 hours a week of publicly funded, pre-kindergarten education.

Backers of the bill say it will add about $10 million a year in costs to the state's Education Fund by 2021. But they say the measure will save much more in the long run because many of the children will be given a good enough educational start that special education and corrections costs will be reduced.

Charlotte Albright for VPR

Every three, four, and five-year-old  in Vermont will be eligible for state-subsidized preschool, under new legislation  that Governor Shumlin has promised to sign into law. Many school districts already offer early education programs, but they vary widely in structure and quality. So a lot of details have to be worked out as the state sews together what is now a patchwork of programs.  

plums_deify / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire has missed out on another round funding in the federal education grant program Race to the Top. The state was hoping for $37.5 million dollars to improve pre-k and early childhood education programs.