Early Education

Last week, lawmakers in Concord signed off on a plan to provide state support for full-day kindergarten in New Hampshire. The new law will use revenue from the electronic gambling game keno to give school districts more money for full-day kindergarten.

NHPR reporter Jason Moon recently sat down with NHPR host Sally Hirsch-Dickinson to talk about what this mean for schools and town across New Hampshire. Listen to their conversation here.

Ethan N. / Morguefile

Public libraries around New Hampshire are kicking off their Summer Reading Challenge. This year’s theme is called, “On your Mark, Get Set, READ,” and the starting line is piled high with literature about health and fitness.  Liz Gotauco is Head of Youth Services at the Merrimack Public Library. She says if young people don't keep up with reading over the summer, they can experience a slump in their reading skills and retention. Gotauco hopes she will see kids inspired by reading.  "I like to see a huge excitement for reading.

University of the Fraser Valley vis Flickr CC https://flic.kr/p/eJ1MhR

A recent study finds New Hampshire families pay some of the highest rates in the nation for childcare. We explore the economics of the issue, including the financial challenges facing childcare centers and the impact on the state's workforce. We also look at solutions being explored by lawmakers in Concord and on Capitol Hill.

The conversation around early childhood education in New Hampshire today is often focused on the availability of half-day versus full-day kindergarten programs.

Governor Maggie Hassan weighed in when she spoke to NHPR in May:

"Full-day kindergarten would be a very important next step in making sure our young people have the kind of education that really prepares them for the 21st century global economy."

However, kindergarten here was not guaranteed until a 2007 law mandating public programs state-wide – making New Hampshire the last state in the nation to fully adopt public kindergarten.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As part of our series, "The First Decade," Gov. Maggie Hassan sat down with NHPR's Morning Edition host Rick Ganley to talk about what role she sees state government playing in helping to close the opportunity gap.

The First Decade: Early Education in N.H.

May 20, 2015
Jason Moon / NHPR

We continue our series The First Decade with early education.  Research shows that a child’s foundation for success in school is established at a very young age, through high-quality care at home or at pre-school - and in New Hampshire, moving from half to full-day kindergarten.  Yet, some also caution that how we teach our youngest kids is just as important as where.