Introduction

A Contemporary Researcher’s Vade Mecum (Redux)

Authored by: Olivia N. Saracho , Bernard Spodek

Handbook of Research on the Education of Young Children

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415884341
eBook ISBN: 9780203841198
Adobe ISBN: 9781136897023

10.4324/9780203841198.ch1

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Abstract

Early childhood education programs have been developed across the world over a period of many decades. Programs for young children in different countries have encountered numerous challenges and concerns. Today, society has acknowledged the importance of young children’s learning. This is evident in the increase in enrollments in early childhood education programs. In 2007–2008 state prekindergarten enrollment for children ages 3 to 4 in the United States reached an estimated 1.4 million children whereas state funding for prekindergarten programs was an estimated $4.6 billion (Barnett, Epstein, Friedman, Boyd, & Hustedt, 2008). The largest increase in U.S. enrollment rates in public and private schools between 1970 and 2009 came from children ages 3 to 4 years old. In 2008–2009, approximately 49.3 million U.S. students attended public elementary and secondary schools. Of these students, 34.3 million were enrolled in prekindergarten through grade 8. In the year 2020–2021, it is projected that this population will increase to 37.4 million students (Aud et al., 2011).

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