early childhood education

Virginia ranks in the bottom third among the states when it comes to early childhood education. Governor Ralph Northam is proposing a $95 million bump in funding, directed mostly toward at-risk 4-year-olds.  There will be public hearings around the state, January 2nd, on this historically large budget item aimed at giving Virginia’s children the support they need to thrive in school.

Alex McCarthy

A new partnership in Central Virginia is helping tackle a shortage of childcare and teachers. Organizers hope it can be expanded to other parts of the state.


A statewide study found forty percent of Virginia’s 5-year-olds were not ready for kindergarten.  The governor – a pediatric neurologist – and his wife -- a teacher -- knew some of those kids would fall behind in school and never catch up.  That’s why they hired a chief school readiness officer and launched a $10 million program to study and fix the problem. 

We’ve known for decades that children in poor or under-educated families face more challenges in later life than their peers. But we also know that the most vulnerable kids, actually benefit the most from early childhood education. The Alliance for Better Childcare Strategies, known as A-B-Cs, is hosting a conference for early childcare educators this Saturday in Christiansburg.

Every year Virginia honors a teacher of the year, selecting a winner from nominees in counties all over the state.  This year, in Montgomery County, they’ve taken it a step further and chosen a ‘pre-school teacher of the year.'  But that’s as far as it goes because there’s no state level recognition in this category. As Robbie Harris reports, that says something about how society values early child hood education.