Funding Strategies for an Expansion of Early Education

The Hawaii State Legislature and the Governor have called for more resources for early education. The government, combined with business and education leaders, believe that a public-private funding and management effort is necessary to achieve greater access to high quality early education for all 3-4 years olds.

The Samuel N. & Mary Castle Foundation trustees have considered how we can engage and further these efforts. The following activities outline what we believe we can help to the State accomplish:

Public Pre-Schools

The Foundation will pursue every reasonable chance to support high quality public early education and will work to improve both access to these schools as well as the quality of instruction.

  1. The Foundation will continue our traditional role of supporting teacher training through both Hawaii-based educational institutions as well as national organizations such as Erikson Institute. Where possible, the Foundation will support strengthening local higher education and its role training and retraining early educators.
  2. The Foundation will continue our traditional role of supporting teacher training through both Hawaii-based educational institutions as well as national organizations such as Erikson Institute. Where possible, the Foundation will support strengthening local higher education and its role training and retraining early educators.
  3. The Foundation will not attempt to build public school classrooms but will support ongoing advocacy for more significant legislative financial support for such classes.
  4. The Foundation understands the value of quality early education in preparing children for a successful transition to kindergarten. The Foundation will be ready to support if needed, public school readiness assessment.
  5. Ultimately, Hawaii will be best served by a high-quality pre-k – grade 3 integrated curriculum that features logical and sequential curricular and assessment transitions in the critical first years of schooling. The Foundation will seek to further the goal of such a public school system.
  6. The Foundation will support efforts to engage and educate public and private school parents in educational issues that impact the child at home and in school. Culturally responsive parent engagement and education will be a particular focus. The Foundation, through its grants for scholarships for traditional full-time and part-time early education teachers and non-traditional forms of higher education, will support the recruitment and retention of educators entering the field.
  7. Where possible, the Foundation will assist projects to recruit, retain and develop pre-school teachers for Hawaii.
  8. Generally, grants will not be made to construct or repair public pre-schools.

Private Early Education

  1. Private schools will continue to be the heart of the early education sector for many years to come, and they have been a traditional focus for the Foundation.
  2. The Foundation will support continuing education for private preschool teachers where possible and will employ both locally-based higher education and national higher education to achieve this goal.
  3. The Foundation cannot afford to build preschools from scratch but will continue to provide smaller capital improvements to afford greater utility, access, and safety in facilities.
  4. The Foundation will support, where possible innovative curricula and assessments to strengthen preschool instruction.
  5. The Foundation cannot provide operational support or faculty salaries and will focus primarily on strengthening and developing the workforce. The Foundation will also support innovative ways to recruit and retain qualified pre-school teachers.
  6. The Foundation will support advocacy for public funds (Preschool Open Doors).
  7. The Foundation will promote parent education and their engagement in their child’s learning to support the education of preschool students in private child care and preschool facilities but will not fund preschool tuition assistance in most cases.
  8. The Foundation is committed to choice, equity, and diversity in private school settings.
  9. To promote high quality, the Foundation will continue to assist schools in obtaining and retaining accreditation from recognized accrediting agencies such as NAEYC. The Foundation will generally not consider schools not having and not working toward accreditation.
  10. The Foundation will assist, where possible assessments of kindergarten readiness and the effectiveness of curricula and instruction.