Welcome to a new school year! We know that these first weeks are filled with the challenge and excitement of getting to know another group of young children. You're managing parental anxieties, organizing classrooms, and working hard to create a program that meets the needs of every child. And every day, you have more to do than is humanly possible.

Every fall for 15 years, Scholastic has delivered Early Childhood Today (formerly Pre-K Today) to teachers and directors across the country to help get these new beginnings off to a great start. We are there for you throughout the year with strategies and activities to refresh your curriculum, advice from nationally renowned experts, and ideas for professional growth and development.

If you're like most early childhood professionals, you get better and better with each new year We try to keep up with you by identifying new ways to approach perennial themes and add new voices to strengthen the editorial quality of the magazine. This yeah I believe Early Childhood Today will be better than ever-not only because, at 15, we're older and wiser, but also because we have' Diane Ohanesian, our new editor.

Diane comes to Early Childhood Today having spent the last 20 years first as an early childhood teacher and later as a developer of curriculum and materials for professional development. I know that you'll sense her deep and genuine commitment to serve you and that you will see her experience, sensitivity, and creativity reflected in the pages of the magazine.

Here's to our best year yet!

Helen Benham

As the new editor of Early Childhood Today, I've spent the past months working with authors, attending early childhood conferences-and thinking about you each and every step of the way. I'm happy to finally offer you our plan fox this year's issues.

In our first issue, the cover story explores how classroom rituals and routines help children and parents feel supported. Turn the pages and you'll find tips for starting each day on a high note, exciting back-toschool activities, and advice from early childhood experts that will help you and the children through the difficult homeschool transition.

Exciting news! We will be featuring a series of columns by Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D., a renowned leader in child development research. Dr. Perry's first column, "Creating an Emotionally Safe Classroom," will help you prepare an environment in which children feel receptive to the wonder of learning.

One of the most thrilling experiences I've had since joining Scholastic was the opportunity to attend the National Early Childhood Advisory Board meeting. We share the highlights of this meeting on page 4.

Infant-toddler teachers will be happy to find a new section of the magazine devoted to their special needs.

I was initially drawn to Early Childhood Today because I was impressed by its sincere intention to provide the best material available for early childhood professionals. I am truly excited to be a part of this wonderful magazine, your magazine, Early Childhood Today.


Diane C. Ohanesian