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NIEER's weekly newsletter for the latest in early education news

NIEER Weekly

Volume 16, Issue 38

September 29, 2017

Highlighting the week's most interesting stories and studies: Disaster Recovery, What We're Reading and Taking Care of Business

Hot Topics

Disaster Recovery

Puerto Rico enrolls more than 36,000 children in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Recent news reports and images of severe structural damage, power outages and continued lack of clean water raise special concerns for young children following recent hurricanes.

A recent National Center for Children in Poverty study notes trauma has been shown to negatively impact early brain development, cognitive development, learning, social-emotional development, the ability to develop secure attachments to others, and physical health. The report outlines policies and practices that can help children cope.

A coalition of child advocates in California is raising awareness about the impact of early trauma and urging state lawmakers to enact public policies that help encourage traumatized children to form positive relationships, feel safe and secure, and enjoy learning and playing with their peers and caregivers. You can track the progress of the California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity, 4CA.

Likewise, Advocates for Children in New Jersey is keeping early learning on the agenda in races for state legislature and governor with its #NJVotes4Kids campaign engaging the public in the process.

Trauma can have lasting effects. When bad things happen, good policy becomes even more important.

We invite you to follow NIEER on Twitter @PreschoolToday and Facebook at Preschool Today. Please share your social media handles so we can connect. 

What We’re Reading


NIEER Assistant Research Professor Jessica Thomas Francis kicks off our new monthly feature sharing perspectives on timely ECE articles, presentations and books.

The ECERS-R was formerly the most commonly used tool for measuring comprehensive quality in preschool classrooms. In 2015, the ECERS-R was updated to become the ECERS 3, which seeks to measure the same areas of quality more efficiently. While both versions of the tool are similar in their scope, scores have been shown to vary widely.

2016 BUILD QRIS Conference presentation compared ECERS R scores to ECERS 3 scores for Georgia and Pennsylvania, and showed large differences in scores overall and for individual items and subscales. In Georgia, overall scores were more than a point lower on the ECERS 3 compared to the ECERS R (3.29 versus 4.39, respectively). This gap was even larger in Pennsylvania classrooms (3.68 versus 5.23). Subscale scores also followed similar patterns across states, in that all subscale average scores decreased except for Personal Care Routines. A closer look at each subscale in Georgia showed no general or consistent drop in item-level scores. Rather, administration with the ECERS 3 resulted in increases in scores for some items and decreases for other items.

As the ECERS 3 replaces the ECERS R, it is important to highlight that a decrease in scores does not mean classroom quality has gone down, but instead that quality is measured differently.

NIEER Activities

NIEER is committed to providing nonpartisan research that enhances the early childhood education field and encourages policies and practices promoting the physical, cognitive and social-emotional development children need to thrive in school and beyond. See NIEER’s ongoing and recent projects.

CEELO Update

CEELO this week shared Key Competencies for Licensors of Child Care Programs, a technical assistance resource document that outlines the knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors, and other characteristics that a licensor of child care programs needs in order to perform his or her job duties successfully.


Investing in Early Childhood Education Programs Yields High Returns

Studies have found many long-term benefits of pre-primary education across three broad categories: (1) academics, (2) social skills and (3) attitudes toward school (Bakken, et al., 2017). This article published by the Intercultural Development Research Association presents the long-term academic and societal effects of high-quality early childhood programs, elements of high-quality programs, current enrollment trends among preschool-age children, barriers to enrollment and implications for public policy toward increasing participation.

Tackling Childcare: The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare report

International Finance Corporation’s report released this week discusses how companies can analyze their workforce to identify the type of childcare support they can offer to their employees—from on-site childcare to subsidies—that best suits their needs. The report draws on 10 case studies of companies around the world offering various childcare options, highlighting how investments in employer-supported childcare can strengthen the bottom line.

The Business Case for Child Care

A new National Women’s Law Center fact sheet shares findings supporting business investment and support for accessible, affordable child care as a way to spur economic growth. “Child care is fundamental to the economic security of women and their families — but it is out of reach for far too many,” NWLC states. “…working parents often find it incredibly difficult to find the child care they need in order to work.”

Education Data Legislation Review: 2017 State Activity

Over the past decade, states have made enormous progress in collecting, using, and reporting education data in service of learning. This Data Quality Campaign review analyzes state legislation addressing education data in 2017 as states increasingly use legislation to address how they collect, use, and report education data in addition to how they safeguard it.


First Five Nebraska

First Five Nebraska, a widely respected and influential public policy organization, is seeking two highly engaged and forward-thinking professionals to join our team as Early Childhood Policy Associates. Send resume and cover letter to Meg Buse at


Parental Detention and Deportation and the Psychosocial Well-being of Latino Children

Thursday, October 19, 2017
2-3:30 pm EST

Latino children of immigrants are experiencing the impact of heightened immigration enforcement practices and policies. Learn how parental detainment and deportation affects the psychological and social development of Latino citizen children. Register by October 12.


Early Education News Roundup 

ICYMI: Read this week’s key stories on early childhood education issues.

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