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

NIEER Weekly

Volume 16, Issue 39

October 6, 2017

Highlighting the week's most interesting stories and studies: Compensation Gaps, Keeping Pace and Benchmarks

Hot Topics

Narrowing the Gap

A new report from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at UC Berkeley indicates states and cities across the country are moving to improve pre-K teacher compensation as recruiting and retaining skilled educators is critical to delivering the high-quality learning environment these programs promise.

Strategies in Pursuit of Pre-K Teacher Compensation Parity: Lessons from Seven States and Cities looks at policies in Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey, Oregon, West Virginia, New York City, and San Antonio where a variety of strategies have successfully been implemented to get closer to or surpass equal pay and benefits for pre-K and teachers of older children.

This report is the third in a series of materials on pre-K compensation parity, developed by NIEER and the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. The first report, In Pursuit of Pre-K Parity: A Proposed Framework for Understanding and Advancing Policy and Practice, developed a framework for understanding pre-K teacher compensation parity and forms of compensation improvement.

The second report, Teacher Compensation Parity Policies and State Funded Pre-K Programs by NIEER Founder and Senior Co-Director W. Steven Barnett Ph.D., and Research Project Coordinator Richard Kasmin, compared teacher compensation in state-funded pre-K programs, based on data collected for the 2015 State of Preschool Yearbook.

NIEER’s analysis, focused on teachers in public pre-K programs serving about 1.8 million children, showed public pre-K programs in 24 states—more than half of the 44 states funding pre-K—have no compensation parity policies for teachers. Generally, pre-K teachers with a bachelor’s degree or higher can expect to earn $10,000–$13,000 less per year than colleagues teaching slightly older children, even if they work in the same building.

New on Preschool Matters Today! Blog

Keeping Pace in State Pre-K

“NIEER remains committed to asking the important questions, refining their ‘responsive survey’ annually to keep pace with research and generate a realistic snapshot of state-funded preschool programs across the US. States already working on surveys for the next State of Preschool yearbook should find the process a bit less tedious as NIEER pre-populated as many responses as possible with previous year data.”

NIEER Activities

Behind the Benchmarks Webinar 

NIEER will provide an overview of changes to State of Preschool report quality standards benchmarks, reasons for the updates and policies that should be in place to meet the new benchmarks during a webinar, 4-5 pm EST Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Register here.

Hear from Steve Barnett and Allison Friedman-Krauss, along with representatives from Michigan, Alabama, and New Mexico discussing how they have integrated or plan to integrate new benchmark criteria into state policy/practice.

CEELO Update

CEELO this week shared a report from The National Center on Hispanic Children and Families finding low-income Latino children often have social skills needed to succeed in early elementary years yet struggle to develop academic skills on par with white peers. The Development and Home Environments of Low-Income Hispanic Children: Kindergarten to Third Grade helps pinpoint where interventions might effectively promote academic success.


Early Childhood Higher Education Degree Directory

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), with generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, recently launched its new  directory identifying every early childhood degree program in regionally accredited institutions across the United States and its territories.

Strategies to Limit Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in Young Children: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

A recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board workshop explored the range of policies and programs that exist at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels to limit sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in children birth to 5 years of age. This Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief is intended to highlight key points made by individual speakers during the presentations and discussions, but it is not intended to serve as a comprehensive summary.

Identifying the Gap to Act: Early Childhood Development Outcomes and Determinants in Latin America and the Caribbean

Early childhood development (ECD) is the key to a sustainable development. ECD is multidimensional and includes several aspects of child well-being. UNICEF developed an Early Childhood Development Index (ECDI) that represents the first effort to generate standardized and internationally comparable data on early childhood development through the use of household surveys.

The index is calculated by measuring the development of children in four domains: Literacy-Numeracy, Physical, Socio-emotional, and Learning. Children are considered to have an adequate development when they are on track in at least three of the four domains.

Pathways to High-Quality Child Care: The Workforce Investment Credit

The Committee for Economic Development has released a new brief addressing the widespread lack of return on investments made by the early care and education (ECE) workforce in their own skills and qualifications, as well as the high turnover rate in the field. The intentional policy, implemented by Louisiana, to reward educational attainment within the ECE workforce and improve earnings (without increasing parent fees), offers a model to other states.

The Effects of Accountability Incentives in Early Childhood Education

This study from the Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis provides empirical evidence on how Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) operate using data from North Carolina, a state with a mature QRIS.

In an effort to enhance the quality of early childhood education (ECE) at scale, nearly all U.S. states have recently adopted QRIS to give providers and parents information on program quality and create both reputational and financial incentives for program improvement.

Working with Young Dual Language Learners and their Families

This Early Childhood Action Collective brief examines the increasing need to support young children who are dual language learners. The report describes the six levels of second language acquisition and how teachers can support children in the classroom at each level, recognizing the benefits of being bilingual or multilingual, a common attribute in many communities across the world.

Early Moments Matter for Every Child

Only 15 countries worldwide have three basic national policies that help guarantee the time and resources parents need to support their young children’s healthy brain development, according to a UNICEF report released this week. Worse, 32 countries—home to one in eight of the world’s children under five—have none of these policies in place.

According to the report, two years of free pre-primary education, paid breastfeeding breaks during the first six months of a child’s life, and six months of paid maternity leave as well as four weeks of paid paternity leave help lay a critical foundation for optimal early childhood development. Eighty-five million children under five are growing up in countries without these policies—including the US.


Pritzker Family Foundation 

The Foundation seeks a Senior State Director who will play a major role in the foundation’s Prenatal–3-year-old (PN-3) effort focused on actively supporting a set of states as they seek to undertake common policy and financing advancements focusing on home visiting, quality child care for infants and toddlers, and universal connections that link families with very young children to services. All qualified candidates should apply with a cover letter describing their interest and a copy of their resume to


The Path Forward for the Early Education Workforce: National Policies and Examples from VT 

3 pm EST
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Co-sponsored by the Vermont Universal PreK Research Partnership and the Early Childhood Workforce Development Research Alliance at REL Northeast & Islands, this event introduces The Early Childhood Workforce Index, a new report providing a comprehensive look at early childhood workforce issues and policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Register here.

Early Education News Roundup 

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

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