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

NIEER Weekly

Volume 16, Issue 42

October 27, 2017

Highlighting the week's most interesting stories and studies: Bullying Prevention, Home Visiting and a $1 Million Prize

Hot Topics

Spotlight on SEL

Bullying and harassment have indeed been hot topics this month, which coincidentally, is National Bullying Prevention Month. Problems with social interactions often begin early and early childhood educators have long championed the importance of social emotional learning and development as key to stopping hurtful behavior before it starts.

A recent review of research on bullying among preschool children noted that pre-K often is the “first context outside the home environment where young children encounter social problems when they interact with peers and become exposed to bullying behaviors.” (See NIEER Weekly Volume 16, Issue 4)

Data from one study cited in an NAEYC blog post showed that 20.4% of children ages 2-5 had experienced physical bullying in their lifetime and 14.6% had been teased (verbally bullied). Such behavior appears to be driven by children’s developing social skills and behavior and emotion regulation skills. As children build social and regulatory skills, challenging behaviors and bullying tend to decline.

A separate research paper cited in the blog examined predictors of bullying or being victimized by bullying, stating “In short – all have poor social and behavioral skills. So, programs that focus on building children’s social skills are often considered to be one broad bullying prevention measure.”

The US Department of Education bullying prevention website identifies key skills young children need to develop to gain and maintain friendships and avoid bullying: Social problem-solving skills, empathy skills and assertiveness skills.

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning identifies SEL as “the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

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

NIEER Activities

NIEER Associate Research Professor Shannon Riley-Ayers, Ph.D., and Assistant Research Professor Alexandra Figueras-Daniel Ph.D., along with Vincent Costanza, Ed.D., Superintendent in Residence, Teaching Strategies, LLC recently provided an in-depth look at a research and professional development initiative to assist preschool through third grade educators with fusing academic and social development.

View their presentation during the 2017 New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association conference here. More information about this topic is available in a press release on this nationally recognized initiative and a blog post discussing implications of study results.

They will also be discussing this research at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management conference on November 3 in a poster session: Using Research to Influence State Education Policy Kindergarten to Third Grade: A Partnership of the State University and the State Education Agency.


Evidence on the Long-term Effects of Home Visiting Programs

A new Administration for Children and Families brief summarizes evidence from existing studies on the impact of early childhood home visiting on children 5 and older for four national models of home visiting. Key findings include: evidence-based home visiting has improved outcomes for parents and children across a wide range of child ages, outcome areas, and national models; evidence-based home visiting appears to be cost-effective in the long term; the largest benefits from evidence-based home visiting come through reduced spending on government programs and increased individual earnings.

Early Moments Matter for Every Child

This report presents data and outlines best practices and policies that can put governments on the path to providing every child with the best start in life. It outlines the neuroscience of early childhood development (ECD), including the importance of nutrition, protection and stimulation in the early years. And it makes the case for scaling up investment, evaluation and monitoring in ECD programs. The report concludes with a six-point call to action for governments and partners.

Public Investments in Child Care

A new study from the Hamilton Project proposes replacing existing federal child care tax policies with a single refundable federal child care tax credit that is more generous to lower-income families and families with children under the age of 5 and calls for investments in standardized quality-rating systems and expansion of universal preschool for 4-year-olds.

Ready for Life: A Socio-Economic Analysis of Early Childhood Education and Care

This new report by the Conference Board of Canada provides a comprehensive review of early care and education in Canada in international context, a review of benefit-cost analyses of early care and education, and a new benefit-cost analysis of early education for Canada. US policy makers, advocates, and others will find the information an important addition to research here at home. Based on the new analyses, this report recommends governments provide a minimum of two years of universal preschool education while improving program quality. The report says Canada’s fiscal position allows for new investments and ECE is a prime area given its high economic returns and broad social benefits.

Pay for Success Toolkit: Considerations for State and Local Leaders

The US Department of Education has released an introductory guide for the Pay for Success (PFS) program, a financing strategy that leverages private investments to address societal problems and challenges. The new toolkit lays out the steps usually involved in conducting a feasibility study, and highlights critical questions and important safeguards to consider when using PFS to support education programs. Find more information here.

Family Engagement: Learning with Families

This Early Childhood Action Collective paper identifies promising approaches for family engagement policy and includes examples from practice to inform an intentional, inclusive, actionable, and sustainable family engagement approach in PHLpreK.

While family engagement may be welcomed in theory, perceptions and assumptions on how family engagement is defined, approached, and put in to action can differ both between and among policymakers and practitioners.

Building Partnerships with the Families of Young Dual Language Learners

Part One of this PDG Community of Learners two-part series on engaging families of young dual language learners explores the concept of “implicit bias” and discusses the benefits of and barriers to establishing partnerships with families of young DLL.

Part Two delves more deeply into defining relationship-based strategies that respond to some of the unique challenges faced by families of young dual language learners.

Emerging Populations: Challenges for the Early Childhood System

This Association of University Centers on Disabilities webinar discusses the challenges facing preschool special education programs serving children and families affected by the opioid epidemic. Understanding and meeting the needs of the eligible population will require partnering with other early childhood programs as well as providing training and support for the professionals who will serve the family.

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

The Young Scholars Program Children of Immigrants Webinar Series hosted by the Foundation for Child Development recently made a recording of the first webinar available for viewing here using the password: YSPWebinar1 The next webinar focusing on the health and well-being of children of immigrants will be held Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 2-3:30 pm ET. Register by November 8.

Leading the Way: A Guide for Business Engagement in Early Education

The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently published this toolkit providing resources for the business community to engage in advocacy for high-quality, affordable childcare to support employees, the broader community, and the country. The document includes key facts and an elevator speech on childcare, a tactical guide with tangible ways that the business community can make an impact, and case studies that illustrate best practices and lessons learned.


Early Childhood Innovation Prize

Gary Community Investments is partnering with OpenIDEO on the Early Childhood Innovation Prize, offering $1 million for innovative solutions to the question, “How might we maximize every child’s potential during their first three years of life?

Funders are seeking “the brainpower of thinkers from diverse backgrounds who are willing to offer innovative ideas, lend mentorship and expertise, and invest capital to solve this problem together.”
Participants will have access to mentorship opportunities and could be eligible for a share of up to $1 million in funding. Learn more.

Colorado Department of Education P-3 Director

The P-3 Director will provide leadership for preschool through third grade programs within the Department, including Preschool Special Education, Colorado Preschool Program and Results Matter, Early Childhood Professional Development, READ Act and School Readiness. Application information and closing date for the position can be found here.


Driving Impact for Tomorrow: A National Convening on Early Learning

Online Convenings
November 1-3, 2017
1-2 pm ET

The first convening on November 1, Building an effective early learning workforce: How can we improve the pipeline and quality of instruction by supporting our workforce?, will be facilitated by Tonja Rucker, National League of Cities, and feature Cheryl Feldman, Philadelphia District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, Gail Joseph, EarlyEdU and Jovanna Rohs, Kansas City.

The convenings are co-sponsored by The Boston Consulting Group and The Dallas Foundation. Click here for more information and registration.

Early Education News Roundup

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

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