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

NIEER Weekly

Volume 17, Issue 32


August 10, 2018

Highlighting the week's most interesting stories and studies

Hot Topics

New Jersey Expands State-Funded Pre-K

According to our 2017 Yearbook, New Jersey was able to reach 21% of its 3-year-olds and 30% of its 4-year-olds. Then, for the 2017-18 school year, the New Jersey Department of Education awarded approximately $20 million in Preschool Education Aid, to support additional slots of full-day, high-quality preschool, and help lower class sizes to 15 children per classroom. Any districts that already received state preschool funding were eligible, so long as they provided full-day programs.

That funding has been increased by $50 million for 2018-2019, making it the largest increase in New Jersey preschool funding since the 2008 recession. Eligible districts were able to apply by August 1, and can begin serving children in October.

Earlier this week, the NJDOE announced a second round of districts will be able to apply for a portion of the $50 million in PEEA to begin serving children in January 2019.

 

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


CEELO Update

The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) recently posted online new resources based on presentations during the 2018 NAEYC Professional Learning Institute in Austin, TX.

“Evidence-Based” Is Not A Dirty Word: How To Confidently Use And Contribute To Research In Your Practice provides strategies and tools to identify high-quality research and practice and strategies for applying research to program and classroom use. CEELO’s Melissa Dahlin and Diane Schilder were joined by Kathleen Theodore (AIR).

Taking Technical Assistance To A New Level: Helping Early Childhood Leaders Adapt To Change And Move Programs And Policies To Success For Young Children focuses on three essential characteristics of high-performing early childhood efforts: individual and organizational capacity, organizational effectiveness and efficiency, and leadership and staff capabilities, presented by CEELO’s Jana Martella and Diane Schilder.


Resources

Following in Our Footsteps: How Adult Demonstrations of Literacy and Numeracy Can Influence Children’s Spontaneous Play and Improve Learning Outcomes

A new study published in Early Child Development and Care, researchers theorized that by demonstrating certain problem-solving activities to children, children would ascribe value to these literacy or numeracy activities and would play with them. Thus, researchers investigated if a four-week intervention that exposed 4-year-olds to different adult demonstrations of literacy and numeracy problem-solving activities had an impact on children’s play activities.

Researchers report that children exposed to numeracy demonstrations played significantly more with numeracy concepts. Additionally, those exposed to literacy demonstrations improved on reading measures. Researchers suggest that what children are exposed to may influence their interests and learning, and discuss implications for early childhood education and parenting.

The Quality of Nutrition and Physical Activity Environments of Child-Care Centers Across Three States in the Southern U.S.

In a new article in Preventive Medicine, researchers presented results of a cross-sectional study assessing the quality of nutrition and physical activity environments of child-care centers in three southern states. They also examined differences by rural versus urban location, participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Head Start status. The sample included 154 centers from Georgia, 103 from Kentucky, and 97 centers from Mississippi that enroll children ages 2 through 5.

Both nutrition and physical activity environment quality of southern centers were found to be relatively low. Centers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program had higher combined nutrition and physical activity environment scores than non-participating centers. Head Start centers also had higher combined environment scores than non-Head Start centers.

Researchers suggest findings highlight the vital role of federal programs in supporting healthy child-care environments. They further suggest providing technical assistance and training to centers that are not enrolled in well-regulated, federally funded programs might help enhance the quality of their nutrition and physical activity environments.

An Organizational-Level Analysis of Early Childhood Teachers’ Job Attitudes: Workplace Satisfaction Affects Early Head Start and Head Start Teacher Turnover

A new article in Child & Youth Care Forum assessed the psychometric properties of the 16-item Early Childhood Job Attitude Survey (ECJAS) and examined which organizational-level factors predict teachers’ actual turnover based on data from 84 early childhood Early Head Start and Head Start teachers. Researchers argue teacher turnover is a major issue for early childhood organizations, and it is critical to understand why teachers leave their current position at the organizational level to create more stable early care and education environments.

Analyses revealed three subscales including workplace satisfaction, classroom responsibilities, and on-going support. Further, teacher perceived workplace satisfaction predicted their turnover after controlling for teachers’ age, race, marital status, educational attainment, program types, and employment position. Researchers suggest that early childhood organizations could use their findings to make organizational changes and to inform efforts to retain their teachers.

Efficacy of the Nemours BrightStart! Early Literacy Program: Treatment Outcomes from a Randomized Trial with At-Risk Prekindergartners

A recently released article in Early Education and Development reports on the outcomes of a randomized, controlled trial of an emergent literacy intervention for prekindergarten children at-risk for reading failure. More than 475 children screened for being at-risk were randomized to fall or spring treatment and received nine weeks of explicit, multisensory, emergent literacy instruction in small groups provided by early literacy interventionists.

Trained observers noted high implementation fidelity. Pre-reading skills were assessed before and after intervention for both treatment groups.  The spring intervention group served as at-risk controls for children who completed fall intervention. Researchers report that results demonstrate benefits of high-quality emergent literacy instruction for children at risk as growth in skills for both fall and spring treatment groups was found.


Opportunities

Research-to-Policy Collaboration

The Research-to-Policy Collaboration invites applications for a part-time Evaluation Support. The evaluation involves a mixed-method randomized controlled trial that includes analysis of longitudinal survey data obtained through interviews with federal, legislative staff. Therefore, candidates must be located within commuting distance of Washington, DC.

This work will involve interviews with U.S. congressional staff, in addition to other work that supports research investigating how policymakers use research evidence, and how researchers can engage effectively in partnership with congressional offices. Inquiries about this position may be directed to Taylor Scott.

Nevada Office of Early Learning and Development

The Nevada Office of Early Learning and Development is seeking an Education Programs Supervisor. This is a full-time position located in Las Vegas, NV. This position will serve as the Head Start State Collaboration director as well as coordinate quality activities of the Child Care and Development Fund State Plan to improve access and quality of child care facilities. Education and experience in Head Start and/or Child Care is required.
Recruitment #34743
The application deadline has been extended through August 24. 
Woodring College of Education invites individuals with cross-cultural experience and commitment to social justice and educational equity to apply for appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Early Childhood Education Program (ECE) in the Elementary Education Department. This is a search for multiple ECE tenure track faculty for nine-month positions to begin fall 2019, with opportunity for summer employment. Committed to the creation of an inclusive, supportive community of learners, Woodring College of Education seeks applicants with experience working in culturally diverse communities and schools and who have the ability to contribute to the creation of a more just and inclusive society. We strongly encourage applications from members of groups who have been, and still are underrepresented in university faculty positions.
Please submit your application via Western’s PageUp system at https://careers.wwu.edu/
Materials must be attached as noted on the application. For further information on this position please contact Dr. Marilyn Chu by email at marilyn.chu@wwu.edu or by phone at (360) 650-2737. Review of applications will begin October 15, 2018. The position is open until filled.

Calendar

Supporting Emotion Regulation in Early Childhood

Webinar
August 30, 2018
3-4:30 ET

This REL Central webinar will feature research-based strategies for creating supportive environments and using specific teaching strategies to foster the development of emotion regulation skills. Crystal Day-Hess, Assistant Director, Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy, University of Denver, will be presenting strategies. Register

Early Education News Roundup

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


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