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

NIEER Weekly

Volume 18, Issue 14

May 13, 2019

Hot Topics

When Quality Matters Even More

When we think about childcare, we generally think about programs during standard working hours. But for parents working nonstandard hours, childcare can be scarce and high-quality programs are almost unheard of. According to the 2012 National Survey of Early Care and Education only about 6-8% of centers offer any type of overnight care, and only 3% offer weekend care.
A new paper from Casey H. Boyd-Swan finds “a generally negative relationship between nonstandard child care and cognitive, behavioral, and contemporaneous physical well-being measures. Mechanisms analyses suggest this relationship is driven by exposure to low-quality, unpredictable care arrangements.” Given that research already shows negative associations between parents’ working nonstandard hours and child development, the finding that childcare makes it worse not better is particularly troubling.

Preschool Matters Today! blog

Blueprint for Quality Preschool

Building or expanding a state-funded preschool program requires careful consideration of many moving parts, and calculating an accurate cost estimate depends heavily on the kind of program you want to build. The process can seem overwhelming, but the CPQR 4.0 can assist states with this process. Like a contractor building a house, the CPQ&R lays out critical questions to ensure the program design meets your needs, and cost estimates accurately reflect necessary specifications. Read More

NIEER Activities

Today, NIEER Co-Director Milagros Nores will be speaking at Harvard University as part of the Implementation Research and Practice for Early Childhood Development conference, relating to her work on AeioTu, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science.
AERA’s 2019 conference takes place this weekend in Toronto, Ontario. Today, Assistant Director and NIEER Senior Co-Director Steve Barnett Kwanghee Jung will be presenting Long-Term Effects of Early Care and Education on Cognitive Development: Public Preschool Programs and Impacts on Academic Achievement. On Saturday, NIEER Senior Co-Director Ellen Frede will be presenting 20 Years of Applying Campbell’s “Experimenting Society” Methods to Preschool Policy in New Jerseyand on Tuesday, NIEER Assistant Research Professor Nicole DiCrecchio and Dr. Barnett will be presenting Identifying Predictors of Suspension and Expulsion in Preschool.

CEELO Update

CEELO’s Early Childhood Legacy 2030 project seeks to inform policy decisions for children, birth to third grade, over the coming decade (2020–2030). State early childhood education agency staff are responsible for implementing policies and collaborating with other stakeholders to meet the needs of all young children in their states. Yet no one has adequately documented the voice, experience and perspectives of these individuals so that challenges and constraints of implementing state ECE policy can inform stakeholders. This report, The Views of State Early Childhood Education Agency Staff on Their Work and Their Vision for Young Children: Informing a Legacy for Young Children by 2030, describes what we found about state early childhood education agency staff, the complexity of their work and what they believe is most important to realize a legacy for young children by 2030. An Executive Summary of the full report can be found here.

ECE Resources

In a new study in Frontiers of Psychology, researchers assessed the impact of Kindergarten-based yoga on cognitive performance, visual-motor coordination, and behavior of inattention and hyperactivity in 5-year-old children by conducting a randomized controlled trial. The study was conducted over 12 weeks, where 15 children performed Hatha-yoga twice a week for 30 minutes, another 15 children performed generic physical education (PE) twice a week for 30 minutes, and 15 children performed no kind of physical activities, serving as a control group (CG).
Researchers found that yoga, in comparison to PE and CG groups, had a significant positive impact on the development of the behavior of inattention and hyperactivity. Furthermore, yoga had a significant positive impact on completion times in two visumotor precision tasks in comparison to PE and a significant positive effect of yoga on visual attention scores in comparison to the control group.
In a new study in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, researchers examined associations between household chaos (disorganization and instability) from birth to age 5 and student (dis)engagement in third grade. Researchers also examined positive parenting in early childhood (6–60 months) and child self-regulatory skills at kindergarten as potential mediators in this pathway. The research was based on data from 1,097 children who participated in the Family Life Project, a longitudinal study.
Researchers found that, even after taking into account a considerable number of covariates, early positive parenting and children’s self-regulatory skills were viable process mechanisms through which early household disorganization, but not instability, was linked to student (dis)engagement in third grade. Findings are discussed with respect to the multilevel proximal forces at play in children’s risk for early disengagement from school.
In a new article in the Journal of Genetic Psychology, researchers examined children’s emotional expressiveness with peers as a predictor of social competence. The study was based on data from 122 preschool children over a period of two years.
Researchers found that frequent expression of happiness in Year 1 predicted higher social competence scores in Year 2. They also report that frequent anger in Year 1 predicted lower peer competence in Year 2. Further, more intense anger and sadness in Year 1 predicted lower peer social competence scores in Year 2. Finally, they report that frequency and intensity of emotional expressiveness in Year 1 accounted for unique variance in peer competence in Year 2.
In a new article in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, researchers estimated the number of words that children are exposed to during book reading sessions, based on data from 60 commonly read children’s books. They then estimated the total cumulative word exposure for children who are read to at varying frequencies corresponding to nationally representative benchmarks across the first 5 years of life. Researchers note that nationally representative data suggest that around 25% of caregivers never read with their children.
Researchers estimated that parents who read one picture book with their children every day provide their children with exposure to an estimated 78,000 words each year. They further estimate that, cumulatively, over the 5 years before kindergarten entry, that children from literacy-rich homes hear a cumulative 1.4 million more words during storybook reading than children who are never read to. Researchers suggest that home-based shared book reading represents an important resource for closing the Word Gap.
In a new study in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, researchers investigated the impact of infant attention orienting behavior on preschool Executive Function (EF). Maternal report and laboratory measures of infant attention were gathered on 114 infants who were 5 months old; performance on four different EF tasks was measured when these same children were 3 years old.
Researchers report that infant attention skills were significantly related to preschool EF, even after controlling for verbal intelligence at age 3. Researchers suggest that infant attention may serve as an early marker of later EF. They further suggest that understanding the foundational factors associated with EF is necessary for both theoretical and practical purposes.
Children of immigrants will make up a critical share of our nation’s future workforce, but they are less likely than other children to participate in early education programs known to support school readiness and long-term productivity. This study describes the characteristics and enrollment of children of immigrants using the most current and comprehensive dataset available: the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11. We find that children of immigrants tend to have fewer resources and greater need than children of US-born parents but lower rates of enrollment in center-based preschool. However, programs such as Head Start and state prekindergarten, as well as public kindergarten programs, are making progress in closing gaps in access. These findings suggest that current investments in early education are helping prepare the future workforce for success in 2050 and that expanded investments are warranted.


SREE, in collaboration with Grantmakers for Education’s Data Impact Group, is pleased to introduce an exciting new program–the SREE Summer Fellows Program. Two SREE student members will have the opportunity to spend the summer working on a ‘real world’ research project-answering a question that the philanthropic community is asking to help inform their work.
For more information on the program and how to apply, click here.
The Denver Preschool Program Search Committee is pleased to announce that we have completed the first phase of the President & CEO search process which entailed clarifying and documenting what the organization needs in a new leader. Those details have been captured in the Job Description and Leadership Profile which are posted on the DPP website and local and national job websites.
The Center for Early Education Research and Evaluation (CEERE) at HighScope Educational Research Foundation announces a Post-doc/Project Manager position to begin in April 2019, or as soon as the position is filled. This individual in this role will report to the Project Director. The role will primarily be on a grant awarded to HighScope from the US Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) grant: Supporting Preschool and Kindergarten Students’ Self-Regulation Through HighScope Curriculum Enhancements: Plan-Do-Review and Conflict Resolution. The goal of this project is to improve the self-regulation skills of Detroit preschool and kindergarten students by building off the historic HighScope Perry Preschool Study. This project is in partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District.
Application review begins immediately and continues until position is filled. Send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, brief writing sample, and contact information for three professional references to


April 5-9, 2019
Toronto, CA
Metro Toronto Convention Center
The theme of AERA’s 2019 conference, Leveraging Education Research in a “Post-Truth” Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence, is promoted as an opportunity to assess the state of education research, explore how research can help overcome today’s challenges by becoming more relevant to communities, practitioners, and policy makers.
Several NIEER faculty will be presenting during the meeting. Register here

Early Education News Round-up

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

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