April 3, 2020 – Volume 19, Issue 13

Hot Topics
NIEER Policy Advisory Tracy Jost shared with The Washington Post the challenge she’s facing to maintain her child care center business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This has been one of the toughest times I have experienced in my 14 years of owning and operating an early-learning center,” writes Jost.
New Emergency Fund for Early Learning Groups
The William Penn Foundation is providing a $5 million grant to support a new emergency fund for organizations that provide early learning for children from birth to age five. The Philadelphia Emergency Fund for Stabilization of Early Education will assist childcare, family childcare, pre-k, and home visiting programs in Philadelphia. Grant applications will be reviewed weekly.
NIEER Activities
NIEER Provides Technical Assistance in CCSSO State Call
NIEER provided technical assistance to state early childhood leaders during a conference call Thursday hosted by CCSSO’s Early Childhood Collaborative. Email communications@ccsso.org for details on calls hosted through CCSSO’s collaboratives.
ECE Resources
After enacting physical activity (PA) and screen-time policy changes in licensed early childhood education (ECE) centers in Louisiana, the “centers improved their environment after 1-year, resulting in additional child PA,” researchers report. “Changes in ECE centers environment, possibly through policy, can positively influence children’s PA.”
In a study “exploring teachers’ variation in instructional strategies and linguistic features, and its relations with children’s language development and teacher’s background,” researchers found a wide variability in teacher’s language strategies and linguistic features. “Instructional strategies with a medium level of cognitive load were found to be positively related to children’s growth in receptive vocabulary and word reading skills,” according to researches. “Teacher’s lexical sophistication was found to be positively associated with children’s vocabulary size.”
Examining “the effect of health education using video on mother’s knowledge and attitudes about behavior problems among preschool children,” researchers found “health education using video increase(s) knowledge and attitudes of mothers about the behavior problem of preschool children.”
Examining the longitudinal development of executive function (EF) and spoken language skills in samples of children with both normal hearing (NH) and non-normal hearing, children with cochlear implants “scored lower than NH peers on language measures but improved significantly over time.”
In a study of the relationship between well-designed preschool physical environments (PPE) and preschool school readiness (SR) in Malaysia, researchers found “PPE design quality demonstrated a significant positive association with cognitive SR.”
Early Education News Round-up
The week’s key stories on early childhood education. Read now.
Opportunities
Two-Year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Preventive Intervention Research with Young Children and Families. The University of Maryland School of Social Work is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow to begin in Summer 2020 (start date is negotiable between June 1st and August 16th). The fellowship provides an opportunity to advance preventive intervention research, with a particular focus on families with young children facing significant adversity (e.g., chronic poverty; trauma).
The Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs, home of the new national Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, is seeking to fill several positions:
Funding Opportunities for Dissertation Research
The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has published two grand funding opportunities, Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Dissertation Grants and Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Child Care Dissertation Grants.
The grants support work that informs policy and practice decisions and solutions, particularly for underserved/understudied populations; utilizes the most rigorous research methodology; and promotes mentor-student relationships that support students’ independent lines of research.