April 9, 2021 – Volume 20, Issue 14



Release Date Set for 2020 The State of Preschool Yearbook

The 2020 edition of The State of Preschool Yearbook is scheduled for release on Monday, April 19.

With preschool on the national political agenda, the 2020 Yearbook addresses three key questions:

1.     How much progress has the nation and each state made toward high-quality pre-K for all?

2.     How has the pandemic impacted pre-K programs and policies?

3.     How should states and the federal government respond to current problems and long-term needs?

The Yearbook explains how the COVID-19 pandemic threatens state-funded preschool programs and worsens inequality in access to high-quality preschool, and how the federal and state governments can work together to ensure every 3- and 4-year-old receives a high-quality, full-day preschool education. Get alerted when the Yearbook is published here.




FutureEd Examines the Problems with Early Learning Assessments

The FutureEd research team provides a new comprehensive analysis of the problems of preschool and early elementary assessments; the causes and consequences of those problems; and emerging strategies to solve them. Their study includes a 50-state survey of early learning assessments. In addition to detailing state-by-state policies on pre-K, K-entry, and K-2 child assessments, the study presents information on policies regarding classroom observation assessments and their use. Get the assessment here.

Early Edge California Video Makes Case for Expanding Transitional Kindergarten

A new video from Early Edge California describes how California’s transitional kindergarten for all 4-year-olds could increase children’s access to high-quality early learning experiences, and other benefits. According to Early Edge, transitional kindergarten is in keeping with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Master Plan for Early Learning and Care and helps close achievement gaps and intergenerational poverty. View the video here.




PDG B-5 TA Center Highlights NIEER Pandemic Survey

The Preschool Development Grants Birth-5 Technical Assistance (PDG B-5 TA) Center noted in its recent newsletter NIEER’s survey research to understand the degree to which the Covid-19 pandemic affected young children’s learning and preschool experiences.

NIEER’s first survey was conducted in the spring of 2020, followed by a second survey in December 2020. Both surveys include some questions from previous national surveys such as the National Household Education Survey to enable comparisons between current circumstances and those prior to the pandemic. Read NIEER’s policy brief here.




How States Plan to Spend $10 Billion for Child Care

Analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center shows how each state plans to spend its portion of $10 billion dedicated to child care from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. View and analysis here.

Impacts of COVID-19 on the Child Care Sector: Evidence from North Carolina

The COVID-19 pandemic reduced child care enrollment by 40% in North Carolina, but the impact was greater on centers than on family providers, according to a new study. The comprehensive, census-level evaluation was the first to document the pandemic’s medium-term effect on child care enrollment, closures, and differences across communities and sectors in the state.

The study used data from the state’s 100 counties between 2018 and 2020, with measures taken twice per year. While the number of providers at child care centers dipped 4%, the number of family care providers actually increased 3%, researchers found.

Enrollment drops were similar in both white-predominant communities and those with more Black and Hispanic residents. The researchers found more provider closures in counties that have more Hispanic residents.

Read the study here.




ECE Policy Research Professor – Open Rank

NIEER is seeking a non-tenure track research professor (open rank). Please join our multidisciplinary group of researchers and policy experts to conduct and communicate research designed to stimulate policymaking. Our research informs policy to support high-quality, effective early childhood education from infancy through the primary grades. We collaborate with a network of local, state, national and international leaders to design, conduct and disseminate rigorous research, evaluation and policy analysis. Use your ECE conceptual knowledge and research expertise to partner with elected and appointed officials as well as philanthropic partners to improve young children’s learning, development and well-being. For a full job description and to apply, click here.

Research Project Manager

NIEER is seeking a research project manager to support current and emerging projects in early childhood research. Minimum requirements include a master’s degree in early childhood education or related field, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience, plus a minimum three years of experience in a research environment. Only applications submitted via Rutgers University’s employment website will be considered. For a full job description and to apply, click here.

Early Childhood Education Policy Specialist

NIEER is seeking an Early Childhood Education Policy Specialist. We are looking for someone to join our work conducting policy analysis and providing technical assistance to state policy makers to inform ECE policy and practice at the national, state and local levels. In this position you will also assist in obtaining funding by contributing to proposals and discussions with potential project sponsors. This position requires a Masters’ degree in public policy or related discipline and a minimum of three (3) years of relevant professional experience. Learn more and apply here.




English and Spanish Predictors of Grade 3 Reading Comprehension in Bilingual Children

Researchers followed 248 bilingual children from prekindergarten to third grade, evaluating them annually to determine predictors of English reading comprehension in third grade. They found that English oral language and word reading were the strongest predictors, but noted “Spanish language skills make significant direct and indirect contributions to the English oral language and word reading skills that predict reading comprehension.” The study was conducted by the Language and Reading Research Consortium, and Carol Mesa and Gloria Yeomans-Maldonado of the University of Michigan. Read the abstract here.

Longitudinal Study of Psychiatric Disorders in Offspring of Parents with Bipolar Disorder from Preschool to Adolescence

Children were at increased risk of developing bipolar disorder (BP) if they had a parent with early onset BP and were diagnosed with ADHD before age 6, researchers found. The study was described as the largest and longest prospective longitudinal study on the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in children from preschool through adolescence.

The research involved 116 preschoolers of parents with BD, 53 children with parents with non-BD psychopathology, and 45 with parents deemed healthy. The researchers followed the children an average of 9.6 years.

“Symptoms of BD were scarce among offspring during the preschool years, but increased throughout the school-age period,” according to the study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. The authors noted the importance of treating parents with psychopathology, because that also improves the prognosis of their children. They recommended development of early interventions for children to delay or prevent psychopathology onset. Click here to read the study and see the list of researchers.

Efficacy of the Treatment of Developmental Language Disorder: A Systematic Review

Young children with developmental language disorder (DLD) benefit from targeted treatment, according to researchers in Italy who analyzed 27 studies. The evidence “highlights the importance of carrying out timely assessments of linguistic (and, in particular, phonological and morphosyntactic) skills in pre-school children, so as to provide, if necessary, targeted treatment before the start of primary school, while considering the importance of these skills for future school learning,” they wrote.

DLD is the most frequent developmental disorder in childhood, and has a significant negative impact on children’s development, they noted.

“Early intensive intervention in three- and four-year-old children has a positive effect on phonological expressive and receptive skills and acquisitions are maintained in the medium term.” Intervention on morphological and syntactic skills has effective results on expressive, but not receptive, skills, they noted. Click here to read the study and see the list of researchers.

Storytelling in early childhood education: Time to go digital

A case study on the use of digitally supported storytelling showed positive outcomes for teachers and young children, according to the researcher. Maila D. H. Rahiem of UIN Syarif Hidayatullah in Indonesia examined a weekly storytelling-art-science club in an early childhood education setting that incorporates digital storytelling activities. The four teachers involved reported that “simple digital technology made storytelling more entertaining, captivating, engaging, communicative and theatrical.” They provided examples of how digital storytelling “actively involves children in the learning process.” Raheim recommended creating more opportunities for teachers to use technology in storytelling. Read the study here.




Assistant Commissioner for Early Learning, Tennessee Department