August 11, 2023 – Volume 22, Issue 32


📚 🍎 Just in Time for the New School Year – Examining School Readiness When Discussing Child Health 

A new series of papers from the National Academy of Medicine, “Vital Signs for Pediatric Health”, describes four metrics across the pediatric life course, each measuring how well the health care system is building the physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional health of the pediatric population, thereby laying the foundation for life-long health and well-being. The metrics focus on four different developmental stages of growth – infant mortality, chronic absenteeism, high school graduation rates, and school readiness. Four articles explore each indicator in depth, dissecting the ways children are impacted. Particularly exciting for the early childhood education field is the inclusion of school readiness as a pediatric indicator with a view toward both how to improve the health of young children and how a lack of support can lead to health disparities. 

Read the print version.  

Read the on-line version.   

An Early Start in Education = Stronger Language, Social Skills 💪 

The multitude of benefits of early care and education among 3-5-year-olds has been well-documented. But what if students start their education attainment even earlier? This study explores the effects of toddler enrollment (18-35 months) among both English-speakers and Spanish dual language learners compared to later preschool enrollment. The results? Stronger English-language and approaches to learning skills. 

Read the study.  


Exclusive Report Tracks 14 years of quality improvements transforming NJ’s Abbott Preschool Program  

Our latest brief examines the journey of pre-K classroom quality from 2003 to 2017 in New Jersey’s Pre-K program. Did you know that by 2015, 71% of pre-K classrooms scored in the good to excellent range? Hit the link below to understand better the shifts and the path to comprehensive quality improvement in new and established programs. 📊🏫 #EnhancingEarlyEdQuality #preK    

Read the complete brief for more insights.     

How did the “Abbott” state-funded high-quality preschool initiative fare? This program has transformed the lives of more than half a million children in low-income communities since 1998. Our fact sheet documents observed quality changes and recommends strategies for continuous enhancement. 🏫✨   

Get the fact sheet now. 🏫✨  

Watch the enlightening moments from CAYL Catalyst Ep. #29 – “MOONSHOT: EVERY CHILD IS INCLUDED!” 🚀✨  

The event discussed the crucial topic of equal education access for children with special needs. Despite legal provisions since 1975, these children still encounter systemic hurdles. 🌈📚 Catch up on the groundbreaking discussions that took place and stay informed on paving the way to inclusive education for all children! 🏫🌠 #InclusiveEducation #ECE #CAYLCatalyst 

If you missed the webinar, you can still view the recording here! 

Want to learn more read our report, The State(s) of Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education: Looking at Equity  


Call for Papers: Team Concepts in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). 

With this thematic issue “Team Concepts in ECEC,” we plan to take a closer look not only at the composition of teams, but also at established and innovative team approaches in a variety of countries. Understanding how these concepts evolved and discussing the potentials and challenges of their implementation in everyday practice is our main aim.   

Learn more here.  

Publish in the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy (IJCCEP)  

It’s FREE – article processing charges for all articles published in the journal are fully sponsored.  

The journal is indexed by Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) and by Scopus.  

All articles are published under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 license. Authors will retain copyright.  


Preschool Children’s Loose Parts Play and the Relationship to Cognitive Development: A Review of the Literature  

Among various play methodologies, ‘Loose Parts Play’ is championed by educators for its potential in supporting cognitive development, allowing children to blend diverse play styles using both natural and artificial materials. However, a notable research gap persists, according to the authors, regarding the direct impact of loose parts play on preschoolers’ cognitive development. This review attempts to bridge this gap, combining relevant literature and shedding light on how different play methods using loose parts can strengthen cognitive skills, from executive function to problem-solving.  

Read the report.  

Poverty in Early Childhood and Future Educational Achievements    

A new study investigating the effects of early childhood family income on Israeli students’ primary school achievements finds that the impact of family income was more significant when measured from birth to age two than between ages 3-5. The results further emphasize the potential benefits of ensuring economic stability during a child’s formative years.  

Read the report. 

Current Approaches and Future Directions for Addressing Ethics in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health 

This paper explores the possibility of establishing a distinct code of ethics for the infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) field. It discusses the unique aspects of IECMH, and how the field has responded to intricate clinical issues through various strategies such as workforce development, clinical support, policy statements, and ethical values declarations. The authors propose that IECMH practitioners require a systematic approach specifically tailored to address the unique ethical quandaries they encounter.  

Read the report. 

Use Them or Lose Them: Are Manipulatives Needed to Assess Numeracy and Geometry Performance In Preschool? 

This research study has unexpectedly suggested that two-dimensional (2D) pictorial representations might be just as effective as three-dimensional (3D) manipulatives in preschool math assessments. This evidence indicates flexibility in the choice of assessment materials and hints that 2D pictures, which are easier to replicate and less cumbersome, could adequately replace 3D manipulatives, highlighting an area for further exploration in the quest for efficient teaching and assessment tools to foster early mathematics success. 

Read the report.


Research Manager, Early Childhood Policy 

Managing Director – Early Care and Education Systems, Afton Partners 

Senior Policy Analyst, Early Childhood Education, New America 

Exec Director, Early Childhood Operations, Policy & Strategy Maryland Department of Education