August 14, 2020 – Volume 19, Issue 31

Hot Topics
Just out is a new report based on data from the 2019 National Household Education Survey regarding early childhood care and education for children birth to age 5 and not yet in kindergarten. The report obtained information on more than 7000 children nationally. It includes some information on home learning environments for children ages 3 to 5. Among the noteworthy findings, the study shows little change in preschool program participation since 2012. The report provides national estimates of participation rates in early childhood nonparental care and education arrangements, how well these arrangements cover work hours, costs, location, what parents consider when selecting an arrangement, and difficulties finding arrangements.
NIEER Activities
NIEER’s Karin Garver to Present National KEA Data Use Scan
NIEER Early Childhood Education Policy Specialist Karin Garver will present a national scan of kindergarten entry assessment data as part of a webinar by a partnership among CCSSO, NIEER, and WestEd.
“Kindergarten Entry Assessments: Considerations for the Fall 2020” will focus attention on “the role and implementation of kindergarten entry assessments,” especially important now as school move to open and provide services remotely. The webinar is Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 12:00-1:30 ET/9:00-10:30 PT and available via Zoom by using the password 5h*xnRHK.
NIEER Partners to Assist PDG Birth Through Five Grantees
NIEER will join SRI International and several partner organizations to provide technical assistant to Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B–5) grantees. The Office of Child Care is funding the new National Center for Preschool Development Grants Birth Through Five to deliver universal, targeted, and tailored technical assistance to support grantee efforts to build, enhance, and expand mixed-delivery B–5 systems and high-quality B–5 programs and services. For more information contact Lori Connors-Tadros at
COVID 19 Course
Opportunity for ECE Programs to Partner in Pandemic Response
NIEER Founder and Co-director Dr. Steven Barnett is seeking leaders of state and local early education programs (up to grade 3) as partners for a course on early education policy during COVID-19.
Leaders will engage with students in a consultative process of continuous improvement and planning. Students from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education will assist leaders develop, pilot, and refine strategies to educate young children within the constraints and uncertainties caused by the pandemic.
This course (15:230:600 Education Policy Responses to COVID-19) will (1) examine and share research and best practice from the United States and around the globe and (2) employ the tools of evaluation to fine-tune policy approaches as the pandemic and its consequences continue to unfold.
Open to all Rutgers continuing and new graduate students, leaders partnering in the class may also choose to enroll in the course for credit.
To express interest or for more information please email Dr. Barnett at
Moving New Jersey Schools Forward Amid COVID 19
Dr. Penelope Lattimer, former assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education, moderated yesterday’s live forum on “Pre-K–3: Arts Ed, Social/Emotional Learning, and COVID-19,” which featured Robert B. Morrison, director of Arts Ed NJ and CEO of Quadrant Research.
Yesterday’s forum will soon be available on YouTube.
ECE Resources
That American Academy of Pediatrics noting that “children constitute a low proportion of” COVID-19 “cases and are far less likely than adults to experience serious illness,” has recommended reopening schools for in-person classes. Recognizing that this poses serious challenges for schools—especially given their budgetary limitations—a new article in JAMA Pediatrics offers school leaders practical advice in implementing that guidance. It suggests districts “establish a COVID-19 task force” and a “command center” of “data analysts and health experts” in partnership with local health agencies. The article recognizes that even though much of the threat to keeping infection rates low lies outside school, public schools can help to mitigate spread outside as well as inside schools by providing COVID-19 prevention educational materials and training for families and staff, training staff on screening for COVID-19 symptoms, and face coverings for families that cannot afford them. Recommendations also are offered for reducing in-school risk including fixed cohorts of students and teachers, multilevel screening for students and staff, and a 3-pronged testing approach in collaboration with local hospitals.
When researchers explored teachers’ “job demands and resources, occupational burnout, and turnover intentions,” they found “teachers’ emotional exhaustion and depersonalization from the work is a function of lack of job control, lack of collegial relationships within the program, and children’s behaviors that they perceived to be challenging.” The researchers suggest their findings “can be used to inform leadership development, teacher professional development, and workforce compensation policy to foster greater organizational health, to improve teacher well-being, and to promote teacher retention.”
Researchers examining “the child, household, and community characteristics that predict ECE [Early Care and Education] participation for Latino infants and toddlers living in low-income households” report “the use of nonparental care for infants and toddlers in low-income Hispanic households depends largely on whether the child lives in a single- or two-parent household, how many parents are employed, and the number of hours parents work.”
Using “a resiliency framework to provide a national portrait of the strengths and resources of low-income Black and Hispanic/Latino boys served by Head Start,” researchers found that “although low-income boys of color are a vulnerable subgroup, Black and Hispanic/Latino boys experience and exhibit a range of strengths during the Head Start year.” They suggest “Head Start boys of color have access to environments that support their resilience, but there are some areas in which better supports could be provided.”
This study examined “how modeling from both teacher education faculty and clinical educators influenced elementary education teacher candidates’ development of technology integration knowledge and use of technology while teaching.” Researchers found “Teacher education faculty primarily modeled technology integration with higher-order thinking skills such as rigorous practice activities and project-based learning, whereas the clinical educators modeled technology integration through lower-level activities such as educational review games and showing videos.”
Researchers investigating “the relation between Dual Language Learners’ (N = 90) vocabulary and grammar comprehension and word learning processes in preschool (aged 3‐through‐5 years)” found “stronger predictive associations within each language than across languages.” They report “structural sensitivity theory suggests exposure to two languages heightens awareness of parameters along which languages vary and provides a framework for interpreting complex associations within and across languages. Knowledge from one language may influence learning in both.”
Early Education News Round-up
The week’s key stories on early childhood education. Read now.
“Kindergarten Entry Assessments: Considerations for the Fall 2020,” August 18, 2020, 12:00-1:30 ET/9:00-10:30 PT, accessible via via Zoom with password 5h*xnRHK, offered by CSSO, NIEER, and WestEd.
National Research Conference on Early Childhood 2020 (NRCEC 2020), November 30 – December 3, 2020, sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families.