August 21, 2020 – Volume 19, Issue 32

Hot Topics


A Podcast and New Research Follow NIEER’s Look at Pandemic’s Impact on Early Education

The Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) Knowledge Hub features a podcast with Dr. Steven Barnett discussing NIEER’s survey of the pandemic’s impacts on young children. That survey found America’s preschools schools failed to provide students adequate support after shutting down in-person instruction in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Barnett, W.S. and Jung, K. (2020) Understanding and responding to the pandemic’s impacts on preschool education: What can we learn from last spring? National Institute for Early Education Research.) Two new reports examine local examples of impacts on early childhood education since onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.


NIEER Activities


Kindergarten Entry Assessments: Why?

NIEER’s Karin Garver explores why states conduct kindergarten entry assessments in a new policy brief released this week. Successful assessment systems have a clearly defined data collection purpose, according to Garver, who identified three general reasons why states conduct KEAs: To inform instruction, to inform families, and to inform state policy.

Alignment of Pre-K and Kindergarten Child Assessments: 2018-2019 School Year

A new pre-K data snapshot authored by NIEER’s Katherine Hodges examines state pre-K child assessment policies. Hodges looks at the assessment tools individual states require and whether they require the same tool for kindergarten entry assessments (KEA). While 38 states with state-funded programs require preschool programs to assess children’s learning and development, only four states use the same or an enhanced version of the tool in both pre-K and kindergarten.


ECE Resources


Null relations between CLASS scores and gains in children’s language, math, and executive functions

Researchers report “evidence regarding associations between … the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS; Pianta et al., 2008), and children’s school readiness gains during the preschool year is mixed.” They suggest their “findings support calls for a next generation of measurement work in early childhood education (Burchinal, 2018Weiland, 2018),” noting efforts toward this are already underway.

Movement Behaviors and Physical, Cognitive, and Social-Emotional Development in Preschool-Aged Children

Studying “the relationships between accelerometer-derived movement behaviours and indicators of physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development … in a sample of preschool-aged children,” researchers suggest the “overall composition of movement behaviors appeared important for development” and that their “findings confirmed the importance of MVPA [moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity] for physical development.”

Gender Gaps in Behavior, Neurodevelopment and Pre-Academic Skills

Researchers examining “gender differences in early literacy and numeracy skills, as well as a range of neurodevelopmental and behavioral domains between the age of five and six years,” found “gender differences favoring girls for all outcomes except internalizing behavior.” The researchers conclude “gender differences favoring girls exist prior to school entry for a broad range of pre-academic, behavioral and neurodevelopmental skills relevant to school functioning.”

Screen Time Exposure in Preschool Children with ADHD: A Cross-Sectional Exploratory Study from South India

Researchers investigating screen time exposure and the relationship between “screen time with the severity of ADHD and parental stress levels” found “preschool children with ADHD have screen exposure above the recommended duration of one hour/day. Structured parent training programs for children with preschool ADHD and providing developmentally appropriate interventions are essential in curtailing screen time exposure and also to address parental stress.”

Hair Cortisol and Dehydroepiandrosterone Concentrations: Associations with Executive Function in Early Childhood

Researchers investigatied “the associations of HCC [hair cortisol concentration], DHEA [hair dehydroepiandrosterone], and their ratio with measures of executive function (cognitive flexibility and working memory) in a sample of kindergarten children (N = 100).” While there was a negative association between HCC and WM that approached significance, the researchers found “DHEA was significantly and positively related to cognitive flexibility.”


Early Education News Round-up


The week’s key stories on early childhood education. Read now.




Child Care and Early Education Policy Research Consortium (CCEEPRC) 2020 Virtual Event Series upcoming schedule:

Event descriptions for August and September are available online.

Foundation for Child Development‘s third webinar in its Getting It Right webinar series is Wed, Sept 2, 2 p.m. EDT, Moving Towards Equity Through Implementation Research. Its previous webinars are available on YouTube: