August 25, 2023 – Volume 22, Issue 34


🏫 📚 Back to School 2023: Top States for Preschool Education  

As the new school year begins, disparities in preschool education access and quality across states come into focus. While some states offer free, publicly-funded preschool education starting at age 3 or 4 to all or most families, others lag far behind. This report ranks states based on their support for preschool education, considering enrollment opportunities at ages 3 and 4, as well as state spending per child. Find out how your state ranked now!   


Navigating the Kindergarten Transition: A Fresh Model Emerges 🎒🍎  

The journey into kindergarten is a pivotal moment for young learners, shaping their educational path and future achievements. 🌟 But it’s not always smooth sailing. In a recent study from the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, teachers revealed that almost half of all children face challenges, from staying organized to making friends, during this crucial transition.  

Discover how to navigate this milestone effectively and set children up for a bright educational future. 📚 Read More!   

The Impacts of Abecedarian and Head Start on Educational Attainment: Reasoning About Unobserved Mechanisms from Temporal Patterns of Indirect Effects  

A recent study has more deeply examined the enduring benefits of early childhood education (ECE) programs, specifically what helps drive immediate benefits to be long-lasting. The research team scrutinized the indirect effects of the Abecedarian Project and Head Start on educational outcomes. These effects accounted for up to half of the programs’ total impact. The study revealed consistent patterns showing a direct impact and identified significant mechanisms distinct from standard cognitive and socioemotional metrics. These insights underscore the ways ECE programs influence a child’s life trajectory and highlight the need for fresh strategies in child-environment studies. The researchers anticipate that these revelations can guide future ECE research and policy to better serve children’s long-term success. Read more.  


🌟 Exciting Opportunity Alert! Join Our Team as Co-Director for Administration and Grants! 🌟   

Are you a seasoned professional with a knack for HR processes, grants management, and strategic leadership? Look no further!  

In this role, you’ll:  

✅ Keep HR processes on track – from hiring to promotions. 

✅ Collaborate with program staff and PIs to secure funding. 

✅ Skillfully manage grants and contracts post-approval. 

✅ Lead in strategic planning, policy formulation, and implementation.  

If you’re ready to make a meaningful impact and drive our mission forward, we want to hear from you! Apply now.   


Longitudinal Studies in ECEC: Challenges of Translating Research into Policy Action  

This series emphasizes the value of longitudinal studies in informing ECEC policies across five countries: the US, UK, New Zealand, Germany, and Korea. Contributors share experiences converting research into policy action, such as the US’s Head Start and the UK’s Sure Start. Socio-economic and ethnic disparities in ECEC access, children’s social behavior, and language integration are explored. Key factors influencing the adoption of research in policymaking are alignment with policy needs, rigorous methodology, and effective dissemination. Future collaboration challenges and opportunities between research and policy are also discussed.


Identifying Factors Related to Successful Enrollment in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education 

Researchers report that parent advocacy was closely linked to earlier enrollment in Early Intervention (EI) and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), as well as the use of a wider range of intervention methods for children with developmental delays. This study underscores specific challenges preventing families from leveraging vital EI/ECSE services and emphasizes the need for strategic changes to improved access. The study was based on data from a survey of parents of children aged six and under. The study authors suggest that “this study is one of the first to provide quantitative evidence of specific barriers related to EI/ECSE enrollment.”

A Mixed-Methods Approach to Understanding Early Childhood Special Educators’ Well-Being 

A new study suggests that efforts to address Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) teacher well-being “must be differentiated, targeted and context-specific.” When researchers explored teacher well-being and its influence on teacher burnout/attrition using Latent Class Analysis (LCA), three profiles of Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) teacher well-being emerged. Additionally, qualitative interviews revealed the varying needs of teachers. The researchers suggest that several gaps in the research are addressed in this paper and provide suggestions for practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to help support ECSE teachers’ needs. 
Read the study.  

Computational Thinking and Repetition Patterns in Early Childhood Education: Longitudinal Analysis of Representation and Justification 

A recent research study sheds light on early mathematical development in children by analyzing the understanding of repetition patterns in Spanish children aged 3 to 5. The study reveals a marked shift in children’s reasoning, with 3- and 4-year-olds primarily using “elaboration” techniques, progressing to “validation” by age 5. The study authors suggest that insights from their research emphasize the importance of structured learning and proactive teacher involvement in nurturing early mathematical prowess.
Read the study.  

Efficacy and Perception of Feasibility of Structured Games for Achieving Curriculum Learning Goals in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Low-Income Classrooms  

In a new study conducted across 12 prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms in Chile, researchers revealed promising impacts of structured games designed to align with the Chilean curriculum learning goals, which were especially tailored for low-income classroom settings. Over a 6-month period, half the classrooms incorporated these games, while the remainder were introduced post-intervention. Results revealed significant improvements in letter-word identification, math problem-solving, and phonological awareness among children exposed to the games. Additionally, head teachers lauded the games for their engaging nature and ease of implementation in real classroom environments. This study underscores the potential of integrating playful learning to bolster academic performance, particularly in preschools within low- and middle-income regions.


Co-Director for Administration and Grants, NIEER 

Assistant Professor (N/T) – Early Childhood Education, The Berkeley School of Education 

Senior Director, Early Childhood Policy, Center for American Progress  

Prenatal to Three Policy Impact Center: Several Positions 

Harvard Center for the Developing Child: Special Assistant to the Faculty Director 

SchoolHouse Connection: Early Childhood Senior Program Manager