August 26, 2022 – Volume 21, Issue 34


QRIS and Interaction: Do Quality Rating Systems Reflect Individual Experience?


Approximately one quarter of children receive very little adult-child interaction in early learning settings, even in the highest-rated classrooms within a state quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), researchers at LENA found. They reviewed data from 1,417 infants, toddlers and preschoolers attending child care centers with different QRIS ratings. Children in one-star rated centers experienced an average of 18 conversational turns per hour, compared with 24 in five-star centers. However, an estimated one in four children in five-star centers experienced fewer than 15 conversational turns per hour, the average across all centers. “The experience of the individual child remains a QRIS blind spot,” the researchers concluded. Read about the findings here.


Cortisol Across Preschool Day Relates to Teacher Ratings of Executive Functioning for Children Facing Economic Hardship


A greater output of cortisol, a steroid hormone that supports daily functions and rises in response to stress, was found to be related to executive functioning problems in low-income preschoolers. In a study that measured salivary cortisol at four time points over two days, children with higher cortisol output throughout the preschool day had greater difficulties in overall teacher-reported executive functioning, controlling for child age, sex, race/ethnicity, and family income. The researchers suggested structural changes aimed at promoting healthy physiological and self-regulatory functioning. Read the study here.


Moving from Efficacy to Effectiveness: Understanding the Impacts and Implementation of a Preschool Emergent Literacy Intervention


Findings from an intervention using the Nemours BrightStart! program, a widely available emergent literacy intervention, will be discussed at an upcoming webinar by Shayne Piasta, a faculty associate and professor at Ohio State University. Dr. Piasta’s findings highlight the importance of supporting preschoolers identified as at-risk for later literacy difficulties. The webinar, hosted by The Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy, begins at 12 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Register here.



Essentials of Practice-Based Coaching: Supporting Effective Practices in Early Childhood


A new book, Essentials of Practice-Based Coaching: Supporting Effective Practices in Early Childhood, explores the positive impact coaching in early childhood classrooms can have on teaching quality and delves into strategies for implementing a specific coaching model.

NIEER Senior ECE Policy Specialist GG Weisenfeld reviewed the book in the Teachers College Record, stating it “could easily be used in early childhood leadership courses or to guide PD workshops for school leaders or early childhood center directors.” Read Weisenfeld’s review here.



Paying for Preschool: Who Blends Funding in Early Childhood Education?


Researchers found a positive association between an early childhood education provider’s number of funding sources and program quality. NIEER’s Jennifer K. Duer and Jade Jenkins of the University of California, Irvine noted that ECE providers commonly use blended funding, combining financial sources from distinct early childhood education (ECE) policies within programs. The study was based on national provider ECE data. Access it here.


Self-Regulation and Academic Achievement from Early to Middle Childhood among Children in Low-Income Neighborhoods

Researchers reported that long-term gains from interventions fostering preschoolers’ global self-regulation may yield more benefits for math than for reading, particularly when those interventions target executive function. The Loyola University Chicago researchers examined data on children from low-income areas of Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio at an average age of nearly 5 and again at age 9. Read the abstract here.

Preschoolers’ Vocabulary Skills and Inhibitory Control: The Role of Classroom Engagement

Preschoolers who had higher levels of inhibitory control in the fall had more positive engagement with tasks and less negative engagement (i.e., conflict and off-task behaviors) in the classroom; while those with higher vocabulary skills in the fall had more positive engagement with teachers and peers. Negative engagement mediated the path from fall inhibition to spring inhibition and vocabulary. Read the study, by Qingqing Yang and Kelly M. Purtell of Ohio State University, here.

Patterns of Classroom Organization in Classrooms Where Children Exhibit Higher and Lower Language Gains

Preschoolers in classrooms with higher language gains spent more time in instructional activities throughout the school year, and classes had fewer behavioral disruptions, according to researchers who explored multiple features of classroom organization. The study was written by Laura Cutle, Shayne B. Piasta, Kelly M. Purtell, and Nathan P. Helsabeck of Ohio State University, and Rachel E. Schachter and Clariebelle Gabas of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Read it here.


Effectiveness of School-Based Emotional Education Program: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial


The emotional education program 1,2,3, emoció! improved preschoolers’ emotional competencies, researchers in Spain found. Effects were positive for both genders, but were stronger for younger children. Access the study here.