December 13, 2019 – Volume 18, Issue 45

Hot Topics
New NIEER-CityHealth Report on Pre-K in Cities Shows 34 of Nation’s Largest Cities Now Have Pre-K Program
A new national report shows which large U.S. cities are leading on policies that address health and well-being, including high-quality, accessible pre-K. Seven new cities were awarded gold medals for their high-quality preschool programs: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Nashville, New York, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, and San Francisco. Medals were awarded by CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, based on an analysis by NIEER.
The CityHealth report offers a close look at whether the nation’s 40 largest cities have nine key policies in place that experts say help residents lead healthier lives and make communities thrive.
CityHealth awarded each city a gold, silver, bronze, or no medal in nine policy areas according to the quality and strength of a city’s laws addressing issues like affordable housing, safe streets, food safety, and early education.
Thirty-four out of 40 cities nationwide received a medal for high-quality pre-K, which is one more city than 2018. Medals are based on a policy analysis by NIEER assistant research professor GG Weisenfeld and senior co-director Ellen Frede.
Planning Underway for NIEER Infant/Toddler Policy Center
NIEER gathered infant and toddler care professionals from throughout New Jersey to plan a new NIEER-based infant and toddler care policy center. The two-day meeting generated vital ideas for the future center’s direction and goals. Speakers included Dr. Rena Hallam, University of Delaware; Karen Schulman, National Women’s Law Center, Dr. Diane Horm, University of Oklahoma-Tulsa; and Dr. Rachel Chazan Cohen, Tufts University. Funding is provided by The Nicholson Foundation.
Changes Improve Early Years Toolbox
Changes to the Early Years Toolbox have made the tool easier for measuring young children’s emerging cognitive, self-regulatory, language, numeracy and social development. Developed by the University of Wollongong, the Early Years Toolbox provides brief, engaging, game-like assessments for the iPad.
ECE Resources
Using Behavioral Insights to Increase Attendance at Subsidized Preschool Programs: The Show Up to Grow Up Intervention
An experiment to increase attendance and reduce chronic absences at subsidized preschools “appears to have made the importance of preschool more salient” to certain parents,” according to researchers. Parents received text messages “targeting malleable factors that potentially drive absences from preschool.”
Longitudinal and Geographic Trends in Family Engagement during the Pre-kindergarten to Kindergarten Transition
Researchers looked at “family engagement across the pre-K to kindergarten transition” and whether engagement differs within families in rural versus urban settings. “Rural parents reported less home-based involvement, structural communication, and relational communication” compared to urban parents, researchers report.
Sustaining Collaborative Preschool Partnerships and the Challenges of Educating the Whole Child
Researchers “examined whole-child preschool programming from a policy perspective” and suggest “whole-child wellness must include sustainable approaches that are systematic and holistic approaches for educating children”.
Policy Levers to Promote Cultural Competence in Early Childhood Programs in the USA: Recommendations from System Specialists
Researchers investigated ways early childhood Quality Rating and Improvement Systems might incorporate cultural competence, “including incentives, supports, and rewards for programs that foster cultural competence of the early care and education workforce.”
School-, Classroom-, and Dyadic-Level Experiences: A Literature Review of Their Relationship with Students’ Executive Functioning Development
Researchers examined the relationships between students’ executive functioning (EF) development and how “school-, classroom-, and dyadic-level (teacher–student and peer–student) experiences relate to student EF development. They found “classroom emotional support and teacher–student conflict were the most consistent predictors of student EF development.”
Early Education News Round-up
The week’s key stories on early childhood education. Read now.
NAEYC’s 2020 Public Policy Forum, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Arlington, VA, Sunday, February 23 – Tuesday, February 25, 2020. Read more.
Postdoctoral Fellow, EdPolicyWorks, University of Virginia. Read more.
Early Childhood Education – Research Specialist, EdPolicyWorks, University of Virginia. Read more.
Postdoctoral Researcher, Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools, College of Education and Human Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Read more.