Children from low-income households who received high-quality early childhood education starting at 19 months old or younger showed early academic gains and maintained them through third grade. Participants were randomly assigned to participate in Tulsa Educare, an enhanced Early Head Start/Head Start program, or a control group. The treatment group demonstrated higher skills than the control group in letter and word identification, vocabulary, oral comprehension, and math, after controlling for child/family characteristics and classroom quality, according to researchers Diane M. Horm, Shinyoung Jeon, Moira V. Clavijo, and Melissa Acton. The treatment group’s growth did not slow or fade from kindergarten through third grade, and rates of growth between the two groups did not significantly differ. Read the study here.
The Alliance for Early Success has released its annual assessment of early childhood policies and advocacy across the nation. The 50-State Progress and Landscape Report shows states’ efforts to increase child care access, expand pre-K and/or improve existing pre-K, improve compensation for early childhood education professionals, and establish more inclusive paths for building a diverse and effective workforce. Read the report here.
A team of U.S. researchers examined how racism negatively impacts the wellbeing and developmental outcomes of Black children and children from other racially and ethnically minoritized (REM) communities, and highlighted policy options that could help mitigate those effects. The researchers noted disparities in several areas, including early childhood education, affordable housing, and health care. Policies that address economic security and mobility, safe and affordable housing, prenatal care and child health, and access to early intervention and quality education can mitigate the effects of racism, they noted. Read the paper here.
NIEER and New America will host a webinar Jan. 18 on how states are building early learning systems for children birth through age five that are both equitable and aligned. The hourlong event, moderated by NIEER senior research fellow Lori Connors-Tadros, features presenters from Minnesota, Washington, and Rhode Island. Webinar participants will be invited to take part in an upcoming peer learning community entitled Building Equitable Systems for Tomorrow (BEST): Helping All Young Children Reach Their Potential. Register here for the webinar, which begins at 2 p.m. EST.
The quality of teacher-student relationships in primary school is significantly associated with children’s behavior, peer acceptance, academic performance, feelings toward school, self-concept, and emotional regulation, according to a systematic review of research conducted over a decade. The researchers showed that early care experiences can affect the formation of new relationships in primary school, and that teachers’ attachment style and availability for children is associated with children’s adjustment to school and their behavior. Read the review here.
In assessing preschoolers’ social interaction, researchers who analyzed 26 peer-reviewed studies found the research base included many indicators of interaction, such as children’s behaviors towards others, participation in activities involving two or more people, and expressions. Collecting data on social interaction indicators should involve methods teachers can implement routinely, they noted. Read the systematic review here.
The results of physical and sensory environment interventions used in early childhood education and care settings to support children’s social and emotional development are mixed but promising, researchers conducting a systematic review concluded. The studies reviewed by the researchers included interventions and programs such as nature-based programs, playground redevelopment, background music, indoor toy arrangement and sensory cushions. Read the abstract here.
Regardless of future preschool teachers’ current professional math knowledge and beliefs, the use of mathematical picture books in shared book reading (SBR) sessions increased the likelihood of the teacher formulating a mathematical question, compared to non-mathematical picture books, researchers found. Teachers using mathematical picture books were also more likely to provoke more abstract mathematical questions, they noted. Read the abstract here.
Researchers found moderate evidence that play-based body-oriented interventions promoted social-emotional competence, empathy and social interaction among preschoolers, but they were not found to be effective at fostering altruism or reducing anger and aggression. A systematic review found play-based programs were the most studied among interventions involving body and movement awareness and expression. The others—dance, relaxation, psychomotricity, exercise, and combined programs—had little evidence of affecting the outcomes studied. Access the review here.