December 2, 2022 – Volume 21, Issue 47


Unequal Access to Head Start is a Widespread Problem: Leveling Up is the Solution


NIEER released the State(s) of Head Start and Early Head Start: Looking at Equity this week, the second report to provide a state-by-state look at Head Start and Early Head Start. The report focuses on equity of access to and quality in Head Start and Early Head Start. The new report focuses on the 2020-21 program year but includes data beginning with the 2011-12 program year to examine trends over the last decade and the impact of the pandemic.


Although Head Start and Early Head Start are federal programs, they are not the same everywhere. The report finds large inequities across and within states and nationwide negative impacts from the  Covid-19 Pandemic. Additional funding is recommended to reduce inequities by raising everyone up and address longstanding problems of inadequate teacher compensation. The new report, by Allison Friedman-Krauss, Steve Barnett, and Jennifer Duer, can be found here, with state-specific profiles to follow next week.

Do More Hours in Center-based Care Cause More Externalizing Problems? A Cross-national Replication Study

A new study finds little evidence that spending more time in center-based child care is associated with the development of behavior problems in young children. The meta-analysis of seven studies across five countries used data collected from 10,105 children between 1993 and 2012. Researchers looked at whether within-child changes in hours in care related to externalizing problems in toddlers and preschoolers. Read the study here.

Great Expectations: Learning and Success for All

A virtual book launch and conversation on systemic change in early childhood care and education will take place Thursday, Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. EST. Early childhood education (ECE) pioneer Naomi Karp will discuss her recently released book, Great Expectations: Learning and Success for All. Karp was director of the Department of Education’s Early Childhood Research Office for 10 years and led a multi-year effort to boost the quality of care and the early childhood workforce in southern Arizona. ECE leaders are invited to participate in a discussion about state and regional efforts to improve ECE quality. The conversation and book launch can be accessed here.




The Home Numeracy Environment and Children’s Math Skills: The Moderating Role of Parents’ Math Anxiety

The relationship between the home numeracy environment (HNE; i.e., the frequency of math activities parents engage in with children in the home) and preschool children’s numeracy skills was moderated by parents’ math anxiety, researchers found. They note “in two households with similarly frequent engagement in HNE practices, children will exhibit stronger numeracy skills in a household where parents demonstrate lower math anxiety relative to a household where parents demonstrate higher math anxiety.” Read the study, by Jimena Cosso, Jennifer K. Finders, Robert J. Duncan, Sara A. Schmitt, and David J. Purpura, here.

The Quality of Early Caregiving and Teacher-Student Relationships in Grade School Independently Predict Adolescent Academic Achievement

Early relationship quality between caregivers and low-income children ages 3-42 months was associated with academic achievement at age 16, but not with teacher-child relationships in elementary school, researchers found. In addition, early maternal sensitivity and teacher-child relationships in elementary school were both independently associated with age 16 achievement. The researchers concluded that “the present results do suggest that early relationships with both primary caregivers and teachers are uniquely associated with academic competence in adolescence.” Read the study here.


Teacher Expectations in the Early Primary Grades: A Scoping Review

A scoping review of teacher expectations in the early primary grades identified five main themes: (1) teacher expectations of school readiness skills; (2) factors that influence the formation of teacher expectations; (3) teacher expectation effects; (4) stability of teacher expectations; and (5) intervention studies. “Teacher expectation scholars can build on the findings of this scoping review by clarifying how specific beliefs contribute to teachers’ global expectations and result in teacher practices that ultimately influence learning outcomes in early primary grades and beyond,” the researchers concluded. Read the study here.

Preschool Teachers’ Fidelity in Implementing a Vocabulary Intervention: Variation across Settings and Strategies

When implementing a vocabulary intervention, preschool teachers showed greater fidelity to teacher-focused as compared to child-focused practices, and to shared book reading practices as compared to playful learning experiences. Teachers’ use of core strategies and child-focused practices were found to be significantly related to children’s vocabulary outcomes. Read the abstract here.

Teacher–Child Conversations in Preschool Insights into How Teacher Feedback Supports Language Development

The frequency of teacher feedback during interactive book readings was associated with preschool children’s vocabulary learning. In addition, teachers participating in a language and literacy intervention provided more feedback to children. “Overall, this study indicated that during preschool teacher–child conversations during interactive book readings, teacher feedback on child talk was relatively limited, even within a language-focused intervention,” the researchers noted. Read the abstract here.