February 10, 2023 – Volume 22, Issue 6


Why Do We Focus on the Prenatal-to-3 Age Period? Understanding the Importance of the Earliest Years  

Nearly 7 million children are enrolled in child care centers in the U.S., and approximately 60 percent of them are 3 years old or younger. However, data show that only 24 percent of infants and toddlers are placed in child care considered to be high quality by established standards. This fact alone illustrates the need for improvements in families’ ability to access child care, but other factors further complicate this issue. Read more here. 


Teacher Prep Review: Building Content Knowledge 

To help elementary teacher candidates attain a firm foundation in social studies and science, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) developed a Building Content Knowledge standard for its Teacher Prep Review, used to evaluate the quality of teacher preparatory programs. NCTQ spent nearly two years collaborating with teacher prep program faculty and staff, content experts, and measurement experts to develop the standard. Read more here. 



CAYL Catalyst Ep. #24 – ECE Pride: The Impact We Make in the World! 

Dr. W. Steven Barnett joins the CAYLT Institute’s Panel for their March 2 webinar! The COVID Pandemic shined a light on ECE as an essential workforce, and public perception of child care is continuing to change. In what other ways is Early Childhood Education impacting our world today? What else can we do to continue to show the importance of this field nationwide? Register here.


Benefits of Prekindergarten for Children in Baltimore 

Prekindergarten enrollment in Baltimore public schools enhanced the academic performance of children from low-income, high-risk urban backgrounds, a team of researchers found. “Pre-K can confer benefits on children from communities beset by multiple risk factors, suggesting that it may serve as a buffer against some of these adversities,” they wrote. Comparing children enrolled in pre-K to a group entering the following year based on Maryland’s registration cutoff date, the researchers found pre-K improved children’s language, literacy and math problem-solving skills. Access the study here. 


Teachers’ Agency in the Implementation of an Early Childhood Education Policy Program in Schools in Bogota, Colombia 

Teachers’ agency in implementing a government expansion of preschool to 3- and 4-year-olds in Bogota, Colombia proved critical to overcoming challenges, according to researchers who interviewed educators from five schools. They found that teachers “negotiate, resist, adapt and recreate experiences in relation to school times, spaces, activities, and materials by developing strategies more responsive to children’s needs,” the study authors wrote. Access the study here. 


 Evaluation of Snacks Consumed by Young Children in Child Care and Home Settings 

Children ages 3 to 5 ate more snacks in regulated child care centers than at home, but those snacks, based on nutrition regulations, contained significantly less sugar and more vegetables, fruits, grains, water and fiber than snacks eaten at home, researchers in Canada found. The quantity of snacks consumed at the center could be reduced through less emphasis on providing two full food group servings, they wrote. That could lead to “more creative, nutrient dense snacks such as small sandwiches, bite sized snack items and cups of soups or smoothies to promote consumption of more vegetables, vegetable proteins and whole grains in a convenient and economical manner,” the researchers suggested. Read the study here. 


Transition to Preschool: Paving the Way for Preschool Teacher and Family Relationship-Building 

The transition to preschool process could benefit from teachers inviting parents to actively participate in the introduction phase, which ultimately could enhance family-teacher relationship building, researchers in Sweden said. The study, involving 535 preschool teachers, identified two models of introduction, traditional and parent-active. A drawback of active parent involvement is the risk of parents spending too much time in the classroom, resulting in more distress for children, the researchers noted. They suggested teachers use “a longer and less intense introduction phase.” Read the study here. 


Associated Biological and Environmental Factors of Impaired Executive Function in Preschool-aged children: A Population-based Study 

Insufficient exercise, excessive media use and being male were among the biological and environmental factors found to be associated with reduced executive functioning (EF) among preschoolers, researchers reported. The study involved 1,540 preschoolers, most from middle-income families, in Thailand. The other factors tied to poor EF were excess weight, low maternal education, and permissive parenting. The researches did not find EF outcomes to be linked to preterm birth, low birth weight, sleep, or social economic status. “Providing a healthy environment by concurrently adjusting the modifiable factors could be reasonable options to enhance EF in early childhood,” they wrote. Access the study here.