February 11, 2022 – Volume 21, Issue 6

HOT TOPICS

Pathways to Prosperity: Report from a Convening on Economic Security for Families with Infants and Toddlers

Themes that emerged from an October 2021 convening of state leaders and national experts about strategies to promote the economic security of families with infants and toddlers have been synthesized in a report released this week by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and Zero to Three. Pathways to Prosperity: Report from a Convening on Economic Security for Families with Infants and Toddlers highlights three themes:

  1. The importance of focusing on the “whole child” and “whole family” when addressing the economic security of families.
  2. The importance of understanding the past and creating a future that ensures the next generation of policies and practices are anti-racist and support equity.
  3. Acknowledging that the field of early childhood can play an important role in creating pathways to prosperity by building relationships and working in collaboration with those more focused on economic justice for families.

The report, which includes resources shared at the convening that provide guidance on supporting economic opportunities for families, can be accessed here.

ECE RESEARCH

A Systematic Review of Early Childhood Exclusionary Discipline

Researchers analyzed 20 peer-reviewed studies on preschoolers’ exclusion from early child care and education (ECCE) settings, an area they said is ripe for more investigation as states look to prohibit expulsions.

Their review suggested that changes to discipline processes will require better support for teachers’ well-being and their preparedness for addressing children’s diverse needs, and for improved parent-teacher relationships.

The study by Katherine M. Zinsser, H. Callie Silver, Elyse R. Shenberger, and Velisha Jackson is available here.

The Characteristics of Gifted Children with Learning Disabilities According To Preschool Teachers

Half of preschool teachers interviewed about students who are both gifted and have a learning disability reported they either did not believe the two qualities could coexist or had no knowledge of twice-exceptional (2E) children, according to researchers in Turkey.

The study involved 41 preschool teachers in Turkey. Researchers Ahmet Bildirenb of Adnan Menderes University and Tahsin Firat of Adiyaman University reported that the participants focused on certain characteristics of children with a learning disability or with giftedness, ignoring 2E. Read the abstract here.

Different Types of Focus: Caregiver–Child Interaction and Changes in Preschool Children’s Attention in Two Cultures

Researchers observed a difference in how mothers of preschool-age children in Japan and the U.S. directed the attention of their children in a study that tracked children’s eye movements. Japanese mothers used more social-relation talk (e.g., “Birds are saying hello to the bunny”) than did U.S. mothers, which related to differences in what children paid attention to.

Following the caregiver-child interactions, Japanese children shifted their attention to become more sensitive to contextual background, while U.S. children continued to show strong object-oriented attention, a pattern that was initially shown by both groups of children. The researchers concluded that “young children may begin with object-oriented attention similarly across cultures, and divergent developmental pathways develop later as the result of socialization to cultural norms.”  Read the abstract here.

Text to Talk: Effects of a Home-School Vocabulary Texting Intervention on Prekindergarten Vocabulary

Text to Talk, an intervention in which preschoolers’ vocabulary words and related activities from class read alouds are texted to their parents, showed promise, a study found.

Children whose families received texts with the vocabulary words learned significantly more of the target words than preschoolers who did not receive the intervention, according to researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia. The words were from stories children were read in school, noted Emily K. Snell, Barbara A. Wasik, and Annemarie H. Hindman. Read the study here.

Family Systems and Emotional Functioning in Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Preschool Children

Families with a child who is deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) reported lower levels of family cohesion and positive emotion expressions than families with a child with typical hearing (TH). However, no differences were found in other measures of family functioning, adaptability and parental emotions communication.

Researchers interviewed the parents of 106 DHH children and 99 TH children, ages 2 to 6. Based on the results, they surmised that families with a DHH child may have less opportunity for leisure time, spending more time with medical appointments, and that they may face stigma.

The study was conducted by: Shannon Yuen, Boya Li, Yung-Ting Tsou, Qi Meng, and Carolien Rieffe of Leiden University in the Netherlands; and Liyan Wang and Wei Liang of the China Rehabilitation Research Center for Hearing and Speech Impairment. Read the study here.

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