February 18, 2022 – Volume 21, Issue 7


The Economic Role of Paid Child Care in the U.S. – A Report Series

The Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board released a report this week that examined the use of paid child care and labor-force participation of mothers in the U.S. The Economic Role of Paid Child Care in the U.S. – Part I is the first of a four-part series analyzing the impact of paid child care on workforce participation over the past 20 years.

According to the report, in 2019, parents of children under age 5 used paid child care at nearly two times the rate (29.4 percent) of parents of school-age children (16 percent). While paid child care usage dropped about 18 percent from 2019 to 2020 because of the pandemic, the trend over the past 20 years has been upward. Paid child care expenditures reached a record high of $7,602 per household in 2019, although this declined to $7,058 in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The authors note public preschool is an alternative to paid child care, and cited NIEER’s State of Preschool Yearbook 2020 showing that public preschool options served almost 44 percent of 4-year-old children and almost 17 percent of 3-year-old children in fiscal year 2020.

Read the executive summary here.

The LEGO Foundation Launches the Build a World of Play Challenge

The LEGO Foundation has launched a $143 million challenge to fund “bold, transformational ideas” that support children’s learning, well-being and holistic development worldwide. The “Build a World of Play Challenge’’ is accepting proposals focused on children from birth to age 6 that address global social issues.

Grants will be awarded to projects that use evidence-based solutions to make substantial contributions to children’s lives, addressing current issues such as toxic stress in homes and communities, violence in homes and communities, pollution, and unequal access to quality early care and education.

Research organizations, nonprofits, NGOs, and for-profits can apply on their own or collaboratively. Read more about the challenge here and submit applications here.

Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III: The Man, The Mindset, & Relevance for Today

The Foundation For Child Development’s Scholars of Color Series kicks off Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. EST with a webinar honoring the work of Asa G. Hilliard III.

Hilliard was a scholar, psychologist, historian and teacher whose work influenced the fields of education, child development, and social policy. He promoted the excellence of all children through his research on child assessment, teaching and curriculum, and African history and culture. Attendees will be able to join the conversation and ask questions of speakers during a live Q&A session. Register here.


Effects of Early Mathematics Intervention for Low-SES Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Students: A Replication Study

Early math interventions used in prekindergarten and kindergarten reduced the socioeconomic status (SES)-related achievement gap in mathematics in a study of the intervention “Pre-K Mathematics” in pre-K and “Early Learning in Mathematics” in kindergarten. The study involved 389 children from low-SES households.

Children demonstrated positive gains in mathematics outcomes in pre-K, and maintained these gains in kindergarten, showing “the gap can be reduced and gains maintained by sustained early intervention,” according to the researchers: Prentice Starkey and Alice Klein of the nonprofit, WestED in California; Ben Clarke of the University of Oregon; Scott Baker of Boston University; and Jaime Thomas of Format Consulting in California. Read the abstract here.

​​Early Childhood Pre-service Teachers’ Descriptions of Equity in Science Education: A Thematic Analysis

A study involving 380 early childhood preservice teachers found that most held misconceptions about equity in science education. They “conceptualized equity in science education as involving English learners, something unrelated to children’s racial/ethnic backgrounds,” the researchers wrote.

The authors stressed the importance of pre-service teachers understanding the need to build their knowledge of equitable science instruction to resolve “opportunity gaps in science education between dominant and nondominant children.”

The study was conducted by Eunyoung Lee and Karthigeyan Subramaniam of the University of North Texas, and Dina C. Castro of Boston University.

Teacher-Child Interaction and Cognitive Development in Rio de Janeiro Preschools

A study examining the quality of preschool teacher-child interactions found that instructional support positively correlated with language and mathematics development.

Researchers at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro used the Classroom Assessment Scoring System in 59 public preschool classrooms to estimate the impact of classroom interactions on children’s cognitive development. Additionally, Tiago Bartholo, Mariane Koslinski, Renata Gomes, and Felipe Andrade found evidence that the three-factor structure of CLASS domains was appropriate in Brazilian classrooms. Read the abstract here.