February 5, 2021 – Volume 20, Issue 5

HOT TOPICS

ITC@NIEER Presents ‘5 Things We Know and 5 Things We Don’t but Should’

The Infant and Toddler Policy Research Center at NIEER presents “5 Things We Know and 5 Things We Don’t but Should” on Friday, Feb. 19. The hourlong webinar beginning at 1:30 p.m. EST is a conversation about child care and education for infants and toddlers in New Jersey. The panelists are:

  • Arturo Brito, The Nicholson Foundation
  • Allison Friedman-Krauss, ITC@NIEER
  • Beverly Lynn, Program for Parents, Inc
  • Natasha Johnson, New Jersey Division of Family Development
  • Cecilia Zalkind, Advocates for Children of New Jersey

Register here. ITC@NIEER produces research and research-based technical assistance and policy analysis to inform national, state, and local policies on child care that enhances the education and development of infants and toddlers.

NYU Seeks Teachers for COVID-19 Survey

The Center for Early Childhood Health and Development at NYU Grossman School of Medicine invites elementary school teachers to participate in a survey about their experiences teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey is part of research to understand the mental health and well-being of pre-K to 5th grade teachers during the pandemic. It may inform the future design of programs to support professional development. Register here.

ECE RESEARCH

Pedagogical Intentions or Practical Considerations When Facilitating Children’s Play? Teachers’ Beliefs about the Availability of Play Materials in the Indoor ECEC Environment

While early childhood education and care teachers in Norway believe play is crucial to learning, practical considerations in indoor spaces may result in them restricting access to play materials, a new study found.

The qualitative research by Tone Rove Nilsen of Nord University in Norway addressed this question: what are teachers’ beliefs about the availability of play materials when facilitating children’s play in the indoor physical ECEC environment?

Some teachers kept play materials on shelves out of children’s reach to avoid mess or breakage, with the belief that children would request items if they wanted them. “Interestingly, these findings indicate that even though teachers express a shared ideology of having available play materials, the concept of availability is understood differently,” Nilsen wrote.

“It is possible that a higher quality indoor environment could be assured if these teachers made conscious choices to a greater extent than before, observing what works or not, or by collaborating with other teachers and staff,” he concluded. Read the study here.

Home Literacy Environment and Existing Knowledge Mediate the Link Between Socioeconomic Status and Language Learning Skills in Dual Language Learners

Researchers used a newly developed language measure to investigate whether socioeconomic status related to language-learning processes in 108 Spanish-English dual language learners.

Children ages 3 to 5 from higher-SES families performed better on learning a new language than those from lower-SES families, a gap that emerged as early as age 3 and persisted. Having access to books at home and frequent reading, along with children’s existing vocabulary and syntactic knowledge, mediated the SES effect, the researchers found.

“A multipronged approach that targets home literacy environment, in-depth language knowledge, and language learning processes simultaneously is needed to strengthen DLLs’ language learning skills and enable them to take full advantage of their dual-language environment,” they concluded. The issues addressed in the study are important “because language learning processes are a prerequisite for language acquisition, which in turn is foundational for long-term language and academic growth.”

The study was conducted by Rufan Luo of Rutgers University–Camden; Amy Pace of the University of Washington; Dani Levine and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek of Temple University; Aquiles Iglesias and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff of the University of Delaware; Jill de Villiers of Smith College; and Mary Sweig Wilson of Laureate Learning Systems, Inc. Read it here.

Inclusive Practice and Quality of Education and Care in the Dutch Hybrid Early Childhood Education and Care System

A study comparing different organizational structures of early childhood and care centers in the Netherlands found that socially engaged professional organizations provided higher-quality education and more inclusiveness.

“The study reveals clear differences between organizations in the inclusiveness and quality of education and care provided to young diverse children” in spite of national standards and curriculum guidelines on quality, researchers said.

The research involved 117 centers across the Netherlands caring for infants through 4-year-olds. With the focus on diversity and inclusion, the study compared three types of organizations: socially engaged professional, market-orientated, and traditional professional-bureaucratic.

The socially engaged type, both nonprofit and for-profit, “were more strongly connected to local schools and neighborhood child-, family- and social services than centers of the other two types,” they wrote. The socially engaged type also served more children of low socioeconomic status, non-Dutch children, children with language-support needs, and children with a refugee background, according to the study, available here.

The research was conducted by W. M. van der Werf, P. L. Slot and P. P. M. Leseman of Utrecht University, and P. N. Kenis of Tilburg University, in the Netherlands.

Early Childhood Education in Vietnam, History, and Development

Ph.D. candidate Thao Thi Vu of Murdoch University in Australia described the historical development of early childhood education in Vietnam, which began in 1945.

“The development of Vietnam’s early childhood education reflects the ups and downs of the country’s historical context and economic conditions,” wrote Vu, who also is a faculty member of the early childhood education department at Hanoi National University of Education in Vietnam.

Vietnam was immersed in war with French colonists from 1945 through 1954, and then occupied by the U.S. until 1975. “The history of ECE in Vietnam is separated into two main phases, before and after 1975,” Vu said.

The author said positive changes in educational views and methods arose after 1998. “Especially since 2009, the teacher-centered has been replaced by the child-centered approach, making a remarkable movement for ECE in Vietnam,” Vu wrote. Read the paper here.

OPPORTUNITIES

ICF, Impact Early Childhood Systems Consultant Network Technical Assistance (TA) Specialist

ICF, Child Care State Systems Specialist