January 10, 2020 – Volume 19, Issue 2

Hot Topics
Screen-based media use and language and literacy skills in preschoolers
Even very young children now commonly spend substantial time with screens (phones, tablets, TVs, etc.) and screen time including the use of digital media devices is increasing. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended limits on screen time based on concerns regarding its cognitive-behavioral risks. However, relatively little evidence is available on the effects of screen time on the brain development of young children. A new study of 47 prekindergarten children published in JAMA finds that screen time is negatively associated with measures of language and literacy. In addition, higher reported screen-based media use was associated with lower microstructural integrity of brain white matter tracts involved with language, executive function, and emergent literacy abilities controlling for child age and household income. This study adds to the evidence supporting the AAP’s concerns and points to the need for further research.
ECE Resources
Policy Levers to Promote Cultural Competence in Early Childhood Programs in the USA: Recommendations from System Specialists
Researchers investigated ways in which early childhood Quality Rating and Improvement Systems “might incorporate requirements related to cultural competence” and “foster cultural competence of the early care and education (ECE) workforce.”
Preparing Students for Success: Differential Outcomes by Preschool Experience in Baltimore City, Maryland
Following a cohort of children entering kindergarten, researchers found those who attended Head Start plus public pre-K “were the most likely to enter kindergarten with the foundational skills and behaviors needed to be successful.” Students in informal care were the least likely to enter kindergarten with these foundational skills.
How Much of Children’s Time in Nonparental Care Coincides with Their Parents’ Time at Work?
Researchers sought to “uncover new patterns” in synchronizing “parental work and children’s time in” child care and for households of varying incomes.”
“Across all income groups and types of care, center-based care overlaps least with parental work hours,” the researchers found. “Children living in poverty have the lowest rates of NPC [nonparental care]occurring during parental work time.”
Sustaining Collaborative Preschool Partnerships and the Challenges of Educating the Whole Child
Evaluating a preschool grant initiative, researchers found grantee school districts “engaged in a number of different public and private partnerships” and that these districts most often cited improved collaboration as a reason behind their ability to serve more children. Researchers suggest “early childhood policy should enable … partnerships that approach preschool programming from a holistic perspective.”
Preschool Teachers’ Transition Practices and Parents’ Perceptions as Predictors of Involvement and Children’s School Readiness
“Parents who have more positive perceptions about preschool teachers’ invitations for involvement …” engage “in more home-based involvement activities.” Researchers report this “was positively associated with children’s academic achievement and prosocial behaviors and negatively associated with conduct problems and hyperactivity/inattention.”
Early Education News Round-up
The week’s key stories on early childhood education. Read now.
Research Specialist, LEGO Foundation, Billund, Denmark / Read more.
Early Childhood Studies, Assistant Professor, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona / Read more.