January 29, 2021 – Volume 20, Issue 4


NIEER is launching a new policy research center focused on education and care for infants and toddlers: ITC@NIEER

As a key priority for the new center is policy in the Garden State, the ITC@NIEER will host, “A Conversation on Child Care and Education for Infants and Toddlers in New Jersey: 5 Things We Know and 5 Things We Don’t but Should,” on Feb. 19 at 1:30 p.m. EST.

The hourlong conversation will be moderated by Dr. Arturo Brito, executive director of The Nicholson Foundation. Invited panelists include: ITC@NIEER Project Director Allison Friedman-Krauss; New Jersey Division of Family Development Director Natasha Johnson; Programs for Parents CEO Beverly Lynn; and Cecilia Zalkind, president and CEO of Advocates for Children of New Jersey. Registration information will be available soon, SAVE THE DATE.


How States Can Support Parent Choice for Early Learning

States should foster more affordable, quality child care programs and provide better information to help parents make the best choice for their family. Elliot Regenstein and Chris Strausz-Clark explain why and how briefly in their Preschool Matters Today blog while providing a more extensive explanation in a full report for the American Enterprise Institute. The authors note that families with the greatest needs are far less likely to find child care suitable for them and urge states to lead the way in better deploying resources to ensure families have good choices and to better inform families regarding the choices available to them.


Building the Advocacy Infrastructure to Win Equity Victories for Children and Families

Next week, Capita will release a new report specifically for funders who want to achieve ambitious policy goals for children and families. “Building the Advocacy Infrastructure to Win Equity Victories for Children and Families” outlines both the essential infrastructure needed and how funders must invest to achieve concrete public policy victories.

Capita will host a virtual conversation about the report with authors Sara Watson and Kimberly Perry, along with Barbara Chow, director of the education program at the Heising-Simons Foundation, on Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. EST. Register for the event and learn more here.


Research Project Manager

NIEER is seeking a research project manager to support current and emerging projects in early childhood research. Minimum requirements include a master’s degree in early childhood education or related field, or an equivalent combination of education and/or experience, plus a minimum three years of experience in a research environment. Only applications submitted via Rutgers University’s employment website will be considered. For a full job description and to apply, click here.


Effect of Age-Appropriate Play on Promoting Motor Development of Preschool Children

Results of a new study demonstrated that age-appropriate play involving parents had a positive influence on preschool children’s motor development.

The research involved 160 children ages 3 to 5 and their mothers. The subjects were randomly split into two groups. The intervention group, divided into five groups of six to eight participants, received four theoretical and 20 practical sessions.

Researchers Fatemeh Cheraghi, Zhila Shokr, Ghodratollah Roshanaei and Arash Khalili of Hamadan University in Iran suggested the results provide positive evidence about the impact of age-appropriate play on motor development, especially with parental engagement and support. Read the abstract here.

Two Years vs. One: The Relationship Between Dosage of Programming and Kindergarten Readiness

Researchers Charles J. Infurna of the University of Rochester in New York and Guillermo Montes of St. John Fisher College, also in Rochester, found that children who attended two years of preschool were better prepared for kindergarten than those who attended only one year.

“This study provides evidence that in an urban school setting, EPK (early pre-K) attendance may boost kindergarten readiness at the end of the UPK (universal pre-K) year,” the researchers wrote. They estimated a 37% increased likelihood of kindergarten readiness for children who attended a two-year program. “Black students who attended two years experienced a greater benefit, with a 53% increased likelihood of being kindergarten-ready,” according to the study, which can be downloaded here.

New Evidence on Teacher Turnover in Early Childhood

More than a third of early childhood education teachers leave their positions after a year, and many of them are not teaching in another program the following year, a new study found.

“Compared with teachers who stay, those who leave are rated lower on interaction quality,” the researchers noted. The study also found turnover rates were higher among teachers working in child care and with younger children.

The research was conducted by Daphna Bassok and Laura Bellows of the University of Virginia, Anna J. Markowitz of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Katharine Sadowski of Cornell University. Read the abstract here.

The Effects of Mindful Movement Intervention on Academic and Cognitive Abilities among Kindergarten Children

Moving mindfully improved verbal and non-verbal intelligence among children ages 3 to 6, according to a new study by Eyal Rosenstreich and Ela Shoval of the Academic College at Wingate in Israel, and Tal Sharir of Israel’s Ministry of Education.

With 160 children participating, researchers performed pre- and post-intervention tests of children’s language, mathematics, and Raven matrices. They compared mindful movement, which stresses the purpose of an action, with movement for its own sake, and typical academic environment activities over 145 days, according to the abstract.

“The effect on verbal intelligence was mediated through static balance performance, whereas the effect on non-verbal intelligence was mediated by dynamic balance performance,” they wrote. Read the abstract here.


State-Level Strategic Financing: Bringing it All Together for Babies, Feb. 2, 2 p.m. EST. Register.

CAYL Catalyst Webinar Series

Community Advocates for Young Learners Institute is launching the “CAYL Catalyst Webinar Series” for early childhood professionals guiding children in changing times. The hourlong webinars take place the first Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. “Wanted: New Leadership for Young Learners,” the first webinar on Feb. 4, celebrates educators and explores the need for new guidance for young children. Noted early childhood advocate Maurice Sykes will serve as keynote speaker. Register here.

“Changing the Game for Latino Children” follows on March 4, featuring Luis Hernadez, ECE specialist from Kentucky University. The discussion will center on how to support young Latino children through early education and care. Visit www.cayl.org for more information.


Assistant Research Professor at the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia

Director and Associate Director of Early Childhood Education, CHILDREN AT RISK