January 31, 2020 – Volume 19, Issue 5

Hot Topics
Spotlight on the Poor Pay Problem for Early Childhood Teachers
A new report from UnidosUS focuses on Latinx preschool teachers, the importance of teachers who understand the cultural backgrounds and home language, and the importance and challenges of obtaining BA degrees and other qualifications. Challenge number 1 is inadequate pay.
Another new report from Bank Street on infant-toddler care emphasizes the inadequate pay for teachers of our youngest children. “You can make more as a dog walker in New York City than as an infant-toddler caregiver,” said Shael Polakow-Suransky, president of Bank Street in discussing the report with the Wall Street Journal.
Also released this week is a new state report on challenges facing the early childhood workforce: Elevating Nebraska’s Early Childhood Workforce: Report and Recommendations of the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Commission. The report is available along with a digital information kit.
Problems arise not just from low pay, but from the lack of pay parity with teachers in the much larger K-12 system. NIEER’s new pre-K data snapshot, State Pre-K Policies: Salary Parity Varies with Teacher Qualifications and Setting by Karin Garver provides a nationwide analysis of state pre-K program policies on salary parity with public school teachers in the early grades. Garver reviews both policies and salary data for pre-K teachers and K-3 teachers to provide insights into how much difference parity policies make as well as which states have them. Very few states have parity polices that apply equally to preschool teachers in private providers. Without policy change, many state pre-K programs can expect staffing problems to continue and even worsen. There are especially large salary disparities between private preschool and public school K-3 teachers
UnidosUS. 2020. Creating and Sustaining Preschool Children’s Sense of Belonging in the Classroom. https://nieer.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/unidosus_ecepracticebrief.pdf
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and Cultures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24783.
National Institute for Early Education Research. 2020. State Pre-K Policies: Salary Parity Varies with Teacher Qualifications and Setting. http://nieer.org/policy-issue/nieer-pre-k-data-snapshot-state-pre-k-policies-salary-parity-varies-with-teacher-qualifications-and-setting
ECE Resources
The Impact of In-Service Professional Development on the Quality Of Teacher-Child Interactions in Early Education and Care: A Metaanalysis
Examining the impact of in-service professional development (PD) on the quality of teacher-child interactions in early education and care, researchers report PD is effective, overall, in improving teachers’ interactions with students. However, “instruction, guided practice and feedback … may still require additional effort and innovative tools to support teachers’ performance …”
PreK–3 Alignment: Challenges and Opportunities in California
A study designed to better understand the California’s “coordinating of preK–3 standards, curricula, instructional practices, assessments, and teacher professional development” (prek-3 alignment) provides indications that more work needs to be done in these areas. Implications for both state and district level policy are discussed.
More Than Words: Narrator Engagement during Storytelling Increases Children’s Word Learning, Story Comprehension, and On-Task Behavior
Researchers compared live read-aloud, live oral storytelling, audiotaped read-aloud, and audiotaped oral storytelling with 60 four- to six-year-old children. “Although learning occurred across conditions, live oral storytelling resulted in the largest gains in receptive target-vocabulary and best story comprehension.”
Systematic Review of English Early Literacy Interventions for Children Who Are Dual Language Learners
Researchers describe key features of English early literacy interventions provided to children who were dual language learners and their effects on their English early literacy skills. They report “the use of bilingual and monolingual instruction showed promise for enhancing English early literacy skills, although mixed findings were common when both language and code-related outcomes were measured.”
Parent–child Number Application Activities Predict Children’s Math Trajectories from Preschool to Primary School
Researchers examined the frequency of parent–child math activities in preschool and associations with children’s developmental trajectories of math skills from preschool to primary school. They found that “the frequency of informal math activities, including number game and application activities, was associated with formal math skill levels in preschool. More important, parental involvement in application activities in preschool significantly predicted the rate of growth in formal math skills through first grade.”
Early Education News Round-up
The week’s key stories on early childhood education. Read now.
The Future of the Early Childhood Workforce Policy Forum, Thu, February 27, 2020, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM EST, NYU Kimmel Center for University Life, Eisner & Lubin Auditorium, 60 Washington Square South, New York, NY, sponsored by Day Care Council of New York.