January 6, 2023 – Volume 22, Issue 1


State(s) Of Head Start And Early Head Start: State Profiles Released


A new report finds major equity issues including inexplicable state-by-state variations in access and quality for Head Start and Early Head Start even though these are federally funded programs that are required to follow common federal standards. These equity issues fundamentally arise from inadequate funding for the eligible population and are highlighted in NIEER’s State(s) of Head Start and Early Head Start 2022 report, and the newly released state profiles. See how your state compares here.


The Long-Term Effects of Universal Preschool in Boston


Children randomly assigned to attend Boston’s large-scale public preschool program had higher high school graduation rates, college enrollment rates, and college-preparatory test taking rates than those not enrolled in the program, according to a study published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics. Public preschool attendees also had fewer disciplinary infractions in high school. These outcomes were found despite a lack of evidence that state achievement test scores were impacted by the preschool program. “Our findings illustrate possibilities for large-scale modern, public preschool and highlight the importance of measuring long-term and non–test score outcomes in evaluating the effectiveness of education programs,” wrote Guthrie Gray-Lobe of the University of Chicago, Parag A. Pathak of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Christopher R. Walters of the University of California, Berkeley. Access the study here.

The Case Against Preschool Suspension and Expulsion


The Hunt Institute will host a webinar on Monday, Jan. 9, on the precursors to and prevention of preschool suspension and expulsion. Panelists include Dr. Kate Zinsser of the University of Chicago Illinois, Dr. Shantel Meek and Dr. Tunette Powell of the Children’s Equity Project at Arizona State University, and Illinois state Senator Christina Pacione-Zayas. The webinar begins at 2 p.m. EST. Register here.



Enrollment in Pre-K and Children’s Social-emotional and Executive Functioning Skills: To What Extent are Associations Sustained Across Time?

Children who attended Boston Public Schools’ public pre-K program had lower levels of internalizing behaviors and higher task orientation than their peers at the start of kindergarten, but these effects were not sustained through kindergarten. Read the study, by Lillie Moffett, Amanda Weissman, Meghan McCormick, Christina Weiland, JoAnn Hsueh, Catherine Snow, and Jason Sachs, here.

Directionality in the Interrelations between Approximate Number, Verbal Number, and Mathematics in Preschool-Aged Children

Preschoolers’ earlier verbal number knowledge predicted their later precision on an approximate number system (ANS) task, or their ability to represent the approximate number of objects in a set non-verbally. Early nonverbal ANS precision was not associated with later verbal number knowledge or math abilities. “These results suggest that learning about verbal numbers is associated with a sharpening of pre-existing non-verbal numerical abilities,” the researchers wrote. Access the study here.

Children’s Interactions with Relatively Wild Nature Associated with More Relational Behavior: A Model of Child-Nature Interaction in a Forest Preschool

Children in an outdoor preschool engaged with nature in a more relational way when the environment was relatively wild, researchers at the University of Washington found in an observational study. They also recorded 26 child-nature interaction patterns; the most common was children using their bodies vigorously, including running, jumping, crawling, rolling, skipping, sliding, and hopping. Read the study, by Thea Weiss, Peter H. Kahn Jr., and Ling-Wai Lam, here.

Updating the Evidence: A Systematic Review of a Decade of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Research


A systematic review of 16 studies of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) found this preventative intervention can have positive impacts on child behavior, teacher self-efficacy, and teacher-child interactions. The researchers noted future studies should clarify the role of IECMHC in varied implementation settings. Read the review here.


Why Do They Leave? The Counterplans to Continue Working among Preschool Workers in Japan: A Cross-Sectional Survey

The high turnover rate for employees at preschool and childcare centers in Japan is related to overtime work, low pay, and challenging work relationships, according to researchers at Nishi Kyushu University. More than half of the teachers/non-managers who worked at preschools and centers full-time and participated in the study reported an unwillingness to continue working beyond five years in a preschool setting. The researchers suggested these employees be offered better reward systems, welfare benefits, work conditions, human relations, and mental health to entice them to stay in their positions. Access the study here.