January 8, 2021 – Volume 20, Issue 1

 

HOT TOPICS

 

Pandemic’s Impact on Early Learning and Care Programs in California and Dual Language Learners

New research by the nonprofit advocacy organization Early Edge California examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on early learning and care programs in California and the Dual Language Learners (DLLs) they serve.

The survey analysis, conducted in partnership with the American Institutes for Research (AIR), found many early learning programs maintained connections with families and children who were unable to attend in person over the summer. However, the widespread program closures, reductions in enrollment for in-person learning, and a shift to virtual learning created added challenges in reaching and supporting DLLs.

A majority of programs provided parents learning activities to do with their children, offered virtual learning experiences, and emphasized children’s social-emotional well-being, according to the brief. Overall, however, they reported lower rates of participation for DLLs. Some centers provided resources in the home language for DLLs, though few family child care homes did so. Nearly three-quarters of programs reported a need for more guidance for serving DLLs during the pandemic. Read the summary here.

ECE Lead Teacher Study Seeks Subject Matter Experts

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards seeks subject matter experts (SMEs) for a study to determine the competency requirements of early childhood education (ECE) lead teachers.

Participation in the study involves attending one or two virtual workshops to help define the role of the ECE lead teacher and identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities that ECE lead teachers need. If you are an ECE lead teacher interested in taking part in the study, please fill out the application survey, linked here.

 

ECE RESEARCH

 

Learning at Home: What Preschool Children’s Parents Do and What They Want to Learn from Their Children’s Teachers

Susan Sonnenschein, Michele Stites, and Rebecca Dowling of the University of Maryland found that parents of preschoolers lack confidence in facilitating their children’s math and reading development, and that more collaboration between preschool teachers and parents is needed to support such learning.

The study surveyed parents of 126 preschoolers about their views on their children’s reading and mathematics engagement at home. The investigators found that parents prioritize reading over mathematics, and suggested that may be the result of parents — even well-educated ones — lacking confidence in how to foster their children’s math skills. Nearly two-thirds of parents reported wanting more feedback from teachers, especially about their children’s progress, along with recommendations for learning activities they can do with their children at home.

“Preschool teachers play an important role in supporting home learning of reading and mathematics,” the researchers concluded. Read the abstract here.

The Longitudinal Influence of Self-Regulation on School Performance and Behavior Problems from Preschool to Elementary School

Annika Rademacher of the University of Oldenburg in Germany conducted a longitudinal study on the association of children’s intelligence and cool self-regulation skills with school success. The author suggests that early intervention promoting cool self-regulation can positively affect subsequent school success and reduce problem behaviors. Read the abstract here.

The Effects of a ‘Pretend PlayBased Training’ Designed to Promote the Development of Emotion Comprehension, Emotion regulation, and Prosocial Behavior in 5 to 6yearold Swiss Children

Researchers found that play-based training can promote the development of socio-emotional competencies. Children ages 5 and 6 who received hour-long training in emotional comprehension, negative emotion regulation, and prosocial behavior for 11 weeks showed improvements in understanding their emotions.

The study was conducted by Sylvie Richard of the Valais University of Teacher Education in Switzerland; Gabriel Baud-Bovy of the Università Vita‐Salute San Raffaele in Italy; Anne Clerc-Gentaz of the Vaud University of Teacher Education in Switzerland; and Edouard Gentaz of the University of Geneva. Read more here.

Early Childhood Educators’ Perspectives on Tree Climbing

A study by researchers Carla Gull, Suzanne Levenson Goldstein, and Tricia Rosengarten of the University of Phoenix in Arizona examined early childhood educators’ perspectives on tree climbing, in order to develop a tool kit for safely incorporating tree climbing in U.S. early childhood settings. Of the 415 respondents, 41.7% reported not allowing tree climbing because of fears, liability and licensing. The rest allowed it, noting tree climbing is a fun part of childhood that has benefits: it teaches children to negotiate risk; boosts their confidence, dexterity and physical strength; and enhances spatial awareness. Settings that allow it reported low injury rates (scrapes were the most common injury.) The study suggests the benefits of tree climbing outweigh the risks. Read more here.

Predicting Students’ Mathematics Achievement Through Elementary and Middle School: The Contribution of State-Funded Prekindergarten Program Participation

Children who participated in Georgia’s pre-K program performed better in math through seventh grade than classmates who did not attend the program. Jisu Han of Kyung Hee University in South Korea and Stacey Neuharth-Pritchett of the University of Georgia, examined the mathematics achievement of 458 students. After controlling for race, sex, and poverty, they found pre-K participation was positively related to math achievement through seventh grade. Participants were 1.67 to 2.1 times more likely to meet academic standards on grade 4 through 7 state standardized tests than nonparticipants. Read the abstract here.

 

OPPORTUNITIES

 

Policy Director, NC Child

Tenure Track Position in Early Childhood Studies, School of Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University

Program Administrator, Child Study Center – Edward Zigler Center

Research Associate 2, Child Study Center – Edward Zigler Center