July 1, 2022 – Volume 21, Issue 26


Building a Well-Qualified Transitional Kindergarten Workforce in California: Needs and Opportunities


School districts in California will need to hire between 11,900 and 15,600 additional lead teachers by 2025-26 to meet staffing needs related to the state’s commitment to expand access to its transitional kindergarten (TK) program, according to a new report published by the Learning Policy Institute. An estimated 300,000+ students are likely to enroll in TK in the 2025-26 school year as California expands funding for the program. Building a workforce that is qualified to deliver high quality early learning experiences will involve multiple strategies; the report concludes with recommendations, including to clearly map out and communicate career pathways into TK/early childhood positions, make new investments in the early childhood workforce beyond TK, and collect new data to monitor the needs of the early childhood workforce. Read the whole report, by Hanna Melnick, Emma García, and Melanie Leung-Gagné, here.


Transforming the Narrative on Latino Populations: When & How to Use Comparison Groups in Research


Documenting disparities in outcomes between different ethnic and racial groups is an important line of research; however, between-group comparisons based on race and ethnicity are not sufficient to address the root causes that lead to inequities between groups, nor are they always appropriate. The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families will discuss this during the upcoming webinar: Transforming the Narrative on Latino Populations: When & How to Use Comparison Groups in Research on July 26. The webinar, taking place at 12:00 p.m. EDT, will be moderated by Dr. Lina Guzman, Principal Investigator of the Center. Dr. Cynthia García Coll, Dr. William Lopez, and Dr. Gaby Barajas-Gonzalez will share their research expertise. Register here.


Shared Services: Sharing Resources to Maximize Opportunities for Children and Families


The Hunt Institute will host a webinar on July 12 focused on the benefits of a shared services model in supporting operations, expenses and community engagement in child care programs. The webinar Shared Services: Sharing Resources to Maximize Opportunities for Children and Families will feature Louise Stoney, Co-Founder of Opportunities Exchange; Monique Reynolds, Vice President of ECE Business Support and Sustainability at Quality Childcare for Children; and Pamela Drew, Co-Director of Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network. Register for the webinar, which will take place at 2:00 p.m. EDT, here.



Play and STEM Education in the Early Years: International Policies and Practices

Structured and unstructured play times present meaningful opportunities for the learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the early years, as demonstrated in a new book focused on the topic. The text Play and STEM Education in the Early Years: International Policies and Practices is edited by Sue Dale Tunnicliffe of the UCL Institute of Education in London and Teresa J. Kennedy of the University of Texas at Tyler and presents the perspectives of 47 STEM experts from 16 countries. The editors note they aim to provide “exemplary models that parents, citizen scientists, daycare practitioners, primary school teachers and preservice teachers, as well as researchers and policy makers, can employ to design the best learning experiences for the children in their care.” Access the book here.


Child-Sustained Attention in Two-Year-Olds

Two-year-olds attended to toy play for the longest duration of time when presented with a choice between two preferred toys by their teachers, as compared to when they were told to “go play,” or when teachers prompted them to play with one preferred toy. “Results from the present study highlight the importance of a highly skilled teacher who has knowledge of child development and an understanding of individual child preferences,” the researchers wrote. Read the study, by Cynthia DiCarlo, Carrie L. Ota, Jeanette Bankston and Annelise Dahl, here.

Do Teacher Talk Features Mediate the Effects of Shared Reading on Preschool Children’s Second-Language Development?

A shared reading intervention with preschool teachers can positively impact their talk quality during shared reading with children in the classroom, according to a new study. The researchers looked at the effects of the Extend program, a shared reading intervention. Teachers in the intervention group used higher quality talk with children during shared reading at the end of the school year, and these differences in talk qualities explained variance in children’s second-language vocabularies at year-end. Read the study, by Vibeke Grøver, Veslemøy Rydland, Jan-Eric Gustafsson, and Catherine E. Snow, here.

Barriers and Enablers in the Implementation and Sustainability of Toothbrushing Programs in Early Childhood Settings and Primary Schools: A Systematic Review

A systematic review of tooth brushing programs in early childhood settings demonstrated that staff positive attitude, offering flexibility around tooth brushing sessions, and involvement of parents and community volunteers were enablers to program success. Barriers to success with tooth brushing programs included inadequate information transfer among staff, lack of parental support, timing of the communication of the program, and staff feeling overburdened. Read the full review here.