Researchers surveyed more than 1,100 early childhood education (ECE) and early childhood special education (ECSE) teachers about their experiences with providing online instruction in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
About 41% of ECE teachers and 33% of ECSE teachers reported that they received no training in providing remote learning, the researchers reported. When stay-at-home orders took effect in March 2020, “there was no precedent for providing online instruction to young children from birth through the age of five,” they noted.
The survey found that “both types of professionals spent more time planning and communicating with families than providing instruction to children.” They did, however, find statistically significant differences “in activities provided, how time was spent, and training received by professional role.” The study, conducted by Elizabeth A. Steed and Nancy Leech of the University of Colorado Denver, is available here
Preschoolers in an intervention to increase physical activity during outdoor play sessions engaged in higher moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and spent significantly less time being sedentary than children in the control group, researchers reported. The study also found that preschoolers were “significantly more active in the first 10 minutes outdoors compared with remaining time.”
“Findings support scheduling more frequent outdoor play sessions in childcare to increase physical activity participation among young children,” wrote Canadian researchers Brianne A. Bruijns and Patricia Tucker of Western University in Ontario, Leigh M. Vanderloo of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and Brian W. Timmons of McMaster University in Ontario. Read the abstract here
Researchers scaled up a toddler school readiness intervention that proved effective in a smaller study, and found positive effects on early skill development. The randomized study involved 2,170 Danish toddlers (at least 18 months old at pretest) in 255 child care centers. Children in the treatment group went through a curriculum targeting language and math development over 20 weeks. Teachers developed activities, but received supportive tools “to help them be more explicit and intentional in their interactions with children.”
The study was conducted by Dorthe Bleses, Peter Jensen, and Anders Højen, of Aarhus University in Denmark, Pauline Slot of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and Laura Justice of The Ohio State University. Read it here
Greater intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, low levels of physical activity and high birth weight were “significant predictors” of being overweight or obese among Florida preschoolers who qualified for a federal nutrition subsidy.The study involved 197 children ages 3 to 5 participating in the Broward County Special Supplementation Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Sixty-eight percent of the preschoolers were overweight or obese. Only 15% of parents/guardians of overweight children and 43% of obese children identified their child as too big, the authors noted.
Screen time did not differ much by weight category, but children with normal or low weights were more physically active than others. The study was conducted by Andrea Charvet of Keiser University and Fatma Huffman of Florida International University. Read it here
A 30-minute, self-paced online training increased child care providers’ knowledge and awareness of California’s healthy beverage policy, but didn’t significantly increase adherence to it, researchers found.
The study involved 76 child care providers split into three groups: two groups took the training, one of which received six months of technical assistance. Participants who received technical assistance did not fare better than those who took the training without it, the researchers noted.
The study was conducted by: Danielle L. Lee, Kaela Plank, Christina E. Hecht, Hannah R. Thompson and Lorrene D. Ritchie of the Nutrition Policy Institute in California; Marisa Neelon of the University of California, Oakland; Abbey Alkon of the University of California San Francisco; and L. Karina Díaz Rios of the University of California Merced. Read it here