June 24, 2022 – Volume 21, Issue 25


The Administration for Children and Families’ National Research Conference on Early Childhood 2022

The Administration for Children and Families will host the virtual National Research Conference on Early Childhood June 27-29. The goals of the conference are to identify and disseminate research relevant to children ages birth to 8 and their families; provide a collaborative space for researchers, policymakers and practitioners to build the evidence base for practice and policy; and foster discussion of research needs and priorities. There is no fee to attend, but participants should register first here. The conference program can be accessed here.

Reimagining Pre-K Assessments for Dual Language Learners


Pre-K assessments often do not capture all that dual language learners (DLLs) know and can do. New America and MDRC will address this at a special convening on July 6 focused on strengthening assessments for DLLs. The event, Reimagining Pre-K Assessments for Dual Language Learners, will take place at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Speakers include Lisa López of the University of South Florida, Sandra Barrueco of the Catholic University of America, Linda Espinosa of the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Lisa Luceno of Briya Public Charter School. Register here.


Over Diagnosed or Over Looked? The Effect of Age at Time of School Entry on Students Receiving Special Education Services

The youngest students entering kindergarten are much more likely than children who start at an older age to be placed in special education, according to University of Virginia researcher Anna Shapiro. Using a regression discontinuity design (RDD), Shapiro compared children who started kindergarten at different ages. She found these effects persisted through eighth grade, but were larger for White boys in the early grades and for Black girls in later elementary grades. “Future work evaluating reforms to the special education referral and evaluation process, and the impact of higher and lower identification rates on students’ long-term academic outcomes is needed,” Shapiro concluded. Read the study here.


Preschool Participation Trends From 2001 to 2019: Implications for Public Policy


NIEER Assistant Research Professor Zijia Li and Senior co-Director Steven Barnett will present the poster Preschool Participation Trends From 2001 to 2019: Implications for Public Policy at the virtual Administration for Children and Families’ National Research Conference on Early Childhood June 27 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. EDT. The poster highlights findings related to preschool participation over the past two decades, showing modest increases in participation from 2001 to 2019, with inequities for economically and socially disadvantaged children. Register for the conference here.




Home Language Use with Children, Dialogue with Multilingual Parents and Professional Development in ECEC


Early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals who underwent professional development about multilingualism demonstrated more supportive practices and communicated more with multilingual parents, according to a study by Brecht Peleman and Michel Vandenbroeck of Ghent University, and Anouk Van Der Wildt of the Laboratory for Education and Society.  Read the study here.


An Equilibrium Model of the Impact of Increased Public Investment in Early Childhood Education

Mothers’ employment is estimated to increase by six percentage points if the U.S. were to expand early childhood education subsidies, limiting ECE costs to no more than 7 percent of income for families earning up to 250% of the national median income. Mother’s full-time employment rates would increase even more as some part-time workers increased their hours. Family expenditures would decline even as child care wages and prices rose and families moved from unlicensed care to center-based care, according to an NBER working paper. Read the paper here.

Impact of the ‘Healthy Youngsters, Healthy Dads’ Program On Physical Activity And Other Health Behaviours: A Randomised Controlled Trial Involving Fathers and their Preschool-Aged Children

Preschoolers whose fathers participated in a lifestyle program training them to guide children in nutrition and physical activity became more active, according to a team of researchers in Australia.  Children whose fathers were in the program increased their daily step counts at 10 weeks and sustained the increase nine months out. Fathers were also less likely to use screen time as a reward following the intervention. Read the study here.


Back to the Drawing Board: Rethinking Potential Predictors of Preschool Executive

Function in Low-Income South Africa


Exposure to violence was found to impact inhibition, a component of executive function (EF), in preschool-age South African children whose families have very low socioeconomic status, a team of international researchers found.


No other community or household factors they examined, including caregiver education, home learning environment, caregiver/child interaction, and caregiver well-being, showed an association with preschoolers’ performance on inhibition tasks, the researchers wrote.

Read the study here.


Can E-Books Foster Child Language? Meta-analysis on the Effectiveness of E-Book Interventions in Early Childhood Education and Care

Well-designed e-books used in early childhood education and care (ECEC) classrooms can foster language development in both typically developing and at-risk children, a meta-analysis found. “Well-construed multimedia functions have the strength to provide support and scaffolding for language learning,” they wrote. The research showed story repetition was linked to stronger effects on language outcomes. Individual and small-group e-book activities proved equally effective. Read the study here.