March 25, 2022 – Volume 21, Issue 12


Does Early Childhood Education Help to Improve High School Outcomes? Results from Tulsa

A universal, school-based, state-funded pre-K program in Tulsa had positive impacts on high school outcomes, researchers reported. They found children who attended the Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) pre-K program, but not Head Start, had better attendance in high school, were less likely to fail courses and be retained a grade, and were more likely to take Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. TPS attenders did not have better grades or higher test scores than non-attenders.

The relationship between TPS attendance and high school outcomes may vary by race/ethnicity, with slightly greater benefits for students of color, researchers found. “Conceivably, the TPS school-based program produces its biggest effects by lowering the rate of academic failure for the most disadvantaged students,” the authors concluded.

The study was written by: Sara Amadon of Child Trends; William T. Gormley, Douglas Hummel-Price and Katelyn Romm of Georgetown University; and Amy Claessens and Katherine Magnuson of the University of Wisconsin. Read the abstract here.

Towards Distinguished Early Learning Education

The Foundation for Child Development will feature Dr. James P. Comer in an April 5 webinar, the second in its Scholars of Color Series. The series highlights the contributions of scholars of color in the early care and education field. Dr. Comer has served as the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center since 1976. His comprehensive and transformational model of school improvement has been used in more than 1,000 schools in 26 states in the U.S. and internationally.

The webinar begins at 1 p.m. EDT and includes a question-and-answer session with panelists Fay E. Brown, Camille J. Cooper, Linda Darling-Hammond, Jonathan Gillette, Norris Haynes, M. Ann Levett, Hugh B. Price, Tim P. Shriver and Jan Stocklinksi. The Q&A session will be moderated by Valerie Maholmes. Read more about the work of Dr. Comer here, and register for the webinar here.



Impacts of Covid-19 on the Early Care and Education Sector in California: Variations Across Program Types

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was felt differently across varied early care and education (ECE) settings, with family child care (FCC) homes faring worse than centers in most measures of economic well-being, according to researchers at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at University of California, Berkeley.

The researchers analyzed the June 2020 survey responses of 953 licensed care providers in FCCs and center-based settings in California. They found the challenges programs faced differed depending on program type and funding source, with centers being more likely than FCCs to struggle with attendance, changes in program operations, and staffing challenges. Among center-based programs, those that received stable public funding (e.g., Head Start, state preschool programs, and other publicly contracted centers) were less likely to experience negative impacts related to COVID-19. Read it here.

Parent Time Investments in their Children’s Learning During a Policy-Mandated Shutdown: Parent, Child and Household Influences

Parent loneliness, child emotional distress, and household chaos were all negatively associated with parent time investments in children’s learning for children from birth to age nine during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to researchers at The Ohio State University.

The researchers used data from a survey completed by 559 caregivers over a period of six weeks in spring 2020. “This study suggests that finding ways to encourage greater community and school support and connection for both parents and young children during times of crisis may help alleviate negative influences that may detract from parent time investments in child learning,” they concluded. Read the full study here.

Differences between Pre-K and Kindergarten Contexts and Achievement across the Kindergarten Transition

Children in public pre-K who experienced certain types of discrepant experiences at the start of the kindergarten year struggled academically, but they bounced back from learning losses by the end of kindergarten, according to researchers from the University of Virginia.

Decreased quality of teacher-child interactions, increased time on instructional content, and increased academic rigor in the transition to kindergarten impacted academic performance. “However, results also suggest that the effects are small and that students are largely resilient to these effects over time,” wrote authors Virginia E. Vitiello, Tutrang Nguyen, Erik Ruzek, Robert C. Pianta and Jessica Vick Whittaker.

The study involved nearly 1,500 ethnically and linguistically diverse children from 117 publicly-funded pre-K centers who were followed annually through grade 3. Read the study here.

Trauma-Informed Attitudes, Teacher Stress, and Expulsion Decision Risk in Preschool Classrooms

Teacher stress and trauma-informed attitudes were related to indicators of preschool expulsion decision risk, with higher teacher stress predicting higher fear of accountability and higher trauma-informed knowledge relating to lower child-related stress, researchers found.


The study involving 129 Head Start program lead and assistant teachers examined the relationship between a teacher’s overall stress, trauma-informed attitudes (trauma-informed knowledge, self-efficacy, and reactions) and indicators of children’s expulsion decision risk. Different pathways were found for children of color, such that teacher stress predicted higher expulsion decision risk for children of color, and trauma-informed attitudes predicted lower expulsion decision risk for White children.


The study was written by Alysse M. Loomis of the University of Utah and Carlomagno C. Panlilio of The Pennsylvania State University. Read the abstract here.