March 3, 2023 – Volume 22, Issue 9


Early Childhood Care and Education in New Mexico: Using New Tools and Rising to the Challenge

New Mexico is at a critical juncture between the recent and significant investments made in early childhood care and education (ECCE) programs and the political will to make those programs universal and permanent. In addition to giving an overview of recent investments in ECCE – from the creation of the Early Childhood Education and Care Department to the overwhelming voter support for a constitutional amendment to guarantee more ECCE funding from a permanent source – the report also: looks at the high level of unmet need for ECCE services; lays out the most serious barriers to improving child well-being in New Mexico; explains how ECCE programs improve child outcomes; and makes the case that education should be a cradle-to-career continuum. Read the full report here.



Read our State Preschool in a Mixed-Delivery System: Lessons From Five States brief here.

Last week, NIEER Senior Research Fellow Lori Connors-Tadros and Policy Specialist Tracy Merriman Jost joined the California Educators Together UPK Mixed-Delivery Quality and Access Workgroup to present on policy implications & characteristics of high-quality mixed- delivery PreK. California Educators Together is a community designed to provide educators, administrators, specialists, and state program leads a common space to communicate, share strategies, and access resources.

UPK Mixed Delivery Workgroup Meeting Recording here.


We’re Hiring, Join the NIEER Team!

NIEER is looking for passionate data collectors to train in and administer child and classroom assessment instruments for pre‐K to third grade classrooms in New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. Please apply here and then email your letter of interest, curriculum vita/resume, transcript (if currently a student) and contact information for two references to Carol Contreras at Include the phrase “Data Collector” as well as where you live and where you want to work in the email subject line.

Example: Subject: Data Collector–New Jersey–Trenton, NJ.


The Importance of Sensorial and Spatial Aspects in Family Reading At Home: Insights from a National Survey in Norway

Researchers from Norway found that “parents who reported having a reading routine with their child valued more highly the spatial aspect of reading than parents who didn’t have established reading routines at home and fathers valued the spatial aspect more than mothers.” Additionally, they report that “highly educated parents valued more the visual sensorial aspect of the reading experience and described the book’s visual appearance as salient for prompting reading conversations.” Finally, they found that “the auditory aspects of reading were perceived negatively, while child’s haptic engagement was rated as motivating for children’s book interest.” The researchers concluded from this that “parents have a hierarchical perception of the role of senses in children’s reading and place a high value on the place where they read with their child.” Suggestions for research and practice are presented. Access the study here.

Teacher Depressive Symptoms and Children’s School Readiness in Ghana

After investigating associations between “kindergarten teachers’ depressive symptoms and students’ school-readiness skills across 208 schools in Ghana over one school year” researchers found that “teachers’ depressive symptoms in the fall negatively predicted students’ overall school-readiness skills in the spring, controlling for school-readiness skills in the fall.” They report that “these results were primarily driven by social–emotional skills” and “underscore the importance of teachers’ mental health in early childhood education globally, with implications for policy and practice.” The full study is available here.

STEM/STEAM in Early Childhood Education for Sustainability (ECEfS): A Systematic Review

After conducting a systematic review of the literature on “the intersection between interdisciplinary STEM/STEAM educational approaches and Early Childhood Education for Sustainability (ECEfS)”, researchers report that “most studies focus on sustainability’s environmental pillar and address the discipline of science more frequently.” They conclude that there is “a lack of teaching STEM/STEAM knowledge and skills on sustainability or engaging children to act for sustainability.” They report that their review suggests that teachers “frequently lose opportunities to explicitly discern STEM/STEAM knowledge areas and their intersections in moments that could benefit children’s learning.” These and other findings are discussed. Read more here.

Universal Teacher-Child Interaction Training in Early Childhood Special Education: A Cluster Randomized Control Trial

Researchers examined the impact of Teacher-Child Interaction Training-Universal (TCIT-U) “on (a) teacher skill acquisition and self-efficacy and (b) child behavior and developmental functioning.” They report that their findings “build support for the effectiveness of TCIT-U as universal prevention of behavior problems with an ethnically and racially diverse sample of teachers and children, including children with developmental disabilities.” The researchers discuss the implications “for implementation of TCIT-U in the early childhood special education.” Access their full findings here.

Examining the Relation between Exercise and Word Learning in Preschool-Age Children

When researchers from the University of Delaware examined “whether the previously identified word-learning benefits associated with exercise” could be extended to preschoolers, they found that “accuracy of word recognition was significantly higher after the exercise condition compared to the resting condition” and that this “pattern of results was not related to children’s existing language skills, as measured by the QUILS [Quick Interactive Language Screener].” Researchers suggest that their study is one of the first “to closely examine the relation between physical activity and word-learning abilities in children as young as 3–6 years of age.” They further suggest that their results “align with previous findings stating that aerobic exercise can boost vocabulary learning and suggest that this is the case regardless of existing language skills.” Read more here.