May 20, 2022 – Volume 21, Issue 20


Physical Activity Opportunities in US Early Child Care Programs


Children enjoy playing outside, especially in warmer weather, yet only 43 percent of Head Start and child care centers met national guidelines for both sufficient number of outdoor opportunities and the amount of time children should engage in physical activity, according to a study published in Pediatrics.


The study examined a nationally representative sample of programs participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). While 74 percent of the programs met guidance regarding outdoor opportunities, just half met the recommended threshold of at least 60 minutes of physical activity.  


“Ensuring a time and place for outdoor activity, adhering to daily physical activity schedules, and promoting staff engagement in active play may improve opportunities for U.S. children to engage in regular physical activity critical for healthy development,” the authors concluded. Read the full study here.


May 24 Workshop to Explore the Dual Impact of COVID-19 and Systematic Racism and Inequity on Children’s Developmental Trajectories in the Early Years


The University of North Carolina’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute is hosting a three-hour workshop on May 24 about the dual impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and systematic racism and inequity on children’s developmental trajectories. Migrant families, child welfare, and children with incarcerated parents are among the topics the presenters will cover. The workshop, which begins at 12 p.m. EDT, is sponsored by the Carolina Seminar Series. Click here to register.


National Center for Children in Poverty Updates State Policy Profiles


The National Center for Children in Poverty recently updated their Early Childhood Two-Generation State Policy Profiles. The profiles provide national and state-by-state information about policies affecting children birth through age 8 in the areas of health, early care and education, and parenting/family economic support.


Updates to the profiles include two new added benchmarks in the area of health concerning Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage. For the second year, the profiles include percentages of infants and toddlers enrolled in Part C Early Intervention (EI) programs, and ethnic and racial disparities in each state’s EI participation. In addition, the Young Child Risk Calculator has been updated with data from the 2016-2020 American Community Survey. Read each state’s profile here.





Teachers’ Consistency of Emotional Support Moderates the Association between Young Children’s Regulation Capacities and Their Preschool Adjustment

Teachers’ consistency in emotional support plays an important role in children’s preschool adjustment, particularly for children who struggle with regulation, researchers found. “Children who were the least regulated were more adjusted to preschool in classrooms where teachers were more consistent in their emotional support,” the authors wrote.


The study involved 312 children aged 32 months through 5 ½ years old attending privately funded centers and Head Start programs. It was written by Craig S. Bailey of the Yale Child Study Center in Connecticut, Ashlin R. Ondrusek of Yale School of Public Health, along with Timothy W. Curby and Susanne A. Denham of George Mason University in Virginia. Read the abstract here.


Neighborhood Context and Parent Perspectives on Practical Considerations Related to Preschool Location

Researchers who examined demographics of Boston neighborhoods and parents’ preferences for their child’s preschool location found that parents in wealthier neighborhoods were more likely to want the program near home. The study involved 1,171 parents who intended to send their children to preschool. Read the abstract here.

Neonatal Stress and Behavior Problems in Preschool Children Born Preterm


Preterm babies who experienced acute stress while in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) were more likely to experience behavioral problems as toddlers and preschoolers, a study found. In addition, lower gestational age at birth and a higher rate of internalizing behavior problems in toddlerhood were related to internalizing behavior problems at preschool age. The study by Rafaela G.M. Cassiano, Claudia M. Gaspardo, and Maria B. M. Linhares of the University of São Paulo in Brazil, can be accessed here.


Mathematical Language and Mathematical Abilities in Preschool: A Systematic Literature Review

Mathematical language directly influences preschoolers’ mathematical abilities, according to a systematic review of the literature. “Our findings imply that mathematical language is a more effective tool to promote mathematical ability compared to general language interventions,” wrote Eylül Turan and Bert De Smedt of the University of Leuven. Access the study here.