May 28, 2021 – Volume 20, Issue 21


How a Better Understanding of Scaling Can Enhance Early Childhood Policy and Improve Lives

The University of Chicago’s new policy brief offers several recommendations on scaling early childhood education programs.

“Policymakers can mitigate challenges associated with scaling by considering the degree to which available evidence on an intervention aligns with their situation and by investing in the capacity needed to support intervention implementation,” according to How a Better Understanding of Scaling Can Enhance Early Childhood Policy and Improve Lives.

The brief was published by the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health and the Kenneth C. Griffin Applied Economics Incubator at the University of Chicago. Read it here.



Arkansas Department of Human Services ARPA Planning: Engaging Providers and Parents to Ensure Short Term Funding Leads to Long Term Impact

Over the next few weeks, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers (NCIT) are publishing articles on early childhood education leaders’ thoughts about using new funding opportunities to build a better integrated, more equitable, and higher-quality system of early care and education.

The online series began withOur North Star: An Integrated, Equitable, High-Quality System of Early Care and Education.” It continues with “Arkansas Department of Human Services ARPA Planning: Engaging Providers and Parents to Ensure Short Term Funding Leads to Long Term Impact,” which is based on a conversation with Tonya Williams, director of the Division of Child Care and Early Education at the Arkansas Department of Human Services, about planning the use of ARPA dollars to achieve the state’s goals for young children.

If you are interested in contributing to the blog series, contact Lori Connors-Tadros at



Call For Community Resource Suggestions

The Yakima Herald-Republic is seeking suggestions for community resources that could help families or child care providers in Central Washington. Resources can be specific to a community, statewide or national. Suggestions should be sent to education reporter Janelle Retka at with the subject line, “Growth Gap resources.” The news outlet intends to publish the list of resources by late June.

Please address the following points in your email:

  • What the resource is (g., is there a cost and if so, how much? Is it available in languages other than English?)
  • Who can access the resource (E.g., parents/children? Child care providers/small businesses? Are there requirements like income, race/ethnicity, migrant/residency to access the resource?)
  • When the resource is available (g., 24 hours, Monday through Friday, seasonally.)
  • Where the resource can be found (E.g., an online link or phone number.)

The newspaper’s series, The Growth Gap, looks into child care access and its impact on young learners, parents, child care providers, businesses and the broader economy. Read coverage in English here or in Spanish here.



Developing, Tailoring, and Implementing Early Childhood Home Visiting Models in Tribal Communities: Takeaways from the HomVEE Review of Research with Tribal Populations

A recent policy brief summarizes strategies for implementing an early childhood home visiting model in tribal communities, based on the Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (HomVEE) project’s research review. The research highlighted several strategies:

  1. Involving tribal leaders and other members of the tribal community in planning for and developing the model
  2. Incorporating into the model the cultural strengths and customs of the tribal communities
  3. Engaging tribal elders and community members in delivering the model

While some programs modified an existing home visiting model, others developed culturally relevant models tailored to tribal populations. The brief, which includes numerous examples and a summary of the research review process, was written by Andrea Mraz Esposito, Armando Yañez and Emily Sama Miller of Mathematica, and published by the Administration for Children and Families. Read it here.


Racial Disparities in Developmental Delay Diagnosis and Services Received in Early Childhood

Minority children in preschool and kindergarten were less likely to be diagnosed with developmental delay or receive services for it, researchers found.

Black and Asian children, those whose primary language was not English, and children without health insurance were less likely to be diagnosed with developmental delay “despite accounting for cognitive ability,” they wrote. “The pediatric primary care system is an important target for interventions to reduce these disparities,” they concluded.

The study was conducted by: Abraham Gallegos, Rebecca Dudovitz, Christopher Biely, Paul J. Chung, Elizabeth Barnert,  Alma D.Guerrero, and Peter G. Szilagyi of the University of California, Los Angeles; Tumaini R. Coker of the University of Washington; and Bergen B. Nelson of the Virginia Commonwealth University. Read the abstract here.

Fostering Socio-Emotional Learning Through Early Childhood Intervention

A new study evaluated research on the impact of early childhood interventions on socio-emotional learning (SEL). Limiting their review to “the most methodologically rigorous research,” the researchers compared the effects of  general prekindergarten programs, multi-component prekindergarten programs and skills-based interventions on SEL outcomes (defined as children’s acquisition of developmentally appropriate social and emotional skills). They found clear benefits and drawbacks to the three interventions.

The researchers called on early childhood educators to prioritize SEL skills alongside literacy and numeracy skills, and urged ECE leaders, policymakers and parents to advocate for increased funding for implementing SEL interventions or infusing SEL into existing programs.

The study, available here, was written by Christina F. Mondi of Harvard Medical School, Alison Giovanelli of the University of California, San Francisco, and Arthur J. Reynolds of the University of Minnesota.


Peer Effects on Early Language Development in Dual Language Learners

A study on language acquisition of children from preschool through first grade in Germany found that dual language learners improved faster in classrooms alongside peers with higher skills in German.

“DLLs in peer groups with higher levels of German vocabulary skills improved at a faster rate than DLLs in classrooms with lower average peer-level skills,” wrote researcher Daniel Schmerse of the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education. He noted the effects were observed “above and beyond” differences in socio-economic status, the home learning environment and age of entering preschool.

“The results from this study support the assumption that peers play a moderating role for DLLs in gaining stronger majority language skills by the time they enter elementary school,” he wrote. Schmerse suggested early childhood educators receive training in strategies to incorporate collaborative peer learning across ability levels and different language backgrounds. Read the study here.


Screen Time and Developmental and Behavioral Outcomes for Preschool Children

Young children who viewed screens two or more hours a day were more likely to have behavioral problems, delays in meeting developmental milestones, and poorer vocabularies than children who watched an hour or less a day, according to Canadian researchers.

The study involved nearly 2,000 children and mothers. “At 36 months, an association was observed between screen time and children’s developmental, language, and behavioral outcomes, suggesting that duration of screen time is associated with poor child development outcomes,” wrote researchers Brae Anne McArthur, Suzanne Tough and Sheri Madigan of Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Read the abstract here.



ECEI Senior Research and Policy Associate, Early Childhood Ed Institute, University of Oklahoma

ECEI Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Early Childhood Ed Institute, University of Oklahoma

Director of the Executive Office of Early Learning, State of Hawaii

Senior Education Project Administrator SPVR, Water Rand Institute

Assistant Professor – Early Childhood Special Education/Early Childhood, Northern Arizona University