October 15, 2021 – Volume 20, Issue 41

HOT TOPICS

Investing ARP and PDG Funds to Address the Early Childhood Workforce Shortage

Early Childhood Development leaders at the Administration for Children and Families this week issued a letter calling on states, communities, and local programs to use available  federal funding to fix the significant shortage in the nation’s early childhood education workforce.

“Federal investments in ECE programs are key to our nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic, providing critical infrastructure for parents to work or to pursue training or education while their child is in an affordable, safe, nurturing and educationally enriching environment,” they wrote. The child care industry is down more than 10% from pre-pandemic levels “and child care staff hiring is more challenging than ever,” they noted.

The Oct. 13 letter was addressed to state, territory and tribal lead agencies that administer the Child Care and Development Fund program, Head Start programs, and Preschool Development Grants (PDG) recipients. Download the letter here.

 

NIEER OPPORTUNITIES

NIEER is seeking a bilingual research project coordinator to work closely with the institute’s faculty and staff in research and evaluation projects. Key duties include managing fieldwork across two to three research projects, communicating effectively with research and project partners, and managing and training data collection teams. Required qualifications include:

  • Master’s degree in early childhood education, human development, education, policy, or social science (psychology, anthropology, sociology)
  • Spanish-English bilingual
  • Experience with early childhood classrooms
  • Experience with evaluation of early childhood programs
  • Excellent communications and management skills.

If interested, please apply at https://jobs.rutgers.edu/postings/142828. Reach out to mnores@nieer.org with questions.

 

ECE RESEARCH

Preschool Children’s Engagement and School Readiness Skills: Exploring Differences between Spanish-Speaking Dual Language Learners and Monolingual English-Speaking Preschoolers

Dual-language learners (DLL) ended the preschool year with weaker language skills and phonological awareness compared with classmates who spoke only English, but a study found that positive engagement with teachers improved those skills.

For Spanish-speaking DLLs, “positively engaging with teachers, peers, and tasks were positively associated with their receptive and expressive vocabulary, phonological awareness, and print knowledge skills,” wrote authors Natalia M. Rojasa, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, and Pamela Morris of New York University. Read the abstract here.

 

The Effects of Foreign Language Programmes in Early Childhood Education and Care: A Systematic Review

Foreign language programs in early childhood education and care centers appeared to foster foreign language development without detriment to children learning the first language, a study found.

“ECEC may be an interesting and promising way to meet the increasing demands for early foreign language programmes,” the authors wrote. However, they noted “research into this type of bilingual education is still in its infancy.”

Such programs need to be play-based and the language policy not too strict for children to experience wellbeing, they wrote. The study was written by: Anne-Mieke M.M. Thieme, Kyra Hanekamp, Sible Andringa, Josje Verhagen, and Folkert Kuiken of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Read it here.

 

Government Commitments and Teaching Strategies for Effective Quality Early Childhood Education in South Western Nigeria

Nigeria has fallen short on its efforts to provide quality early childhood education as called for in its National Policy on Education, a survey of ECE proprietors and teachers found.

While the government “has laudable objectives for early childhood education,” the study “reveals that the machinery for government commitments is mostly on papers,” the authors wrote.

Nigeria pays ECE teachers poorly and has a shortage of ECE professionals, few ECE departments at universities, and a lack of instructional materials for teachers to use, according to the study. The survey involved input from 150 teachers and 30 operators of both public and private ECE programs in southwestern Nigeria.

The study by Moyinoluwa Grace Owojori and Taiwo Oladunni Gbenga-Akanmu of Obafemi Awolowo University’s Institute of Education is available here.

 

Training Future School and Clinical Psychology Leaders in Consultation for Early Childhood Education Settings

Researchers investigated how graduate schools could help address the demand for professionals in early childhood mental health consultation (ECMHC). They suggested that training school and clinical psychology graduate students could “fill gaps in the ECMHC workforce, enhance the capacity of early care and education (ECE) providers to effectively support the mental health needs of children and families, and help ECE programs provide equitable services to children and families.”

The paper was authored by Doré R. LaForett of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Marissa A. Bivona and  Amanda P. Williford of the University of Virginia, and Julia Mendez Smith at UNC Greensboro. Read the abstract here.

 

EVENTS

2021 Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap Deep Dive Workshops, Beyond Eligibility: How Can States Reduce Barriers To Accessing Benefits?, Oct. 20, 11:30 am CT

 

OPPORTUNITIES

Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five (PDG B-5) Equity TA Specialist

Chief Learning & Evaluation Officer, Trust for Learning

Director, Children with Disabilities, Birth-to-Five (Internal Candidates Only), Division of Early Childhood Education, New York City Department of Education

Senior Manager, Early Childhood Direct Service, Bainum Family Foundation