October 2, 2020 – Volume 19, Issue 38

HOT TOPICS

Declaration Recommends Steps for High Quality ECE in Latin America

NIEER’s Dr. Milagros Nores joined representatives of the ministries and agencies responsible for early childhood education, experts, and representatives of civil society organizations and cooperation agencies from Latin America in the Regional Forum on Quality in Early Childhood Education.

Earlier this year, Dr. Milagros Nores joined representatives of the ministries and agencies responsible for early childhood education, experts, and representatives of civil society organizations and cooperation agencies from Latin America in the Regional Forum on Quality in Early Childhood Education. This collaborative and comprehensive group worked together to agree on the necessary next steps in early childhood education for the region in order to increase and strengthen quality.  An intense dialogue based on evidence and the experiences in different countries of the region led the group to put forward eight key recommendations. These include:

  • Setting regional and country-level agenda’s on quality of programs and processes (including facilities, training and qualifications, and supporting children’s integrated development).
  • Creating structures that will put forward quality standards and mechanisms to support and strengthen quality.
  • Strengthening systems and mechanisms to promote and support the quality of life of all families, including the promotion of legislative and cultural changes that guarantee families have the time and resources necessary to support their children’s development.
  • Developing mechanisms to institutionalize measurement of the quality of early childhood education services.
  • Developing a framework of competencies for training, certifying competencies, and defining the professional profile of early childhood educators.

As the many, if not all, of the issues addressed are challenges around the globe those outside the region also will find it of interest. The declaration is available online. In addition, panelists from the Inter-American Dialogue, the Lego Foundation, The World Bank, will discuss these on October 7. Register here: https://bit.ly/2EBqLJA

Positive Pre-K Effects at Kindergarten Entry

A new study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly reports positive impacts of participating in New Mexico’s pre-K program on young children’s language, literacy, and math skills at kindergarten entry. “In general, the evidence from our study suggests that New Mexico PreK” better prepared children for success when they enter kindergarten, according to the article. Authors are Jason T. Hustedt of the University of Delaware Department of Human Development and Family Sciences and a NIEER senior research fellow, Kwanghee Jung, Allison H. Friedman-Krauss, and W. Steven Barnett of NIEER, and Gerilyn Slicker of the University of Delaware.

Youth Apprenticeship in Early Childhood Education

New America has published guidance “for designing programs that address widespread early educator shortages and provides high school students with education apprenticeships at the same time.”

Youth Apprenticeships in Early Childhood Education examines a California program that is providing a “youth apprenticeship pathway … to support high school youth and meet the growing needs of the early educator workforce.”

NIEER ACTIVITIES

NIEER to Participate in Maryland Early Childhood Leadership Program

NIEER Policy Advisor Tracy Jost is scheduled to participate in the Maryland Early Childhood Leadership Program’s Early Childhood 2020 – What Just Happened – What Happens Next, Saturday, October 24. She will discuss childcare during COVID-19 from her perspective as both a childcare center owner and an early childhood education policy analyst.

ECE RESEARCH

Enhancing Children’s Numerical Skills through a Play-Based Intervention at Kindergarten and at Home: A Quasi-Experimental Study

Does playing math games help children develop numerical skills? A quasi-experimental study involving nearly 570 children from 46 kindergarten classes found playing math games “allowed a majority of pupils to progress significantly” and that “low achievers” made “higher progress” when the games were provided at home versus the classroom. The article is published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, and is authored by researchers from University of Teacher Education, State of Vaud, Switzerland; University of Liege, Belgium; University of Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; and University of Lorraine, France.

Pursuing the Promise of Preschool: An Exploratory Investigation of the Perceptions of Parents Experiencing Homelessness

 High-quality preschool may buffer homeless children and families from the “overwhelming consequences” of homelessness, an Early Childhood Education Journal article suggests.

Programs that consider “the needs of the individual child and the family as a system” can “help parents support their children in schools,” write Travis Wright, Chase Ochrach, Madison Blaydes, and Anna Fetter from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. An essential step is for programs to support “staff in recognizing their own biases about families experiencing homelessness”.

Mind the Kinder-gap: New Data on Children’s Math and Reading Skills as They Enter Kindergarten 

Is the Great Recession and declining children’s reading and math scores upon entry into kindergarten related?

NWEA’s MAP Growth assessment data from 2010 to 2017 shows “upon entry into kindergarten, children’s reading and math scores have declined, while gaps between white and Black students and between white and Latinx students have decreased,” write Christine Pitts and Megan Kuhfeld of the Collaborative for Student Growth at NWEA.

While the data offers no clear answer why overall reading and math scores declined while skills gaps decreased, the authors share suggestions from others that the “trends may be illustrative of lingering effects of the Great Recession, which lasted from 2007 to 2009, including declines in the financial well-being of families with young children and decreases in school spending.”

The Effect of Universal PreKindergarten Policy on Female Labor Force Participation—A Synthetic Control Approach

Georgia’s universal pre-K policy has a positive impact on the supply of mothers with preschool-aged children in the state’s labor force while Oklahoma’s pre-K policy has little such impact on its labor supply, writes Hao Li of the Institute of Economics and Finance, Nanjing Audit University, Nanjing, China in the Southern Economic Journal.

Executive Function Training for Preschool Children with ADHD: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Executive function training (EFT) is potentially effective to reduce symptoms and improve EF for preschool children with ADHD, according to a study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders.

Assessing the effect by using neuropsychological tests and behavioral ratings, Executive Function Training for Preschool (EFTP) children with ADHD “is a feasible intervention” and “is effective in reducing young children’s ADHD and ODD symptoms, and improving visuomotor precision,” suggest the researchers from Xinhua Hospital, China; Ministry of Education-Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children’s Environmental Health, China; De Montfort University, United Kingdom; and Central South University, China.

OPPORTUNITIES

Grants Coordinator, New York University, The Institute of Human Development and Social Change

Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Administration, Michigan State University

EVENTS

Ensuring Developmentally Appropriate Practice Amidst a Global Pandemic October 8, 7 PM EDT, co-hosted by NAEYC, CCSSO & AASA, Register

EECERA Convocation, International Narratives about COVID – 19 and Early Childhood, October 27, 28, Register

Early Childhood Philanthropy Amidst COVID-19, October 27, 2 PM EDT, Register

Early Childhood 2021: What the Election Means for Young Children, December 8, 2 PM EST, Register