October 21, 2022 – Volume 21, Issue 42


COVID-Inspired Policy Adaptations in State Pre-K Programs

Many state-funded pre-K programs changed policies in response to the pandemic. NIEER’s Karin Garver explores policy adaptations by state-funded pre-K programs in 2020-21. At least 15 of 64 state-funded programs allowed providers to limit program days due to COVID-19 outbreaks, and 31 programs permitted reductions in schedules (e.g., hours per day). Other modifications were made to policies for child assessments, teacher qualifications, and professional development. Read the full data snapshot here.

Overlooked but Essential: Language Access in Early Childhood Programs

DLLs are less likely to participate in early childhood programs. Yet, many programs fail to require data collection or to adopt accountability measures for meaningful and equitable access to services for DLLs. A policy brief from the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy sheds light on federal and state efforts to implement language access policies in early childhood programs including state pre-K and the Child Care Development Block Grant. Read the brief here. Data profiles of the 25 states with the largest DLL populations are available here.

Early Learning and Child Care in Canada: Where Have We Come From, Where Are We Going?

As Canada acts to implement universal child care at $10 a day per child by 2026, the Institute for Research on Public Policy outlines four recommendations to ensure the endeavor succeeds. In the paper, University of Toronto economist Gordon Cleveland analyzes child care data from the past 30 years. The four recommendations include: (1) supports to rapidly expand non-profit and public child care facilities, (2) wage increases for early childhood educators, (3) preparing to increase funding especially in high-cost regions; and (4) improving maternity and parental leave benefits. Read the paper here.



Senior Editorial/Media Specialist


NIEER seeks a Senior Editorial/Media Specialist to join our leadership team, create momentum and awareness, participate in strategic planning, and develop an integrated communications plan to advance the Institute’s mission. The position reports to the founding co-director and plays a key role in telling NIEER’s story and expanding its presence. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced professional to build an impactful communications program that supports evidenced-based improvements in early education nationally and globally. To apply, click here.


Research Project Coordinator II


NIEER seeks a Research Project Coordinator II to work closely with faculty and staff. The position coordinates major aspects of preschool education research and evaluation projects. Key duties include managing fieldwork across two to three research projects, communicating effectively with research and project partners, and planning and carrying out data collection training. Required qualifications include:


  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in early childhood education or in policy or a social science (psychology, anthropology, sociology, human development, education).
  • A minimum of two years experience in early childhood research; a masters degree in a related field may be substituted.


If interested, please apply here. Reach out to mnores@nieer.org with questions.




Public Prekindergarten Expansion and Children’s School Readiness: Examining Effects of the Virginia Preschool Initiative Plus Program on Early Educational Experiences and Early Literacy Skills

Michah Rothbart of Syracuse University and Taryn Morrissey of American University analyzed data on approximately 1 million first-time kindergartners in Virginia from 2007 to 2019, and found living in a school district with the Virginia Preschool Initiative Plus Program increased the likelihood of attending a public pre-K or private center the year before kindergarten. It decreased the probability of attending Head Start, unlicensed homes, or not attending any pre-K. Their findings have implications for evaluations of pre-K programs. Read the working paper here.

Relationship between Teacher Fidelity to an Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Program and the Child Care Center Nutrition and Physical Activity Environment

Greater fidelity in implementation of an obesity prevention program in child care centers (CCCs) was associated with better CCC nutrition environments, researchers at the Center for Pediatric Population Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center found. They assessed teachers’ fidelity to the Healthy Caregivers, Healthy Children (HC2) program, which was administered in child care centers serving low-resource, ethnically diverse families. Read the study here.

Associations Between Teachers’ Skill in Identifying Effective Interactions and Children’s Gains in Language, Literacy, and Early Learning Behaviors

Children taught by pre-K teachers skilled in identifying effective classroom interactions made greater gains in language and literacy skills over the pre-K year, researchers found. They also identified associations between gains in early learning behaviors (e.g., attitudes toward learning and attention) and teachers’ skills in identifying effective interactions. Read the study, by Anne H. Cash and Robert C. Pianta, here.


Developmental Implications of Preschool Children’s Affective Experiences during Organized Activities


Chinese preschoolers’ self-reported emotional engagement during organized activities was related to their social-emotional development, approaches to learning, and cognitive development, researchers reported. Children were asked to rate their affect during organized activities and give reasons for their responses, which were then coded into six categories. Children most frequently cited “interest-utility” to explain their positive affect and “difficulty level” to explain negative affect, wrote Lixin Ren and Lingyun Mang of East China Normal University, and Suqing Wang of the University of Maryland. Read the abstract here.