Reducing COVID19 Transmission in Preschool Classrooms
New modeling of COVID-19 transmission in preschool classrooms found that decreased classroom density and teacher vaccinations reduced total infections. “The model uses actual student and teacher interaction behavior as input and estimates infection probabilities based on interpersonal distance and orientation,” the University of Miami researchers wrote. The study involved data collected for 50 children ages 2 to 5 and 11 teachers in four preschool classes. Researchers found that cutting class density in half reduced total infections by 13.1%. Teacher vaccination resulted in a 12.5% reduction in infections. Read the report here.
Resources on How to Address Unfinished Learning
The U.S. Department of Education recently released a resource to support educators as they implement, refine, and work to continuously improve their strategies for supporting students through the pandemic. “Strategies for Using American Rescue Plan Funding to Address the Impact of Lost Instructional Time” is part of the department’s Return to School Roadmap, a guide for states, schools, educators, and parents to prepare for the return to in-person learning this fall.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released a brief, “Restart and Recovery: Addressing Unfinished Learning for the Youngest Learners,” on a similar topic in July. The report concluded with recommendations for mitigating unfinished learning among young learners through academic, administrative and/or school-community interventions. Read the DOE resource here. Read the CCSSO brief here.
New Website Supports Multilingual Learners in PreK-3rd Grade
Early Edge California created a website for educators and administrators supporting multilingual learners in pre-K through third grade. It is the result of a collaborative effort that includes researchers, practitioners, advocacy organizations, state agencies, and philanthropic organizations from across the nation.
The Multilingual Learning Toolkit features a vetted selection of resources and best practices, and includes a starter guide and 11 instructional strategies covering essential elements of what educators and administrators need to know. Hundreds of free, easy-to-use resources directly related to the instructional strategies are accessible.
National Center for Children in Poverty Updates State Policy Profiles
The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) updated its Early Childhood Two-Generation State Policy Profiles. Nationally and state-by-state, they provide a two-generation view of current policies affecting children from birth to age 8 in the areas of early care and education, health, and parenting/family economic supports.
Findings include a significant increase in the number of states that pay center-based child care programs at the highest quality QRIS tier. Nineteen states now meet this benchmark and offer payment rates at or above the 75th percentile of current market rates. As of August 2021, 39 states have adopted Medicaid expansion.
The Young Child Risk Calculator (YCRC) has also been updated with the latest data from the 2019 American Community Survey. The YCRC shows the percentage of young children (by age bands) who are low income, in poverty, and in deep poverty in each state and nationally, and characteristics of families in these groups.
Operationalization of Self-Regulation in the Early Years: Comparing Policy with Theoretical Underpinnings
Co-regulation, the process by which adults help children develop self-regulation, has “a powerful influence on student learning,” researchers in Canada found. They investigated self-regulation by comparing its conceptualization in a play-based kindergarten program in Ontario versus theory-driven models of self-regulation from empirical research. Four themes emerged from the study:
- The power of co-regulation
- A de-emphasis of behavior regulation toward a focus on emotional regulation
- Cognitive regulation encompasses far more than inhibitory control
- The use of language in supporting metacognition
Researchers Heather Braund and Kristy Timmons of Queen’s University in Ontario noted the importance of including concrete examples of all facets of self-regulation in curriculum. Read the study here.
Measuring the Quality of Early Childhood Education: Associations with Children’s Development from a National Study with the IMCEIC Tool in Colombia
Using a nationally representative sample of public centers that serve Colombian children, researchers examined associations between early childhood education (ECE) and children’s development, finding “low to moderate quality.” Modeling revealed ”several positive associations between structural and process quality and child outcomes.” Read the abstract here.
Fostering Equitable Access to Quality Preschool Education in India: Challenges and Opportunities
Researchers assessing India’s efforts to provide quality preschool education to all children found that while great strides have been made, hindrances to quality persist.
“The government’s policies are laudable and in line with international trends. However, there is a big gap between policy and its implementation,” the study’s authors wrote. What is needed is the enforcement of the National Education Policy 2020 and quality standards, they concluded.
The paper was written by Namita Ranganathan, Ravneet Kaur, and Rashi Mukhopadhayay of the University of Delhi in India, and Nirmala Rao of The University of Hong Kong. Read it here.
Preschool Irritability Predicts Adolescent Psychopathology and Functional Impairment: A 12-Year Prospective Study
Preschoolers who showed irritability at age 3 were more likely to have anxiety disorders in adolescents, researchers found.
The study involved 453 children assessed at age 3 and ages 12 and/or 15. Even after controlling for baseline psychiatric disorders, irritability predicted specific phobia, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders, as well as poorer peer functioning and physical health. Preschool irritability was also linked to parent-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms, and the use of antidepressants and educational services, in adolescence.
“These findings strongly support the need for early identification of irritability in young children and the importance of intervening as early as possible,” wrote authors Leah K. Sorcher and Lea R Dougherty of the University of Maryland College Park, Brandon L. Goldstein of the University of Connecticut, Megan C. Finsaas of Columbia University in New York, and Gabrielle A. Carlson and Daniel N. Klein of Stony Brook University in New York.
The study, published on the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry website, is available here.
Preschool-onset OCD: A Review of Literature and Clinical Experience
Researchers in India who reviewed literature on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in preschoolers and examined data from a child and adolescent psychiatry center found high rates of comorbidity and a family history of OCD. At the center, they found 3% prevalence of preschool-onset OCD, mostly in males.
“Qualitative review highlighted delay in treatment seeking, poor follow-up rates, frequent use of pharmacological treatment, and a high remission rate in those treated adequately,” wrote authors Eesha Sharma, Preeti Jacob, Apoorva Dharmendra, Y. C. Janardhan Reddy, Shekhar P. Seshadri, Sathish C. Girimaji and K. John Vijaysagar of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences in India. Read the abstract here.
Director of Preparation and Work Environment Programs, Center for the Study of Child Care Employment