A high-quality early childhood program in Colombia had positive impacts on children’s health and cognitive development, NIEER co-Director for Research Milagros Nores and a team of international researchers found. They examined the impacts of aeioTU, a high-quality program characterized by project- and play-based learning, rich adult-child interactions, purposeful professional development, and intentional integration across developmental domains. “The results of this RCT … seem to signal that the expansion of enhanced comprehensive programs with a focus on quality has important effects on early child development,” they concluded. Read the working paper here.
Seven evidence-based practices for preschool teachers to use in preparing students for kindergarten are the focus of a webinar series hosted by the What Works Clearinghouse. The webinars pair with the Practice Guide, Preparing Young Children for School, and each features a panel of early learning experts. Social-Emotional Learning and Executive Function takes place Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. EDT; Mathematical Ideas and Language is on Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. EDT; and Vocabulary, Letters, and Shared Book Reading is scheduled for Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. EDT. Read about the webinar series and register here.
An early math activity program delivered to parents of 2- and 3-year-old children via text message had a positive impact on parents’ math beliefs and children’s ability to subitize (i.e., rapidly recognize the number of objects in a set without counting), according to researchers from the American Institutes for Research. In the randomized controlled trial, parents assigned to receive the math activity increased their engagement in math activities with their children. “This study provides some evidence that offering simple ideas for interactive math activities that parents can do as part of their daily routines with their children can influence parents’ thinking about the importance of early math learning … Moreover, this can be done using text messaging, which costs little to implement and can reach large numbers of parents,” the researchers noted. Read the study here.
Coordinating (i.e., blending, braiding, and layering) funds is a way state and local early childhood leaders can achieve greater efficiencies with available funds; however, there can be obstacles to this coordination. In a new report for the National Technical Assistance Center for Preschool Development Grants Birth Through Five, NIEER Senior Research Fellow Lori Connors-Tadros provides seven policy options and strategies for state and local leaders to use in building their capacity to coordinate funds. Read the full report here.
Caregivers of preschoolers with speech, language and communication needs who participated in an eight-week intervention promoting interactive book reading made significant increases in reading frequency and time, and participating children significantly lowered their daily screen time, researchers in Sweden reported. Researchers Karin Myrberg and Inger Lundeborg Hammarstro concluded the intervention “is feasible and can be included within speech-language pathology services at low cost.” Read the study here.
In an analysis of how early learning is governed in all 50 U.S. states, researchers found states could be organized into a five-category taxonomy, with two-thirds of states falling in a category that has some type of inter-agency coordination. Further, they found only “a small minority of states have leveraged their early learning councils to strengthen vertical alignment between early childhood and K-12 education.” Access the study, by Megan Rauch Griffard, James Sadler, Michael Little, and Lora Cohen-Vogel here.
Preschool teachers in general felt included in their elementary school’s social emotional multitiered system of supports (MTSS), researchers found, but they did not feel as included as kindergarten through second grade teachers. Qualitative analysis showed that when teachers did not feel included, they reported issues such as feeling separate from the school or that the school’s social emotional MTSS approach was not appropriate for their students. Read the study, by Elizabeth A. Steed and Nancy L. Leech of University of Colorado Denver, and Dorothy Shapland of the Metropolitan State University of Denver, here.