September 18, 2020 – Volume 19, Issue 36

HOT TOPICS

Kindergarten Entry Assessments During COVID

New America’s recent blog Kindergarten Entry Assessments During COVID-19: How are States Adapting? (9/14/2020) examines how Ohio and South Carolina are implementing KEAs, including in-person data collection, during COVID. It also looks at how these states are following guidance from Washington on partnering with families in observing children. NIEER’s recent analyses of KEA policy includes The “Why” Behind Kindergarten Entry AssessmentsAlignment of Pre-K and Kindergarten Child Assessments: 2018-2019 School Year, Kindergarten Entry Assessments (KEAs) within a K-2 Assessment System, and Federal and State Efforts in the Implementation of Kindergarten Entry Assessments (2011-2018).

The Pandemic and Preschool Education in Five Charts

The National Education Policy Center’s The Pandemic and Preschool Education in Five Charts, recently published in NEPC’s newsletter, features NIEER’s Young Children’s Home Learning and Preschool Participation Experiences During the Pandemic research.

New America Gets Answers on CLASS Research

New America featured a Q&A with two of the authors of new research into whether the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, commonly known as CLASS, is a reliable predictor of “children’s gains in math, language, and executive function skills.” Paola Guerrero-Rosada and Christina Weiland say they found “CLASS scores did not predict prekindergarteners’ vocabulary, math, or executive function gains,” which is consistent with findings from research published in 2013. Despite the findings, Guerrero-Rosada and Weiland note CLASS “facilitates cross-program and within-program comparisons; serves as a PD tool for teachers; and shows small associations with child gains in some contexts. Right now, it is probably the best early childhood quality measurement tool we have.”

NC Court Approves Order on Education Spending Increase

A North Carolina ruled that the state implement a new education plan to “help the state meet its constitutional obligation to provide all children with the opportunity to obtain a sound basic education,” according to SchoolFunding.Info. This includes a substantial investment in early education beginning in 2021 prioritizing higher N.C. Pre-K reimbursement rates, a feasibility and cost study of a high-quality early learning program, and a study of alternatives for child care subsidy reimbursement. The plan also calls for strengthening the NC Infant-Toddler program and Smart Start, expanding education-based salary supplements for early educators in high-poverty districts, strengthening transitions from early childhood to elementary systems, and funding an early childhood workforce data system.

ECE RESEARCH

Uptake of the child care expense deduction: exploring factors associated with the use of the child care expense deduction among families with a child under 12 years

Almost 50 years after Canada introduced its child care expense deduction, little was known about “the factors associated with claiming the child care expense deduction.”

Loanna Heidinger, Leanne Findlay, and Anne Guèvremont have conducted a new study that finds “certain families may be less likely to claim the child care expense deduction, in particular lower educated families, lower income families, and families where parent(s) work less than full-time hours.”

The International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy disseminates research and analysis regarding major issues of child care and education policy relating to young children and their families to a broad international readership, including policymakers, researchers, and practitioners.

Thin Slice Derived Personality Types Predict Longitudinal Symptom Trajectories

Researchers observed “preschoolers to identify whether personality traits cluster into types, whether types predict psychiatric symptoms and impairment across development, and whether types better predict outcomes than trait dimensions.” They found “personality types are detectable at early ages and have unique predictive power for psychiatric outcomes across development compared with dimensions.”

A Multilevel Analysis of Factors Affecting Kindergartners’ Creative Dispositions in Relations to Child-Level Variables and Teacher-Level Variables

Eun Jin Kang examined the relationship between kindergarteners’ creative dispositions and both child- and teacher-level variables in Korea.  Kang found “levels of children’s creative thinking and their creative dispositions both were higher in the exemplary kindergartens than those in the average kindergartens” and “teachers working in the exemplary kindergartens scored higher than those in the average kindergartens.”

According to Kang the study indicates “the significance of building an organizational creative climate of kindergartens not only for the children but for the teachers to foster children’s creative dispositions.

Data Collection Practices of Mobile Applications Played by Preschool-Aged Children

Examining “differences in app data collection,” researchers at the University of Michigan found “apps used by young children had a high frequency of persistent identifier transmissions to third-party companies.” They suggest “older children, those with their own devices, or those from lower-education households may be at higher risk of potential privacy violations.” Zhao and colleagues conclude that violations of digital privacy laws are common and better enforcement needed.

Using Social and Emotional Learning Paradigms to Inform a Therapeutic Intervention for Preschool-Aged Children and their Parents

Navsaria and colleagues created and implemented a “novel social and emotional learning intervention (SEL-I) for children identified with mental health concerns and their parents.” In a pilot test with 5 children high rates of participation and satisfaction with the program and positive social and emotional skill outcomes. An overview of the intervention is provided.

OPPORTUNITIES

Postdoctoral Scholar Position Open at Schubert Center, The Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University

Senior Research Scholar/Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Development, Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning at the University of Louisiana Lafayette