Two public preschool programs in California had positive impacts on students’ school readiness at kindergarten entry, researchers at Stanford University found. They matched students in both a subsidized, needs-based preschool program and the state’s transitional kindergarten (TK) program, a universal but age-restricted program, to demographically similar kindergarteners who did not attend public preschool. TK was especially effective for children’s literacy skills and benefitted social-emotional skills. “This study provides evidence that contemporary preschool programs continue to have positive impacts on school readiness relative to the counterfactual, even in school districts with competitive private preschool alternatives,” wrote Michael J. Sulik, Carrie Townley-Flores, Lily Steyer, and Jelena Obradović. Read the study here.
The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families is hosting an hourlong webinar on Thursday, Oct. 6, on understanding and measuring Latino racial and ethnic identity. The webinar panelists are Julie Dowling, associate professor of Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Mark Hugo Lopez, director of race and ethnicity research at Pew Research Center. They will discuss conceptual issues surrounding the measurement of race and ethnicity in Latino populations, challenges with current approaches, and proposed solutions for measuring racial and ethnic identity more accurately, including the measurement of mixed-race identity. The webinar starts at 1 p.m. EDT. Register here.
Since March 2020, Congress has allocated more than $52 billion to states to help stabilize child care and to support families with young children affected by the pandemic. States are at various stages of distribution of these funds; and additionally, many states have yet to announce plans for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) discretionary funding. A recently released guidebook by Child Trends aims to provide state early childhood systems leaders with a guide to articulating their child care stabilization goals and for measuring progress toward meeting those goals, addressing efforts to increase equitable access to early childhood programs in the process as decisions are made about funding. Read the guidebook here.
In mixed-delivery public pre-K systems, there is evidence of children with higher baseline skills and more highly educated teachers sorting into public schools as opposed to community-based organizations, according to a new working paper authored by a team that includes three NIEER researchers. They looked at children from five large-scale systems (New Jersey, Seattle, West Virginia, New York City, and Boston), and found that when there were differences in program quality and children’s gains, these tended to favor public schools. “Our findings suggest that inequities by setting are common, appear consequential, and deserve more research and policy attention,” they concluded. Authors from NIEER include Jennifer Duer, Allison Friedman-Krauss and Milagros Nores; co-authors are from the University of Michigan and MDRC. Read the working paper here.
The latest benefit-cost analysis of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s universal preschool program estimates a benefit-cost ratio of 2.65, calculated through inferring lifetime earnings effects related to the estimated effects of the program on high school graduation and college attendance rates. The policy paper, released by the Michigan-based W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research “attests to the importance of the `soft skill’ effects of pre-K” the researchers wrote. Read the paper here.
A study comparing young children in India and Pakistan attending school with those who never attended found that while all children showed evidence of learning, average gains were largest for those who attended compared to those who did not or dropped out. In addition, school attenders were more self aware and could recognize emotions better, the researchers reported. School attendance made a bigger difference in numeracy skills than literacy skills. Read the study here.
Preschool-age children with autism who spent more time paying attention to people and had higher cognitive skills before the start of a yearlong intervention in an inclusive classroom benefited more from it than children with autism with lower social interest, researchers reported. For preschoolers who received the same intervention in a specialized classroom for children on the autism spectrum, baseline social interest had no moderating association on child outcomes, they found. Authors concluded that children with autism with higher social interest could benefit from early intervention in inclusive settings. Read the study here.
Kindergartners who completed a nine-week coding program showed improved cognitive, language, and creativity skills, according to researchers in Turkey. Children enrolled in ‘Productive Children: Coding and Robotics Education Program (PCP)’ showed increased early math reasoning skills, language development, and problem-solving skills, they reported. “PCP enabled children to solve problems actively and creatively” and supported self-regulation skills, wrote Merve Canbeldek & Nesrin Isikoglu of Pamukkale University. Read the study here.
- Full-time Analyst and Project Manager, Baby’s First Years, Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy
- Clinical Assistant/Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education and Exceptional Needs, Purdue University
- Early Childhood Research Specialist, Institute for Child Success
- Advocacy Manager, Colorado Children’s Campaign
- Policy Analyst, Colorado Children’s Campaign