Accessing Current Policy-Relevant Research
NIEER and the Korea Institute for Child Care and Education (KICCE) jointly edit the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy (IJCCEP). This journal is now distributed by Springer Open, and as an open access journal is freely available to all, giving it wide circulation beyond libraries and the academic community. The journal receives top-notch submissions that are aimed at policy audiences while meeting rigorous standards for research. We highlight three recent articles to illustrate the range of “hot topics” covered.
Raquel Plotka and Nancy Busch-Rossnagel examine “The role of maternity leave in supporting mother-child interactions” with a sample of nearly 4,000 American mother-infant dyads and find that maternity leave is directly associated with quality of mother-child interactions and, through that, is linked to attachment security (a strong predictor of developmental outcomes).
Ozgun Unver, Tuba Bircan, and Ides Nicaise investigated the “Perceived accessibility of child care in Europe” using survey data from nearly 7,500 parents in 34 countries. They find that child care is perceived to be more accessible in countries where: for-profit ECE for children 3-6 is not allowed, a single system coordinates services 0-3 and 3-6, and public funding for ECE 0-5 is more generous.
Debra Ackerman conducted a preliminary study of “Online child care training in the United States” with data from a US-wide online child care training provider. The majority of online training both offered and accessed at the time of the study appeared to be in response to policies aimed at meeting hourly, and health and safety-focused policies, rather than enhancing the quality of children’s interactions with teachers, the environment, and other children.
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ICYMI: The State of Preschool 2017 is now available! This year’s report includes a special section on policies affecting Dual Language Learners (DLLs), and also highlights changes since 2002, when NIEER began tracking state pre-K. NIEER also provides state-by-state profiles and press releases.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this year’s report, especially the Heising-Simons Foundation, NCES and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
NEW on Preschool Matters Today blog
Three Things to Know from ‘The State of Preschool 2017’
This week NIEER released its 15th State of Preschool report, providing information on enrollment, spending, and policies related to quality during the 2016-2017 school year for 61 state-funded preschool programs across 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.
The report is a rich source of information on state-funded preschool, as well as trend data from 2002, when NIEER began tracking state-funded pre-K, through 2017, and a special report on state preschool policies supporting young Dual Language Learners.
The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) recently shared a new resource outlining Strategies to Improve Instructional Practice in Early Childhood Settings. The FastFact brief by Lori Connors-Tadros, Ph.D. Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes and Sarah Daily, Ph.D. Child Trends, reviews national research on best practices that have been shown to improve results on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), with a specific focus on research that impacts instruction and is applicable to teachers in school and community-based settings.
PLAYGROUND SLIDE-RELATED INJURIES IN PRESCHOOL CHILDREN: INCREASED RISK OF LOWER EXTREMITY INJURIES WHEN RIDING ON LAPS
In a new article in Injury Epidemiology, researchers examined factors associated with playground slide-related injuries in children 5 years old or younger. They were particularly interested in studying if riding on laps increases the likelihood of lower extremity injuries, based on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System data collected from 2002 to 2015.
Researchers found that decreasing age was associated with a higher likelihood of being identified as sliding down on another person’s lap and a higher likelihood of lower extremity injuries. Researchers suggest that both healthcare providers and parents should be made aware of this increased risk and counseled that a child’s foot can catch on the slide’s surfaces when going down on a person’s lap, which can result in a fracture.
CULTURE‐SPECIFIC LINKS BETWEEN MATERNAL EXECUTIVE FUNCTION, PARENTING, AND PRESCHOOL CHILDREN’S EXECUTIVE FUNCTION IN SOUTH KOREA
In a new study in the British Journal of Educational Psychology, researchers examined the relationship between child executive function and maternal executive function (EF), contingency (mothers adjusting scaffolding according to the child’s ongoing evidence of understanding) and intrusiveness (directive, mother‐centered interactions).
Researchers report that maternal EF and maternal contingency each was uniquely related to child EF above and beyond child age, child language and maternal education, while maternal intrusiveness was not related. Parenting behaviors did mediate the maternal and child EF link, but child language only partially mediated the link between maternal contingency and child EF. Researchers suggest that their findings reveal distinctive patterns in the link between maternal EF, parenting behaviors, and child EF in the Korean context.
TRAJECTORIES OF MATERNAL DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS DURING PREGNANCY AND THE FIRST 12 MONTHS POSTPARTUM AND CHILD EXTERNALIZING AND INTERNALIZING BEHAVIOR AT THREE YEARS
In a new article in the open access journal PLoS One, researchers modelled trajectories of maternal depressive symptoms from pregnancy through the early postpartum years and examined those trajectories’ relationship to social emotional and behavior functioning in preschool children, based on a large, population-based pregnancy cohort of mother-child dyads in Alberta, Canada.
Researchers found that the proportion of children with elevated behavior symptoms was highest for children whose mothers had persistent high depressive symptoms, followed by mothers with moderate symptoms (early postpartum and subclinical trajectories) and lowest for minimal symptoms. Researchers argue that there is a need to move beyond overly simplistic clinical cutoff approaches of depressed/not depressed in screening for perinatal depression. Researchers recommend that women with elevated depressive symptoms at clinical and subclinical levels need to be identified, provided with evidence-based treatment, and monitored with repeat screening to improve both maternal and child outcomes.
In a new article published in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing, researchers investigated the longitudinal development of grammar and vocabulary skills, both of which can contribute to reading comprehension. Researchers examined the trajectories of the 2 skill areas from preschool to 3rd grade.
They found that both grammar and vocabulary exhibited decelerating growth from preschool to Grade 2. In Grade 3, grammar growth further flattened, while vocabulary continued to grow stably. Growth of vocabulary and grammar were positively correlated.
Authors conclude that children’s growth in grammar skills differs from growth in vocabulary skills. They suggest that there is need to differentiate these dimensions of language when closely examining growth from preschool to primary grades.
In a new paper in PLoS One, researchers present two related studies that describe the development and validation of the Music@Home questionnaire. Both the Infant and Preschool versions of the Music@Home are described.
Overall, researcher suggest that Music@Home constitutes a novel, valid and reliable instrument that allows for the systematic assessment of distinct aspects of the home musical environment in families with children under the age of 5. They further suggest that the Infant and Preschool versions of the Music@Home may open up a new area of inquiry into how musical exposure and interaction in the home may vary across different developmental stages.
The Prevention Research Center and Department of Human Development and Family Studies of The Pennsylvania State University announce the availability of two research post-doctoral scholar positions to work on two projects, directed by Drs. Mark Feinberg and Greg Fosco, in the area of family- and school-based prevention.
Applicants should have a background in child/adolescent development, family research, and/or community risk and prevention, as well as possess strong conceptualization and writing skills. Applicants are required to have a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate in an appropriate field. To apply, please email a letter of interest and vita to Michelle Hostetler.
Head Start FACES Data Workshop
9 am – 4 pm EST
June 24, 2018
National Research Conference on Early Childhood
Register for a free data workshop sponsored by Child Care & Early Education Research Connections to explore the Head Start Family and Child Experience Survey (FACES) 2014 data. FACES 2014 project leads from Mathematica Policy Research will instruct this one-day data training introducing the study’s purposes, new design, instruments, and data structure. The training will also focus on analyses of FACES data over time, including methodological, measurement, and analytic considerations.
Space is limited and you must be registered for the NRCEC to apply. Registration Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ICYMI: Read this week’s key stories on early childhood education issues.Highlighting the week's most interesting stories and studies: IJCCEP, DLLs, FACES