Weekly E-News


New Leadership Resources

Leadership is vitally important for strong early childhood programs and research and technical assistance to support leaders and leadership has been an essential element of NIEER’s work past and present. For example, Building Early Learning Latiné Educators (BELLE) is a leadership academy aimed at improving representation of Latiné leaders in decision making spaces. New and noteworthy leadership resources are featured below.


Exploring Leadership in Early Care and Education: Unveiling the ExCELS Measure 

The Early Care and Education Leadership Study (ExCELS) study led to the development of a new measure of leadership in center-based ECE settings. Learn more about the ExCELS measure and descriptive study and explore materials designed to support use of the leadership measure and study data through the links below: 

report sharing a comprehensive description of the purpose, theory, methods, measurement development, and results of the descriptive study. 

data user’s guide presenting an overview of the study, as well as details on the data file content and structure of restricted-use ExCELS data files. 

guide providing instructions for the administration and scoring of the new leadership measure.


Leadership in Early Childhood Special Education: Developing as a Confident and Competent Leader 

Thursday, March 7th, 2024

Whether you're a program administrator, a direct provider, or an advocate, this webinar is designed to empower you with essential tools and insights for successful leadership in ECSE. Explore ways to harness positive experiences, feedback, formal learning, and daily interactions to elevate your leadership skills. 

Bonus Resource | Check out NIEER’s CEELO Leadership Professional Learning Community Report for more support.



Taking the Blinders Off: Revealing Inequities in State-Funded Preschool Programs 

The 2022 Yearbook survey delves into child-level data availability and use in state-funded preschool programs across 43 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam. Key issues include data collection on home language, race/ethnicity, family income, program attendance, and absences. The report identifies gaps in publicly reporting this data, affecting transparency and accountability. 

Data on Equitable Program Access: 

  • Home Language: 82% of programs collect data, 25% report publicly. 
  • Race/Ethnicity: 84% collect data, 38% report publicly.
  • Income: 84% collect data, 34% report publicly.
  • Attendance/Absences: 72% collect data, 25% report publicly.

Data Related to Program Quality and Child Outcomes: 

  • Developmental Screenings: 34% collect data, 2 programs report publicly. 
  • Preschool Child Assessments: 53% collect data. 
  • Kindergarten Child Assessments: 48% collect data. 
  • Classroom Quality Assessments: 56% collect data, 19% report publicly. 
  • Teachers’ Education Level: 74% of administrators have access to data, 25% report publicly. 

The report emphasizes the need for comprehensive data to ensure equitable access and effective program outcomes, urging improved data collection, accessibility, and transparency for informed policy and practice. Explore the full report now.  


Exploring Nature in Early Learning: Share Your State's Initiatives with NIEER

NIEER is interested in learning more about how states are using PDG B-5 funding to support nature-based learning opportunities, outdoor play, and/or environmental education. If your state is using funding to support these efforts (or anything similar), please let us know by emailing Kate Hodges at



Early Childhood Teacher Policy in the United States: Continuing Issues, Overcoming Barriers, and Envisioning the Future

A study by Eun Kyeong Cho and Leslie J. Couse from the University of New Hampshire examines challenges in the U.S. early childhood education and care (ECEC) system. It highlights decentralization, teacher shortages, and low entry requirements. Efforts to address these include enhancing teacher quality, demographic profiles, and regulatory standards. The study underscores the need for strategic interventions by policymakers to improve nationwide ECEC service quality.

Publish in the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy (IJCCEP) 

  • It’s FREE – article processing charges for all articles published in the journal are fully sponsored. 
  • The journal is indexed by Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) and by Scopus. 
  • All articles are published under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 license. Authors will retain copyright.



The Use of Fingers in Addition: A Longitudinal Study in Children from Preschool to Kindergarten

A study by Marie Krenger and Catherine Thevenot from the University of Lausanne challenges previous assumptions about finger counting's efficacy in early math development. Following 172 children aged 4 ½ years over a year, the research reveals that children using finger counting consistently outperformed non-users in accuracy and showed greater potential for improvement in addition skills over time. Read more

Latinx Parent Engagement and School Readiness 

A team of six researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine has conducted a study using a culturally sensitive assessment tool to examine Latinx parent engagement. The research, involving a diverse sample of Latinx families, highlights significant associations between different dimensions of Latinx parent engagement and indicators of child school readiness. Beyond traditional school-based involvement, the findings emphasize the importance of culturally relevant aspects of parent engagement. Read more.

The Transition from Early Intervention to Preschool for Children with Multiple Disabilities: A Narrative Review

In a thorough review, researchers, Nicole Homerin and Robin L. Dodds of California State University, Los Angeles, CA, shed light on the often overlooked transition from early intervention to preschool for children with multiple disabilities. The study identifies key barriers and highlights potential avenues for improvement during this significant milestone. The research underscores the necessity for tailored interventions and comprehensive support mechanisms, aiming to inform and enhance transition practices and policies for families of children with multiple disabilities. Read more

Schools as Critical Settings for Mental and Behavioral Health Efforts in the United States: Key Initiatives for Substantive Impact

S. Mire of Baylor University and Julie C. Dunsmore of the University of Houston advocate for nationwide investment in mental and behavioral health (MBH) prevention within U.S. public schools. Using the multi-tiered support system (MTSS) public health model, they propose three key initiatives: universal access to high-quality pre-kindergarten, evidence-based social and emotional learning, and universal MBH screening with tiered support services. The authors assert that leveraging the school system is crucial for proactively addressing youth MBH, preventing long-term mental and behavioral health issues. Read more


First Children's Finance: Child Care Systems Analyst

University of Chicago: Research Coordinator, Connecticut Project

DQC: Advisor, Early Learning Data

ICF: Early Childhood Systems Consultant - Region III (remote)

Child Care Systems Analyst - First Children's Finance (

NC Early Childhood Foundation: Executive Director (remote within North Carolina)

Executive Director, NCECF

The Authors

Ashley Davison is the Director of Communications for NIEER. In her role, she leads the institute’s development and implementation of audience-centric marketing and media strategies. Through a broad use of digital and content marketing, she seeks to elevate the position of the NIEER, leadership, and mission-related work.


The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, conducts and disseminates independent research and analysis to inform early childhood education policy.