December 21, 2018

In this Issue:

  1. January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month
      Source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)
  2. Implementation of Evidence-Based Early Childhood Home Visiting
      Source: Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation (OPRE)
  3. Creating an Integrated Efficient Early Care and Education System: State-by-State Analysis
      Source: Bipartisan Policy Center
  4. Toddlers Need Laps More than Apps
      Source: CBS News (60 Minutes)
  5. Early Childhood Data in Action: Stories from the Field
      Source: National Institute for Children's Health Quality (NICHQ) & the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP)
  6. How Early Head Start Prevents Child Maltreatment
      Source: Child Trends

1. January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month

Source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)

The NCBDDD has launched its nationwide effort to promote National Birth Defects Prevention Month. Their 5 Tips for Preventing Birth Defects provides maternal women information for promoting a healthy pregnancy. Additional resources about birth defects and medicine or drug use during pregnancy are also included. Feel free to print and post the tips on your walls or forward via social media.

2. Implementation of Evidence-Based Early Childhood Home Visiting

Source: Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation (OPRE)

In October 2018, OPRE released its report of the results from the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE) of the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program launched in 2011. Key findings reveal the program's participant and community characteristics, descriptions of home visitor training, supervision and perceptions, service delivery characteristics, and the families served.

3. Creating an Integrated Efficient Early Care and Education System: State-by-State Analysis

Source: Bipartisan Policy Center

This report published by the Bipartisan Policy Center (December 2018) assesses how well states are coordinating funding and governance for early childhood education (ECE). States with higher scores demonstrated consolidation in program administration via fewer agencies, had active State Advisory Councils, and had successfully implemented Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). State fact sheets, and recommendations for improving efficiency and integration in ECE programs are included.

4. Toddlers Need Laps More than Apps

Source: CBS News (60 Minutes)

In a recent interview with leading pediatrician, Dr. Dimitri Christakis (December 2018), Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Hospital, he explains that toddlers are depending more and more on screens for self-soothing. When toddlers are left on their own with the device, they are "missing out on those critical human interactions" during a vulnerable period of brain development. He states that "toddlers need laps more than apps" and promotes the AAP's recommendation that parents and caregivers avoid digital media use for children under age 2.

5. Early Childhood Data in Action: Stories from the Field

Source: National Institute for Children's Health Quality (NICHQ) & the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP)

A recent brief from the NICHQ and CSSP (November 2018) presents case studies from three states (Mississippi, California, and Pennsylvania) that demonstrate communities using their early childhood data efficiently to support more effective interventions and outcomes. The stories may provide other states and early childhood professionals with useful strategies for advancing their integration of data in the field.

6. How Early Head Start Prevents Child Maltreatment

Source: Child Trends

In this research brief, Child Trends shares the findings of a longitudinal study (October 2018) that examined the long-term benefits of Early Head Start (EHS) programs and their role in reducing child maltreatment. For example, parents involved in an EHS program were more supportive of their children and home environments and had lower levels of parent stress than their control group. As a result, the EHS participants were "10 to 22 percent less likely to be involved with the child welfare system". The brief ends with policy, practice, and research recommendations for early childhood practitioners.