December 8, 2005

In this Issue:

1. Third Quarter 2005 OSEP Policy Documents on the Education of Infants, Toddlers, Children, and Youth with Disabilities

Source: OSEP - December 7, 2005

OSEP policy documents from July 1, 2005 through September 30, 2005 on the education of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities are now available online at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/letters/2005-3/index.html

2. State Approaches to Promoting Young Children's Healthy Mental Development

Source: The Commonwealth Fund - December 2, 2005

A new report from the National Academy of State Healthy Policy (NASHP) examines how states are promoting the healthy mental development of children age 3 and under. Based on a survey of Medicaid and maternal, child health, and children's mental health agencies across the nation, State Approaches to Promoting Young Children's Healthy Mental Development looks at critical issues confronting states, from program funding concerns to the availability of qualified mental health providers. The authors also highlight common approaches to addressing these issues, as well as promising new initiatives under way to improve service delivery and financing. For more information go to http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=325120&

3. Spending Smarter: A Funding Guide for Policymakers and Advocates to Promote Social and Emotional Health and School Readiness

Source: National Center for Children in Poverty - Retrieved December 2, 2005

Child care providers, teachers, and home visitors struggle with the issue of how to help young children who face risks to early school success due to social and emotional challenges. A new guide, Spending Smarter: A Funding Guide for Policymakers and Advocates to Promote Social and Emotional Health and School Readiness by Kay Johnson and Jane Knitzer, is designed to help policymakers, agency officials, families, and other advocates maximize the impact of existing funding streams to support positive social and emotional development, early intervention, and treatment strategies that can improve school readiness. To download the abstract, executive summary, and the full guide go to http://nccp.org/publications/pub_634.html

4. The Effects of State Prekindergarten Programs on Young Children's School Readiness in Five States

Source: NIEER - December 7, 2005

This NIEER study of high-quality prekindergarten programs in five states reveals significant improvement in children's early language, literacy and mathematical development, improvement far greater than found in a recent national study of the federal Head Start program. The study finds that children attending state-funded pre-k programs in the five states (Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia) gained significantly regardless of ethnic background or economic circumstances. For more information go to http://nieer.org/docs/index.php?DocID=129

5. Failure to Thrive Subject of New AAP Clinical Report

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics - Retrieved December 2, 2005

Failure to thrive is a common problem in infancy and childhood. A new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics entitled, Failure to Thrive as a Manifestation of Child Neglect, says it is most often caused by inadequate nutrition and disturbed social interactions, which contribute to poor weight gain, delayed development and abnormal behavior.

For more information go to http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/nov05thrive.htm
The report is available online at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/116/5/1234

6. Child Care Assistance in 2004: States Have Fewer Funds for Child Care

Source: CLASP - December 1, 2005

State spending on child care assistance declined in 2004 for the first time since the passage of welfare reform in 1996. Child care assistance helps low-income families find and retain the jobs they need to support their families. This new policy brief from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), which examines national expenditure data for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), finds that 30 states made cuts to their child care programs and fewer families received the child care help they needed to work and succeed. Available at http://www.clasp.org/publications/childcareassistance2004.pdf

7. Early Head Start: How Effective Was the Program for 3-Year-Old Children and Their Parents?

Source: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. - Retrieved December 2, 2005

This article, published in the November 2005 issue of Developmental Psychology, describes the results of a study showing that 3-year-old Early Head Start program children performed better than control children in cognitive and language development, displayed higher emotional engagement of the parent and more sustained attention with play objects, and demonstrated less aggressive behavior. Compared with the control group, Early Head Start parents were more emotionally supportive, provided more language and learning stimulation, read to their children more, and spanked them less. The strongest impacts were for programs that offered a mix of both home-visiting and center-based services and that fully implemented the performance standards early. Available at http://www.apa.org/journals/releases/dev416885.pdf