March 9, 2006

In this Issue:

  1. Harvard University Study Results - Early Education Boosts Prospects of Premature Children
      Source: NPR - March 6, 2006
  2. Autism and Hope Conference Proceedings Available
      Source: Brookings Institution - Retrieved March 10, 2006
  3. Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems that Spend Smarter: Maximizing Resources to Serve Vulnerable Children
      Source: National Center for Children in Poverty - Retrieved March 10, 2006

1. Harvard University Study Results - Early Education Boosts Prospects of Premature Children

Source: NPR - March 6, 2006

The results of a Harvard University study of children born prematurely demonstrates that those who received intensive early care and education in the first three years of life showed higher math and reading scores and fewer behavioral problems at 18 years of age than similar children who received follow-up care only. This large, multi-site, randomized trial provides important new evidence of the sustained, positive effects of early intervention on children's long-term outcomes.

To listen to a related report on National Public Radio go to http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5246874 (Audio player required). A news release with more information about the study is available from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation at http://www.rwjf.org/newsroom/ newsreleasesdetail.jsp?productid=21796 . The full report was published in Pediatrics, 117(3), March 2006.

2. Autism and Hope Conference Proceedings Available

Source: Brookings Institution - Retrieved March 10, 2006

On December 16, 2005, the Brookings Institution and the Help Group convened leading experts for a conference entitled Autism and Hope. A proceedings document from this conference is now available online. It contains expert panel discussions about autism-related facts, the historical context for understanding autism, the broad consensus on the importance of early and intensive intervention, the debate over optimal treatment approaches, and public policy challenges that need to be overcome for these interventions to be made available to every child who needs them. A variety of policy initiatives are also discussed. The document can be accessed at http://www.brookings.edu/comm/conferencereport/20051216autism.pdf

3. Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems that Spend Smarter: Maximizing Resources to Serve Vulnerable Children

Source: National Center for Children in Poverty - Retrieved March 10, 2006

The first issue brief from Project THRIVE, Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems that Spend Smarter: Maximizing Resources to Serve Vulnerable Children by Kay Johnson and Jane Knitzer, explores ways in which the State Early Childhood Care Systems grant projects can promote smarter spending for vulnerable young children as they plan for and implement more integrated systems. It focuses on promoting social and emotional health and well-being, an important precursor to later health and school readiness. The emphasis is on planning for better financing and maximizing existing resources in implementing systems change. The brief is intended to help state officials, community leaders, and advocates take action to ensure the healthy development of children and their families. Availabe at http://nccp.org/publications/pub_655.html