February 14, 2003

In this Issue:

1. National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study: Families' First Experiences with Early Intervention

Source: SRI International - February 2003

Findings from the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS) on families' experiences in beginning early intervention services (timing of concerns, diagnosis, entry, as well as parent perceptions of the identification process, the professionals in early intervention, and the resulting plan for goals and services) can be found in a new report entitled National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study: Families' First Experiences with Early Intervention. To read the executive summary, go to: http://www.sri.com/neils/FE_ReportExecSummary.pdf. To read the full report go to: http://www.sri.com/neils/FE_Report.pdf

2. Recent Social Policy Report from the Society for Child Development Research

Source: Society for Research in Child Development - February 2003

The following new social policy report was recently published by the Social Society for Child Development Research: Towards an Understanding of the Impact of Welfare Reform on Children with Disabilities and Their Families: Setting a Research and Policy Agenda, by Elisa A. Rosman, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, and Jane Knitzer. It is available online at http://www.srcd.org/Documents/Publications/SPR/spr17-3.pdf

3. Research to Practice Materials (Early Head Start Information Kit)

Source: www.acf.hhs.gov/ - February 2003

Important findings from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project were released in a series of research reports. New Research to Practice materials are available that distill the findings from these reports and include key messages from the Project. They are organized for easy use by program, regional, and federal staff, as well as training and technical assistance providers.  Two groups of materials are included - one focusing on overall findings and the other focusing on special topics. For each set of materials, a research brief is available, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation and corresponding Talking Points. You are invited to download, review, and customize materials for presentations to staff, parents, trainers, community partners, government officials, and other interested stakeholders at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/ehs/ehs_resrch/index.html

4. HHS Releases TANF Annual Report to Congress


HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced the release of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Fifth Annual Report to Congress. The report, covering fiscal year 2001, highlights the status of the TANF caseloads, work participation rates, state expenditures, characteristics of TANF recipients, and other state policies...

... Between 1996 and 2001, the overall child poverty rate dropped 20 percent. In that same time period, the African American child poverty rate dropped from 39.9 percent to 30.2 percent, the lowest rate on record; the Hispanic child poverty rate dropped from 40.3 percent to 28.0 percent, the largest five-year drop on record. In married two-parent families (in 2000), about one child in 12 (or 8 percent) was poor, while about 39 percent of the children living in a female-headed, single-parent family were poor.

To read the full press release go to: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2003pres/20030211a.html
To read the full report go to: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/data-reports/annualreport5/index.htm

5. Cognitive Abilities Increase Significantly With Time in Most Prematurely Born Children

Source: HHSPRESS@LIST.NIH.GOV - February 11, 2003

Many studies have found that children born prematurely with very low birthweight have an increased risk of neurological problems, including cognitive delays. New research shows that most of these children improve significantly on tests of cognitive function during early childhood and score within the normal range on tests of verbal comprehension and intelligence by age 8.  "We believe that this is very important and interesting information — not only for the scientific community, but for the parents of preterm infants," says lead investigator Laura Ment, M.D. of Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. The study was funded in part by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and appears in the February 12, 2003, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. For more information go to http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/feb2003/ninds-11.htm

6. Child Care, Health, and SIDS Prevention Partners Unite to Reduce SIDS in Child Care Settings

Source: MCH Alert - February 14, 2003

The Healthy Child Care America Back to Sleep Campaign, sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration, is a national effort to reduce the number of deaths related to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in family child care homes and center-based child care programs.  The campaign, which builds on the success of two recent public awareness campaigns, unites child care, health, and SIDS prevention partners across the country. The campaign offers technical assistance and resources to (1) promote the back-to-sleep message to those who care for young children, (2) raise awareness and change practices in child care settings, (3) disseminate information on new national child care standards related to SIDS risk reduction, and (4) support states to establish or improve child care regulations. More information about the campaign and links to other resources and organizations are available at http://www.healthychildcare.org/section_SIDS.cfm.

[Originally published in MCHAlert ©  2003 National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health and Georgetown University.  Reprinted with permission.]