November 20, 2009

In this Issue:

  1. Race To the Top Fund - Final Priorities and Application Released
      Source: U.S. Department of Education - November 18, 2009
  2. The Early Learning Challenge: Raising the Bar - Remarks from Secretary Arne Duncan
      Source: U.S. Department of Education - November 18, 2009
  3. New Report Looks at Where States Stand in Developing Early Childhood Advisory Councils
      Source: New America Foundation - November 18, 2009
  4. Substance-Exposed Infants: State Responses to the Problem
      Source: National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare - November 20, 2009
  5. Basic Facts About Low-income Children Under Age 3 and Under Age 6
      Source: National Center for Children in Poverty - November 18, 2009
  6. New Research-Based Rationales on Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Child Care
      Source: Center for Law and Social Policy - November 18, 2009
  7. Early Childhood in Focus 4: Effective Early Childhood Programmes
      Source: The Open University - Retrieved November 16, 2009
  8. New FPG Snapshot - Developing Structured Work Systems for Students with ASD
      Source: FPG Child Development Institute - November 18, 2009

1. Race To the Top Fund - Final Priorities and Application Released

Source: U.S. Department of Education - November 18, 2009

The U.S. Department of Education recently released the final priorities and application for more than $$4 billion from the Race to the Top (RTTT) Fund, which will reward states that have raised student performance in the past and have the capacity to accelerate achievement gains with innovative reforms. Priorities 3, 4 and 5 include items related to early childhood programs. To learn more, see the executive summary at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/executive-summary.pdf. The Department of Education will hold two rounds of competition for the RTTT grants. For the first round, states are required to submit a notice of intent by December 8, 2009 and applications are due January 19, 2010. The second round will be held in June 2010.

2. The Early Learning Challenge: Raising the Bar - Remarks from Secretary Arne Duncan

Source: U.S. Department of Education - November 18, 2009

On November 18, 2009, the U.S. Department of Education published remarks made by Secretary Arne Duncan at the annual conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, in which he discussed current challenges and changes that are taking place across the country in early learning and development programs. To read his full speech, go to http://www2.ed.gov/news/speeches/2009/11/11182009.html

3. New Report Looks at Where States Stand in Developing Early Childhood Advisory Councils

Source: New America Foundation - November 18, 2009

As part of the Head Start Reauthorization of 2007, states were mandated to create Early Childhood Advisory Councils (ECACs) to develop coordinated systems of early childhood education and care. ECACs received funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and are expected to play a major role in early childhood policy in coming years. A new report from the New America Foundation provides a snapshot of where states now stand in developing their ECACs. The Next Step in Systems-Building: Early Childhood Advisory Councils and Federal Efforts to Promote Policy Alignment in Early Childhood (November 2009), by Christina Satkowski, is available at http://www.newamerica.net/publications/policy/next_step_system_building_0

4. Substance-Exposed Infants: State Responses to the Problem

Source: National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare - November 20, 2009

An estimated 400,000-440,000 infants (10-11% of all births) each year are affected by prenatal alcohol or illicit drug exposure. The potential physical, emotional, and developmental problems caused to the child can be significant and long-lasting, especially if the effects are not treated early. A new report from the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW) examines State policy on this issue, looking at: prevention, intervention, identification, and treatment of prenatal substance exposure, including services for the infant, the mother, and the family. Substance-Exposed Infants: State Responses to the Problem (2009), by Nancy K. Young, Sid Gardner, Cathleen Otero, Kim Dennis, Rosa Chang, Kari Earle, and Sharon Amatetti, is available online at http://www.ncsacw.samhsa.gov/files/Substance-Exposed-Infants.pdf

5. Basic Facts About Low-income Children Under Age 3 and Under Age 6

Source: National Center for Children in Poverty - November 18, 2009

In 2008, 44 percent of young children under age 3 and under age 6 in the U.S. lived in low-income families and 22 percent lived in poor families. The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) has published new fact sheets that describe the demographic, socio-economic, and geographic characteristics of these very young children and their parents, highlighting important factors that appear to distinguish them from their less disadvantaged counterparts.

6. New Research-Based Rationales on Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Child Care

Source: Center for Law and Social Policy - November 18, 2009

As part of its Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care Project, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has published the following two new research-based rationales for its recommendations to states about how to support the healthy growth and development of infants and toddlers in child care settings:

  • Establish Core Competencies (November 2009)- http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications/files/cp_rationale1.pdf
    This rationale discusses how state child care licensing, subsidy, and quality enhancement policies can move toward establishing a core body of knowledge, skills, and expertise that providers and caregivers need in order to give babies and toddlers quality care, based on current research on social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. Provides recommendations, state examples, and online resources for state policymakers.
  • Provide Access to Training, Education, and Ongoing Supports (November 2009) - http://www.clasp.org/admin/site/publications/files/cp_rationale2.pdf
    This rationale discusses how states can work to ensure access to specialized professional development for providers working with infants and toddlers, including participation in higher education programs, community-level training, ongoing individualized consultations, and access to appropriate information and supports. Includes recommendations, state examples, and online resources for state policymakers.

7. Early Childhood in Focus 4: Effective Early Childhood Programmes

Source: The Open University - Retrieved November 16, 2009

Early Childhood in Focus is a series of publications produced by the Child and Youth Studies Group at The Open University, United Kingdom, with support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation. Each publication provides reviews of the best and most recent available research, analyses and information on key policy issues related to early childhood programs. Its latest publication, Early Childhood in Focus 4: Effective Early Childhood Programmes (2009) looks at the following: The case for early childhood programmes; evidence for early childhood programme effectiveness; and challenges for early childhood programmes. It can be accessed online at http://www.bernardvanleer.org/English/Home/Our-publications/Browse_by_series.html?ps_page=1&getSeries=3

8. New FPG Snapshot - Developing Structured Work Systems for Students with ASD

Source: FPG Child Development Institute - November 18, 2009

For students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), activities such as transitioning from one location to the next, organizing their learning materials, and completing assigned activities, can be very challenging. This Snapshot summarizes the findings of researchers, who studied structured work systems as one effective approach educators can use to address the unique learning styles and challenges experienced by students with ASD. It is available at http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~snapshots/Snap59_WEB.pdf