November 8, 2013

In this Issue:

  1. The Science of Children Birth to Age 8 - New Committee Announced
      Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - November 8, 2013
  2. New Research Findings on the Early Care and Education Workforce
      Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families - November 5, 2013
  3. A Portrait of Infants and Toddlers in the United States
      Source: Child Trends and the McCormick Foundation - November 5, 2013
  4. The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success
      Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation - Retrieved November 6, 2013
  5. Ten Practices to Promote the Communication Skills of Infants and Toddlers
      Source: FPG Child Development Institute - Retrieved November 6, 2013
  6. New "Backpack Connection" Resources from TACSEI
      Source: Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children - November 6, 2013

1. The Science of Children Birth to Age 8 - New Committee Announced

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - November 8, 2013

The Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and partners in the philanthropic community are funding a new study, The Science of Children Birth to Age 8: Deepening and Broadening the Foundation for Success. The study will be executed via The National Academies' Institute of Medicine and will result in a consensus report on how the science of children's health, learning, and development from birth to age 8 can inform how we prepare a workforce to seamlessly support children's development and education, including standards and expectations, instructional practices, preparation and professional development, and family engagement across diverse contexts (e.g., rural/urban) and populations (e.g., immigrant children, dual language learners, children at risk for developmental delays and disabilities). Read the project description here. Learn more about appointed committee members and sponsoring partners on the project website.

2. New Research Findings on the Early Care and Education Workforce

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families - November 5, 2013

New research findings from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families indicate that the early care and education workforce is more highly educated and stable than previously believed. The report, Number and Characteristics of Early Care and Education (ECE) Teachers and Caregivers: Initial Findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) (November 2013), finds that 53% of center-based early care and education providers have at least an associate degree, an increase from the 36% indicated in previous studies. However, the median income for a full-time center-based provider is only $22,000 per year and 24% of providers report having no health insurance. The study was based on surveys completed by more than 10,000 early childhood care providers in 2012.

3. A Portrait of Infants and Toddlers in the United States

Source: Child Trends and the McCormick Foundation - November 5, 2013

Child Trends and the McCormick Foundation have published a new report, The Youngest Americans: A Statistical Portrait of Infants and Toddlers in the United States (November 2013). The report provides a comprehensive indicators-based portrait of the ~12 million infants and toddlers in America. It includes basic demographical data on these young children, including information about their health and well-being, and the well-being of their parents. The authors present observations about the composite portrait drawn and identify some common threads in the data. Some key findings show that:

  • Many infants and toddlers in America today are starting out with severe economic hardship.
  • There are considerable inequities marked by income and race/ethnicity and these inequities are often compounded by fragile family situations.
  • The majority of mothers of infants and toddlers are working.
  • Parental leave, high-quality child care, and access to early intervention services are out of reach for many families raising infants and toddlers.

4. The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success

Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation - Retrieved November 6, 2013

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has published a new analysis of 13,000 young children tracked from kindergarten entry through 3rd grade, using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten. The analysis finds that by 3rd grade, only 36% of the children were on track in cognitive development, 56% in physical well-being, 70% in social and emotional growth, and 74% in level of school engagement. The analysis also found disparities between the overall group's well-being and that of black children, Hispanic children, and children living in poverty. To learn more, see The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success (November 2013).

5. Ten Practices to Promote the Communication Skills of Infants and Toddlers

Source: FPG Child Development Institute - Retrieved November 6, 2013

A new resource published by the FPG Child Development Institute, More Than Baby Talk: 10 Ways to Promote the Language and Communication Skills of Infants and Toddlers (2013), by N. Gardner-Neblett and K.C. Gallagher, describes ten practices that early childhood teachers can use to foster language and communication skills among infants and toddlers. The guidelines are based on the latest research findings on optimal adult-child interactions for promoting strong language and communication skills among young children.

6. New "Backpack Connection" Resources from TACSEI

Source: Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children - November 6, 2013

The Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children (TACSEI) has recently added multiple new handouts to the Backpack Connections Series to help teachers and parents/caregivers work together to enhance young children's social emotional skills and reduce challenging behavior. New handouts have been added in the following categories: Emotions, Routines and Schedules, and Addressing Behavior. Backpack Connection handouts can be sent home when a new strategy or skill is introduced in the classroom to inform parents about what their child is learning at school and to provide specific ideas on how to use the strategy or skill at home.