January 2, 2015

In this Issue:

  1. Highlights from the White House Summit on Early Education - New Grant Awards, Publications and More
      Source: The White House - December 10, 2014
  2. Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension Practices in Early Learning Settings
      Source: U.S. Departments Of Education and Health and Human Services - December 10, 2014
  3. The Economics of Early Childhood Investments
      Source: White House Council of Economic Advisers - December 10, 2014
  4. The Magic of Everyday Moments - New Video Series
      Source: ZERO TO THREE - December 4, 2014
  5. The Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters
      Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families - December 11, 2014
  6. Ebola Question and Answer Document from OSERS
      Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services - December 16, 2014
  7. Comment Request - Evaluation of Preschool Special Education Practices Phase I
      Source: U.S. Department of Education - December 30, 2014
  8. Comment Request - Caring for Our Children Basics
      Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families - December 18, 2014

1. Highlights from the White House Summit on Early Education - New Grant Awards, Publications and More

Source: The White House - December 10, 2014

On December 10, 2014, President Obama hosted the White House Summit on Early Education, which focused attention on efforts across the country to expand access to high-quality early learning programs. Some highlights of the event include:

See the FACT SHEET: Invest in US: The White House Summit on Early Childhood Education for additional information.

2. Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension Practices in Early Learning Settings

Source: U.S. Departments Of Education and Health and Human Services - December 10, 2014

On December 10, 2014, a new Policy Statement on Expulsion and Suspension Practices in Early Learning Settings was released by the U.S. Departments Of Education and Health and Human Services. Exclusionary discipline practices occur at high rates in early learning settings, and at even higher rates for young boys of color. The effort, part of President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Initiative, encourages states, early childhood programs, and families to partner in preventing, reducing, and eventually eliminating the expulsion and suspension of young children from early learning programs.

3. The Economics of Early Childhood Investments

Source: White House Council of Economic Advisers - December 10, 2014

On December 10, 2014, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released a paper analyzing the research on economic returns to investments in early childhood education. The Economics of Early Childhood Investments (December 2014) cites research suggesting that expanding early learning initiatives would provide benefits to society of roughly $8.60 for every $1 spent, about half of which comes from increased earnings for children when they grow up. Other benefits include increased parental earnings and employment, reduced need for remedial education and later public school expenditures, increased educational attainment, improved health, and decreased involvement with the criminal justice system.

4. The Magic of Everyday Moments - New Video Series

Source: ZERO TO THREE - December 4, 2014

ZERO TO THREE has published a new series of free videos, The Magic of Everyday Moments, which explores key aspects of early childhood development and can be used for working with parents and trainees. The videos show how adult interactions shape the growth and learning of infants and toddlers. They include:

  • Brain Wonders: Nurturing Healthy Brain Development From Birth (Runtime: 6:05)
  • Literacy Skills: The Roots of Reading Start at Birth (Runtime: 6:15)
  • Power of Play: Building Skills While Having Fun (Runtime: 5:33)
  • Temperament: What Makes Your Child Tick? (Runtime: 4:37)

5. The Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families - December 11, 2014

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) recently released The Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters as part of its early childhood work on the Interagency Workgroup to End Family Homelessness. The tool is designed to help shelter staff create environments that are safe and developmentally appropriate for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. It provides specific recommendations and information on how shelter environments, programming, policies, and staff can support early childhood safety and child development. Find additional resources at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/interagency-projects/ece-services-for-homeless-children.

6. Ebola Question and Answer Document from OSERS

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services - December 16, 2014

As part of the U.S. Department of Education's guidance about Ebola, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issued an Ebola Question and Answer Document to respond questions about providing services to children with disabilities during extended absence of a child, school dismissal, or early intervention service (EIS) provider closure, due to public health actions related to Ebola virus exposure.

7. Comment Request - Evaluation of Preschool Special Education Practices Phase I

Source: U.S. Department of Education - December 30, 2014

On December 30, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education published a Request for Comments on the Evaluation of Preschool Special Education Practices Phase I . The main objective of the Evaluation of Preschool Special Education Practices, Phase I study is to assess the feasibility of conducting a large-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluation of one or more curricula or interventions that are used with preschool children with disabilities to promote their learning of language, literacy, social-emotional skills, and/or appropriate behavioral skills for school. Comments must be submitted on or before January 29, 2015.

8. Comment Request - Caring for Our Children Basics

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families - December 18, 2014

On December 18, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services's Administration for Children and Families (ACF) published Caring for Our Children Basics - Comment Request in the Federal Register. Caring for Our Children Basics is a voluntary set of minimum health and safety standards for early care and education settings. Because quality care cannot be achieved without consistent, basic health and safety practices in place, ACF is seeking to provide a helpful reference for states and other entities as they work to improve their health and safety standards across program type. This call for public comment is meant to help the ACF further develop the standards. Comments must be received by February 17, 2015.