May 1, 2015

In this Issue:

  1. New Funding Opportunity: Early Learning Research Network
      Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences - April 28, 2015
  2. Amended Regulations for Part B of the IDEA
      Source: U.S. Department of Education - April 28, 2015
  3. A Better Start: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education
      Source: National Center for Children and Families, Teachers College, Columbia University - April 30, 2015
  4. InBrief: The Science of Resilience
      Source: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University - April 29, 2015
  5. A Parent's Perspective on Inclusion in Early Childhood
      Source: Desired Results access Project - April 29, 2015
  6. Using Data for Continuous Quality Improvement in Head Start
      Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation and the Urban Institute - April 28, 2015
  7. Innovation in Monitoring in Early Care and Education: Options for States
      Source: U.S. Department of health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation - April 30, 2015

1. New Funding Opportunity: Early Learning Research Network

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences - April 28, 2015

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has posted a Program Announcement requesting applications to form a Research Network on Supporting Early Learning from Preschool Through Early Elementary School Grades (Early Learning Network). There are three separate opportunities within the network: Early Learning Research Team, Early Learning Assessment Team, and Early Learning Network Lead. See the Request for Applications here.

2. Amended Regulations for Part B of the IDEA

Source: U.S. Department of Education - April 28, 2015

On April 28, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education published Amended Regulations for Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These regulations govern the Assistance to States for the Education of Children with Disabilities program and the Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities program. The amendments revise and clarify the regulations governing the requirement that local educational agencies maintain fiscal effort, known as "maintenance of effort."

3. A Better Start: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education

Source: National Center for Children and Families, Teachers College, Columbia University - April 30, 2015

A new report, A Better Start: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education (April 2015), presents the results of a study finding racial/ethnic and economic disparities in preschool enrollment and in the quality of preschool that children experience. Among families who do enroll in preschool, the study finds that most children attend classrooms that are homogenous in family income, and often in race/ethnicity as well. The result is a segregated system in which low-income and minority children often attend low-quality and non-diverse early-childhood programs. The authors discuss researching findings on why the socioeconomic and racial/ethnic composition of early childhood classrooms is important and provide a number of suggestions for steps that can be taken to increase diversity.

4. InBrief: The Science of Resilience

Source: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University - April 29, 2015

A new two-page brief on The Science of Resilience (April 2015) discusses the development of resilience, an adaptive response to serious hardship, and explains why understanding resilience will help us design policies and programs that enable more children to reach their full potential. The brief provides an overview of Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience (2015), a Working Paper by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. See also, the related InBrief: Resilience Videos (2015).

5. A Parent's Perspective on Inclusion in Early Childhood

Source: Desired Results access Project - April 29, 2015

California's Desired Results access Project Video Library has posted a new video, A Parent's Perspective on Inclusion in Early Childhood (Runtime 5:31 minutes), which shares one mother's perspective on inclusion for her daughter in early childhood and beyond. The video can serve as a good introduction for families who are new to the concept of inclusion or who are deciding on service options. It is a follow up to the video Team Lydia Rose. As with all Desired Results access Project videos, these clips can be viewed online or downloaded at no cost for use in educational and professional development activities. They are posted in the General Interest section of the library.

6. Using Data for Continuous Quality Improvement in Head Start

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation and the Urban Institute - April 28, 2015

A new report, Understanding Data Use for Continuous Quality Improvement in Head Start: Preliminary Findings (April 2015), finds that Head Start programs face many of the same facilitators and impediments to data use as organizations in other fields. The report explores the factors that can drive effective use of data in Head Start and the research questions that remain to be addressed to build an evidence base for best practices in data use.

7. Innovation in Monitoring in Early Care and Education: Options for States

Source: U.S. Department of health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation - April 30, 2015

Professional organizations and federal agencies have developed national guidelines for health and safety in early care and education programs, however there is wide variation in state and local regulations around the minimum health and safety requirements for children in care. A new white paper, Innovation in Monitoring in Early Care and Education: Options for States (April 2015), provides an overview of current monitoring practices and suggestions for accountability that addresses compliance with a minimum floor of health and safety standards, as well as promising strategies for continuous quality improvement. The paper is meant to inform upcoming changes in licensing and monitoring systems that will take place in the context of implementing the reauthorized Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (CCDBG).