October 30, 2015

In this Issue:

  1. Early Learning Challenge Grant Winners Making Key Gains
      Source: U.S. Department of Education - October 27, 2015
  2. A National Snapshot of State-Level Collaboration for Early Care and Education
      Source: Child Care Collaboration Study - Retrieved October 30, 2015
  3. 6 New Videos from the Results Matter Video Library
      Source: Results Matter - October 23, 2015
  4. A Review of Research on the Effects of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) on Child Development
      Source: Child Care Canada - Retrieved October 30, 2015
  5. Research Brief Examines Why Middle Class Children Need Preschool Too
      Source: Century Foundation - October 13, 2015
  6. Windows of Opportunity: Their Seductive Appeal
      Source: Brookings Institute - October 23, 2015
  7. Federal Guidance Letter Related to Learning Disabilities
      Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services - October 23, 2015

1. Early Learning Challenge Grant Winners Making Key Gains

Source: U.S. Department of Education - October 27, 2015

On October 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education released a Progress Update on the 20 Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge States. See highlights from the report in the press release here. Some key findings show that:

  • 72,000 early learning programs are now included in their states' Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), an 87% increase since the winning states applied for their grants.
  • Nearly 14,000 early-childhood programs are in the highest-quality tiers of their state's rating system, a 63% since the grants were awarded.
  • Over 200,000 children with "high needs" are enrolled in state-funded preschool programs that are top-ranked in their states, an increase of more than 127,000 children since the beginning of the grant program
  • More than 150,000 children with high needs are enrolled in Head Start/Early Head Start programs in the highest quality tiers of their state's rating system, an increase of more than 78,000 children.

2. A National Snapshot of State-Level Collaboration for Early Care and Education

Source: Child Care Collaboration Study - Retrieved October 30, 2015

A new report from the Child Care Collaboration Study looks at collaborations among early care and education administrators in each state across the country in order to gain a better understanding of how state and local agencies work together to improve access to and quality of early childhood programs. See A National Snapshot of State-Level Collaboration for Early Care and Education (September 2015) to learn more. The Child Care Collaboration Study is funded by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) to examine collaborations among child care administrators and providers at both the state and local levels and to determine whether different models of collaboration are related to access and quality of early care and education programs.

3. 6 New Videos from the Results Matter Video Library

Source: Results Matter - October 23, 2015

Results Matter, a program of the Colorado Department of Education, has posted six new videos in their Results Matter Video Library. Two of the videos focus on the uses of authentic assessment and Teaching Strategies GOLD in child care programs and are posted in the Practices Here and There section of the library. The other four videos are of infants and toddlers participating in typical activities in a child care program and are posted in the Clips for Practicing Observation, Documentation and Assessment Skills section of the library.

  • The Benefits of Using Authentic Assessment in a Child Care Program (Runtime: 2:23) The director of a child care program discusses and illustrates the benefits of using authentic assessment in a child care program.
  • The Results Matter Expansion Project Step By Step (Runtime: 6:52) This video illustrates how the Colorado Department of Education's Results Matter Expansion Project supported a child care center to begin using Teaching Strategies GOLD. The director of the program and two teachers discuss and illustrate the transition process and the benefits for children, families, and teachers.
  • Gabby (Runtime: 1:38) Gabby, a toddler, demonstrates a variety of physical skills.
  • Gabby and Nicholas (Runtime: 2:20) Toddlers Gabby and Nicholas demonstrate a variety of cognitive, social, and physical skills as they engage with objects and with one another.
  • Lilly (Runtime: 1:38) Lilly, just learning to crawl, demonstrates physical and communication body as she interacts with materials, peers, and a caregiver.
  • Profitt (Runtime: 3:43) Profitt, a toddler, demonstrates a variety of physical skills as he explores his classroom and materials.

All Results Matters videos can be viewed online and downloaded at no cost for use in educational and professional development activities.

4. A Review of Research on the Effects of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) on Child Development

Source: Child Care Canada - Retrieved October 30, 2015

A Review of Research on the Effects of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) on Child Development (September 2015) provides a comprehensive review of international research looking at the impact of early childhood education and care (ECEC) provision on children's development, using studies from a wide range of sources including journals, books, government reports and diverse organization reports.

5. Research Brief Examines Why Middle Class Children Need Preschool Too

Source: Century Foundation - October 13, 2015

A new report from the Century Foundation, Together from the Start: Expanding Early Childhood Investments for Middle-Class and Low-Income Families (October 2015) by Halley Potter and Julie Kashen, discusses the research on why early care and learning is important for middle-income families - focusing on the educational benefits for children, as well as the workforce benefits for parents. The authors provide recommendations for expanding access to high-quality early care and learning for both middle- and low-income families through universal pre-K and guaranteed child care subsidies.

6. Windows of Opportunity: Their Seductive Appeal

Source: Brookings Institute - October 23, 2015

A new paper in the Brookings Institute's Evidence Speaks series looks at the neuroscience behind claims about windows of opportunity for child well-being and brain development and discusses the contrast between what is claimed in the policy literature as opposed to the scholarly literature. Windows of Opportunity: Their Seductive Appeal (October 2015) by John T. Bruer, finds that the policy literature tends to tell only half of the story about the effects of experience on synapse formation. The full story reveals that brain science might tell us that windows of opportunity exist, but it cannot now tell us what to put into those windows. See a related blog post from the author here.

Evidence Speaks is a weekly series of reports and notes by a standing panel of distinguished researchers with a commitment to elevating the role of methodologically rigorous research in the formation of education and social policy

7. Federal Guidance Letter Related to Learning Disabilities

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services - October 23, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) has received communications from stakeholders, including parents, advocacy groups, and national disability organizations, who believe that state and local educational agencies are reluctant to reference or use dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility determinations, or in developing the individualized education program (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In response, OSERS has issued a policy guidance letter clarifying that there is nothing in the IDEA that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia in IDEA evaluations, eligibility determinations, or IEP documents.