April 22, 2016

In this Issue:

  1. New Tools and Upcoming Policy Statement on "STEM" Education for Young Learners
      Source: U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services - April 21, 2016
  2. Parental Preschool Choices and Challenges Among Families Experiencing Homelessness
      Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - April 21, 2016
  3. Report Examines the Benefits of Ambitious National Investments in Early Childhood Programs
      Source: Economic Policy Institute - April 6, 2016
  4. Early Childhood Teacher Education Policies: Research Review and State Trends
      Source: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes - April 21, 2016
  5. Forthcoming Journal of Early Intervention Abstract Available Online
      Source: DEC's Journal of Early Intervention, Online First - April 15, 2016
  6. New Resources on Child Care Health and Safety Requirements
      Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families - April 5, 2016

1. New Tools and Upcoming Policy Statement on "STEM" Education for Young Learners

Source: U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services - April 21, 2016

Young children begin to learn about early science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through play and everyday activities and interactions. To support STEM in the early years, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services have partnered with Too Small to Fail to create Let's Talk, Read and Sing About STEM!, an online set of resources that include tip sheets for families, caregivers, and early childhood educators on simple ways to incorporate STEM concepts and vocabulary into everyday routines and activities. The tip sheets and a "Let's Talk about the World!" poster are available in both English and Spanish.

In addition to these new resources, the Departments plan to release a joint policy statement later this year on the Role of Education Technologies in Early Childhood STEM Education. The public is invited to comment on a series of questions that will inform the development of the statement. Please submit your comments and questions by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 13, 2016.

2. Parental Preschool Choices and Challenges Among Families Experiencing Homelessness

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - April 21, 2016

Quality preschool education has been shown to have an important effect on later success in school, however only a small percentage of young children experiencing homelessness are enrolled in preschool. A recent study, A Qualitative Assessment of Parental Preschool Choices and Challenges Among Families Experiencing Homelessness: Policy and Practice Implications (March 2016), provided parents with an opportunity to talk about the issues that had the greatest influence on their children's preschool enrollment. Some key obstacles they identified included: housing instability, lack of outreach and information sharing by preschool settings; long waiting lists for enrollment; difficulties of enrollment lottery processes; scarcity of open preschool slots (especially those with subsidies); transportation challenges, lack of flexibility in schedules, and lack of access to social-support networks. The paper provides policy and practice recommendations that could make it easier for families experiencing homelessness to enroll their young children in preschool.

3. Report Examines the Benefits of Ambitious National Investments in Early Childhood Programs

Source: Economic Policy Institute - April 6, 2016

A new study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), It's Time for an Ambitious National Investment in America's Children (April 2016), finds that an ambitious investment in young children, their parents, and the early childhood workforce could have far-reaching benefits for children, families, society, and the economy. The report discusses how early childhood programs could address two major weaknesses in the current U.S. economy: income inequality and a slowdown in productivity growth. It also finds that high-quality child care is currently out of reach for many families in the U.S., not just low-income families.

4. Early Childhood Teacher Education Policies: Research Review and State Trends

Source: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes - April 21, 2016

A new policy report, Early Childhood Teacher Education Policies: Research Review and State Trends by Diane Schilder (April 2016), reviews the research on Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce education and credentials and the current status of ECE wages, recruitment and retention challenges, and promising practices. The report provides recommendations on strategies states can use to recruit and retain teachers with bachelor's degrees and ECE credentials.

5. Forthcoming Journal of Early Intervention Abstract Available Online

Source: DEC's Journal of Early Intervention, Online First - April 15, 2016

An abstract of the following new forthcoming article is now available at http://jei.sagepub.com/content/early/recent. OnlineFirst provides access to articles before they are scheduled to appear in print.

Vocabulary of Toddlers Who Are Late Talkers

Michelle MacRoy-Higgins, Valerie L. Shafer, Katlin J. Fahey, and Elyssa R. Kaden

The Journal of Early Intervention (JEI) is an official publication of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children and SAGE Publications. It offers articles related to research and practice in early intervention for infants and young children with special needs and their families. Freely available Podcasts of interviews with JEI authors can be accessed online.

6. New Resources on Child Care Health and Safety Requirements

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families - April 5, 2016

The Administration for Children and Families recently launched a new resource page related to the health and safety training requirements of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014. The law clearly defines health and safety requirements for child care providers, and this new resource page outlines those requirements and highlights tools and information that could help providers seeking no-cost and low-cost training options.