July 20, 2018

In this Issue:

1. Building a Comprehensive State Policy Strategy to Prevent Expulsion

Source: Office of Child Care (OCC)

The OCC has created this helpful tool (June 2018) to assist states with building comprehensive strategies for preventing expulsion in early learning settings. Three aspects of expulsion are explored:

  • the absence of deep understanding of child development
  • implicit bias
  • young children who need different support than can be provided by an educator or an early learning setting alone

Recommendations, goal checklists, fillable forms for monitoring implementation, and references are provided.

2. Preschoolers Need Support from Caregivers for Healthy Brain Development (Video)

Source: Child Trends

Child Trends released a new video (June 2018) highlighting child psychiatrist, Dr. Joan Luby of the Washington University School of Medicine, and her study of childrens' brains from preschool to adolescence. She found that "children who were nurtured in preschool had a significantly larger hippocampus at school age than kids with less-supportive parents." This reveals that nurturing caregivers make a positive impact on a child's brain development from a very early age, and is as vital as giving the child vitamins and nutrients.

3. Brains of Children with Autism Show Unusual Folding Patterns

Source: Spectrum: Autism Research News

According to this article from Spectrum, two recent studies have revealed that brains of children with autism fold differently than those without autism. Preschoolers with both autism and enlarged brains displayed exaggerated folding in areas of the brain that process sound and spatial information, as well as, areas responsible for motor skills and making decisions. In comparison, the brain region that recognizes faces was atypically smooth. The studies provide evidence that folding in autism brains prompts a developmental path different from typical brains, and comparing brains at different ages is important, as folding seems to decrease with age.