In 2006, Congress asked the National Research Council to conduct a study on how to identify important outcomes for children from birth to age 5 and how best to assess them in early childhood programs. A new report from the Council entitled Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How?, edited by Catherine E. Snow and Susan B. Van Hemel, finds that while well-planned assessments can help to inform teaching, improve programs, and enhance outcomes for children, poor assessments or the misuse of assessment results can be harmful to both children and programs. The report offers principles on how to design, implement, and use assessments in early childhood settings. For more information and to access the book for free online reading go to http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12446
The Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) has published 70 new practice guides to help practitioners and parents promote the early and emergent literacy skills of young children with disabilities or delays. They are organized by child age and type of literacy skill. There are 31 infant, 22 toddler, and 17 preschool practice guides that can be printed and used by parents or practitioners. All are available online at http://www.earlyliteracylearning.org/productsct.php
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is seeking feedback on a draft revision of the Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs. The draft will remain posted until September 30, 2008, and comments received by that date will be considered. For complete information go to http://www.naeyc.org/positionstatements
The July 2008 issue of the State Education Standard, the policy journal of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), explores issues related to the topic of early childhood education and improving the connections between early education and the K-3 system. Feature articles include:
A new article from the ZERO TO THREE Policy Network summarizes recent early childhood legislation and initiatives happening across the country and provides updates on the progress states and communities are making in their efforts to serve infants, toddlers and their families. It is available online at http://www.zerotothree.org/site/DocServer/State_and_Community_Policy_Roundup_July_08.pdf?docID=5741
The results of a study published in the July 2008 online issue of Pediatrics found that having a pre-school aged child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with a higher use of child care services and a higher probability that child care problems will significantly affect parental employment. The authors recommend the evaluation of community resources available to families of children with special needs. To read the full summary of findings go to http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/122/1/e202.
Full citation: Montes, G., & Halterman, J. S. (2008). Child Care Problems and Employment Among Families With Preschool-Aged Children With Autism in the United States. Pediatrics, 122(1), e202-e208 (doi:10.1542/peds.2007-3037).