On April 13, 2012, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) hosted a webinar entitled Expanding on the Science: Foundations of Early Childhood Development (90 minutes). The presenters, Jack Shonkoff with the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and Ron Haskins with the Center on Children and Families at The Brookings Institution, discussed the science related to how early experiences influence brain development, policy implications, and where early childhood policies are going. It is now archived and can be viewed online.
The Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) has released two new CELLpops for practitioners and parents to use with preschoolers. The CELLpops are interactive web versions of CELL mini-posters that include ideas that can be used to promote young children's early literacy learning. The two new Outdoor Fun CELLpops include different kinds of activities that can be used by practitioners and parents for promoting the early literacy learning of preschool-aged children during outdoor activities.
CELL is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research to Practice Division and is a major initiative of the Center for Evidence-Based Practices at the Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute.
The Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families (CIR) at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work, has published a new policy brief , Increasing Understanding of Infants and Young Children in Military Families through Focused Research (March 2012). The brief examines the effects of combat deployment on infants and toddlers in military families and provides recommendations for future research on this topic.
The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) has published a new brief, Paid Family Leave: Strengthening Families and Our Future (April 2012), by Curtis Skinner and Susan Ochshorn. The brief looks at the effects of maternal employment and parental leave policies on child health, child cognitive and emotional development, maternal health, and the health of parental relationships. The authors present a set of research-based recommendations to advance policy for paid family leave.
Approximately one of every four children ages 2 to 5 years in the U.S. has a high (>85th percentile) body mass index and about one in 10 is obese (>95th percentile). While much attention has been focused on obesity prevention with school-age children, new policy initiatives are targeting early childhood programs in an effort to prevent obesity early. A recent report from National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), entitled Comprehensive Obesity Prevention in Early Childhood: Promising Federal and State Initiatives (March 2012) by Patti Banghart, highlights a range of early childhood obesity prevention initiatives to inform states of ways they can build strong cross-system efforts to reduce childhood obesity rates.