July 22 , 2011

In this Issue:

  1. EZ AT 2: Simple Assistive Technology Ideas for Children Ages Birth to Three
      Source: PACER Center and Tots 'n Tech Research Institute - Retrieved July 22, 2011
  2. Two New Reports Analyze Federal Expenditures on Children
      Source: First Focus and the Urban Institute - Retrieved July 22, 2011
  3. Improving Early Education Programs through Data-based Decision Making
      Source: National Institute for Early Education Research - Retrieved July 22, 2011
  4. Head Start and the Changing Demographics of Today's Young Children
      Source: The Urban Institute - Retrieved July 22, 2011
  5. National Center for Special Education Research Announces New FY 2011 Research Grants
      Source: National Center for Special Education Research - July 21, 2011
  6. Report on How Quality Rating and Improvement Systems Support Early Childhood Workforce Quality
      Source: Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California at Berkeley - Retrieved July 20, 2011

1. EZ AT 2: Simple Assistive Technology Ideas for Children Ages Birth to Three

Source: PACER Center and Tots 'n Tech Research Institute - Retrieved July 22, 2011

The PACER Center, in collaboration with the Tots 'n Tech Research Institute, recently published EZ AT 2: Simple Assistive Technology Ideas for Children Ages Birth to Three (2011). EZ AT 2 is a guide for parents and professionals interested in helping infants and toddlers with disabilities participate more fully in daily routines and activities. It includes a collection of "Ideas to Share" from the Tots 'n Tech Research Institute, as well as easy-to-follow directions, a glossary, and a list of vendors where materials, supplies and AT can be easily located. It available online at http://www.pacer.org/stc/pubs/EZ-AT-book-2011-final.pdf

On a related note, the most recent newsletter from the Tots 'n Tech Research Institute examines the following topic: Can a Robot Really Be Considered "Assistive Technology" for Children? (June 2011). It is available at http://tnt.asu.edu/files/RobotsNewsletter(May)_final_6-8-2011.pdf

2. Two New Reports Analyze Federal Expenditures on Children

Source: First Focus and the Urban Institute - Retrieved July 22, 2011

First Focus recently released Children's Budget 2011, which provides an analysis of over 180 federally funded programs that are aimed at enhancing the well-being of children across the nation, and how appropriation levels have changed over the past five years. The report shows that spending on children in the 2011 federal budget dropped by nearly 10 percent compared to 2010 levels and explains that without funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), spending on children's programs in 2010 and 2011 would have been significantly lower. It is available at http://www.firstfocus.net/library/reports/childrens-budget-2011

A new publication from the Urban Institute, Kids' Share 2011: Report on Federal Expenditures on Children through 2010, by Julia Isaacs, Heather Hahn, Stephanie Rennane, C. Eugene Steuerle, and Tracy Vericker, looks at trends in federal spending and tax expenditures on children over the past 50 years and finds that children have not been a budget priority. This report is available at http://www.urban.org/publications/412367.html

3. Improving Early Education Programs through Data-based Decision Making

Source: National Institute for Early Education Research - Retrieved July 22, 2011

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) recently published a new working paper, Improving Early Education Programs through Data-based Decision Making (2011), by Shannon Riley-Ayers, Ellen Frede, W. Steven Barnett, and Kimberly Brenneman. The paper presents five options for studying the effectiveness of state-funded preschool programs, summarizing each option in chart form and providing estimated costs for each evaluation. It is available online at http://nieer.org/publications/nieer-working-papers/improving-early-education-programs-through-data-based-decision

4. Head Start and the Changing Demographics of Today's Young Children

Source: The Urban Institute - Retrieved July 22, 2011

The Urban Institute has published a new paper, Head Start and the Changing Demographics of Today's Young Children (July 2011), by Olivia Golden, which summarizes recent changes in the racial and ethnic composition of young children in America, as well as shifts in where young children live. The authors discuss implications of these changes for Head Start and Early Head Start programs and provide four recommendations on how local practitioners can best meet the needs of today's young children and their families. It is available at http://www.urban.org/publications/109046.html

5. National Center for Special Education Research Announces New FY 2011 Research Grants

Source: National Center for Special Education Research - July 21, 2011

The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) recently made a total of 17 awards to applications considered under two FY 2011 (Session 2) competitions: Special Education Research Grants Program (CFDA 84.324A) and Special Education Research and Development Center Program (CFDA 84.324C), including several specifically related to early intervention and early childhood special education. To learn more, go to http://ies.ed.gov/ncser/projects/11awards2.asp.

6. Report on How Quality Rating and Improvement Systems Support Early Childhood Workforce Quality

Source: Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California at Berkeley - Retrieved July 20, 2011

The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California at Berkeley recently published a research brief that looks at the extent to which Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) include key elements that support or improve early childhood workforce quality, especially in the following four areas: staff qualifications, professional development, compensation and benefits, and workplace environment. Staff Preparation, Reward, and Support: Are Quality Rating and Improvement Systems Addressing All of the Key Ingredients Necessary for Change? (2011), by Lea J.E. Austin, Marcy Whitebook, Maia Connors, and Rory Darrah, is available at http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/cscce/2011/staff-preparation-reward-and-support-are-quality-rating-and-improvement-systems-including-all-of-the-key-ingredients-necessary-for-change/