The National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) has updated its online tool, The Young Child Risk Calculator. This online tool shows users how many children under age six in each state are experiencing serious risks to their development. The tool allows users to select from three age groups (0-3, 3-5, and 0-6), three economic risk factors (extreme poverty, poverty, low-income) and other risk factors known to affect children's development.
NCCP has also updated its Early Childhood State Policy Profiles, which provide a comprehensive view of state policies that affect the health and well-being of young children in low-income families.
The Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the University of London has published a new working paper, Persistent Poverty and Children's Cognitive Development: Evidence from the UK Millennium Cohort Study (2012), by Andy Dickerson and Gurleen Popli. Using data from the UK's Millennium Cohort Study, which follows a sample of 19,000 children born in UK in 2000-01, researchers found that persistent poverty has a greater impact on cognitive development than a wide range of other family factors, such as whether or not parents read to their children, take them to the library, or help them with reading, writing and math. See the press release for a quick summary.
The Foundation for Child Development (FCD) has released a new policy brief, Children in Immigrant Families: Essential to America's Future (June 2012), which finds that children in immigrant families (one in four children) are more likely to live in poverty and have no health insurance coverage, and less likely to graduate from high school than children with U.S.-born parents. The authors also found that although children of immigrants fall behind as they grow up, in their early years they have lower infant mortality rates, lower physical limitations, and lower rates of low birth weight than children with U.S.-born parents.
The Ounce of Prevention Fund has published a new paper that looks at how states propose to develop stronger connections between early learning programs and the early elementary grades in their Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) grant applications. The paper, Analysis of Race to the Top: Early Learning Challenge Application Section on Sustaining Effects Into The Early Elementary Grades (June 2012) by Harriet Dichter and Albert Wat, highlights trends and promising ideas from the states' proposals for sustaining impacts from early childhood programs into the early elementary grades and discusses steps that state policymakers can take to strengthen their work in this area.
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) recently released a Quick Review of a study that examined the impact of Project STAR (Sit Together and Read) on literacy skills of preschool students. Project STAR is a program in which teachers read books aloud to their students and use instructional techniques designed to encourage children to pay attention to print within storybooks. Results of the study indicated a causal relationship between early print knowledge and later literacy skills. A more thorough WWC review (forthcoming) will determine whether this study may meet WWC evidence standards with or without reservations.
Citation for the full report: Piasta, S. B., Justice, L. M., McGinty, A. S., & Kaderavek, J. N. (2012). Increasing young children's contact with print during shared reading: Longitudinal effects on literacy achievement, Child Development, 83(3), 810-820. doi: 0.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01754.x
A new policy paper from ZERO TO THREE, Staffed Family Child Care Networks: A Strategy to Enhance Quality Care for Infants and Toddler (2012), examines how staffed family child care (FCC) networks are uniquely positioned to improve the quality of care that infants and toddlers receive in FCC settings. It lists effective practices and shares examples of successful staffed FCC networks.