Upcoming Events, Workshops and Webinars
Visit the PORTAL at www.sparknh.org/portal to view upcoming events, workshops and webinars, and job postings available throughout the state!
Links of Interest
Worthy Wage Day 2014
Worthy Wage Day has been held each year since 1987. It is a national day of action that is part of an ongoing grassroots campaign to raise awareness of the low wages earned by early childhood educators and the damaging effects on young children of instability from the teacher retention crisis and chronic under-funding in early education. This year, Worthy Wage Day was on May 1, but one day is not enough recognition. This article gives a brief history of Worthy Wage Day and asks you to make sure you thank an early childhood educator for the important work they do.
The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children 2014 Recommended Practices
The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children has released an updated set of recommended practices to provide guidance to practitioners and families about the most effective ways to improve learning outcomes and promote the development of young children who have or are at-risk for developmental delays or disabilities.
5 Myths About Moms and Families Worldwide
Child Trends has summarized 5 myths about moms, their relationships, their children and their circumstances from a report, the World Family Map 2014. The World Family Map 2014 is the result of a collaboration with a consortium of international research institutions and non-government organizations.
What the Media Has Missed on the ACA: How it Helps Low-Income Young People Succeed in School, at Work, and as Parents
CLASP's Executive Director Olivia Golden writes about how focusing on only the financing aspect of the ACA, the news media has missed out on sharing the benefits that many young children experiencing low income and their families will receive. Olivia Golden writes that "a national sample of infants found that half of the babies living in poverty had mothers age 24 or under and under one-fifth to one-quarter had mothers between 25 and 29. Prior to the ACA, many of these low-income young parents had no insurance coverage for their own physical or mental health after the birth of the baby." We know that parents' untreated health problems affect a young child's development and contribute to disparities in school readiness and children's success later in life, so Golden shares that the ACA "offers an extraordinary opportunity to contribute not only to young people's own success but also to their children's."
Food Insecurity a Major Problem for U.S. Families
In the United States, 49 million people are food insecure, including 16 million children according to the United States Department of Agriculture. This report from Feeding America illustrates data and national trends on food insecurity.
Early Brain and Child Development Training and Education Modules
The American Academy of Pediatrics and Child Development Leadership Workgroup is announcing the availability of 5 new training and education modules for pediatricians and other health care providers. The modules provide key information and resources on early brain development topics such as toxic stress, adverse childhood experiences, supporting parents and cultivating community relationships, and more.
The State of Preschool 2013: First Look
The National Center for Education Statistics published this new report that presents data about state supported preschool enrollment and the funding of preschool programs at the state and national levels for the 2012-13 school year. The information provided is based on data collected through the State of Preschool 2012-13 data collection within the Institute of Education Studies. (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center eNotes).
Helping Parents, Helping Children: Two-Generation Mechanisms
This Spring 2014 issue of Future of Children focuses on programs that simultaneously serve disadvantaged parents and children with high-quality interventions. Because the home environment is so important for children's development, many people think such "two-generation" programs can be more effective and efficient than programs serving parents and children individually. This article discusses six mechanisms through which parents and the home environment are thought to influence children's development. (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center eNotes).
Making the Link Between Health and School Readiness
Promoting healthy development and treating children's health issues enhances their readiness for school. The Office of Head Start's National Center on Health released this new interactive online tool which is designed to help early childhood program leaders integrate meaningful health strategies with school readiness goals. (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center eNotes).
This new resource describes daily routines for children within four age groups (infants, mobile infants, toddlers, and preschoolers) and provides safety tips that specifically address the developmental needs of children in these age groups, as well as tips that apply to all children. It was developed by the Office of Head Start's National Center on Health for early childhood staff working with young children in classroom environments. (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center eNotes).
Ready Nation/America's Edge published this report that found for every $1 invested in providing access to disadvantaged Illinois children for quality early care and education programs, an additional 94 cents is generated.
This report, also from Ready Nation/America's Edge examined the effects of early learning programs in Pennsylvania, and determined that every $1 invested in quality programs would return an additional 79 cents in economic activity.
Early Childhood Education for Low-Income Students: A Review of the Evidence and Benefit-Cost Analysis
A report from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy examines the research for various early interventions, and their impact of these interventions on the outcomes for students experiencing a low income. The report finds that early childhood education for these students show positive impacts on both short- and long-term outcomes.
60-Second Video Shows Support for Preschool from Unexpected Messengers
Check out this short video that shows five nonprofit membership organizations informing you of the benefits of high-quality preschool. Hear from business and retired military leaders, law enforcement and others working to spread the word on the importance of high-quality preschool for all children.
As Foster Care Numbers Drop, More Kids Placed With Relatives
Data from KIDS COUNT show that over the past decade, the number of children in foster care has declined, and states are relying on kinship at a higher rate than in the past. This news report shows a visual depiction of children in foster care by placement type across the United States.
Immigrant Parents and Early Childhood Programs: Addressing Barriers of Literacy, Culture, and Systems Knowledge
According to the Migration Policy Institute, "recent years have seen a rapid increase in the size and share of the U.S. young-child population...with one in four young children in the United States living in an immigrant family." This report, a study based on field research in six states, expert interviews, a literature review, and a sociodemographic analysis, identifies the unique needs of immigrant parents and strategies for addressing these needs.
Re-Framing Children's Mental Wellness
Half of us will experience a mental health concern at some point in our lives, and most of these will first arise in childhood. Yet mental illness is stigmatized and under-resourced. Child Trends conducted a literature review on children's mental health and wellness for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and found several key themes. For one, wellness is a resource that can be nurtured and replenished. (Child Trends E-News).
It's not always easy to translate lessons learned from programs in one country, to programs in another. Yet international collaborations can help us understand how national trends in child well-being fit into the international landscape. Dr. Tamara Halle, a senior early childhood researcher, writes about her experiences as a visiting scholar at the Haruv Institute and the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute in Jerusalem. (Child Trends E-News).
The Early Childhood Systems Work Group (ECWSG) has been working on the development of an early childhood systems framework since 2006. The framework focuses on three components and six core strategies that are critical in the development of comprehensive early childhood systems. The ECSWG recently released this planning tool that is based on the framework. The planning tool is designed to assist state and community leaders in their efforts to improve the quality, alignment, and efficiency of early childhood programs serving young children and their families. It can be used to enhance systems thinking when planning for and managing integrated early childhood systems. (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center eNotes).
The Center for the Study of Social Policy put this paper together that explores the alignment between the Center's Strengthening Families approach and the Head Start Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework. It is the hope that leaders in states, agencies and early childhood programs can use this paper to understand the contributions of these frameworks and make informed decisions about implementation strategies to promote parent, family and community engagement to support children's healthy development and improved outcomes.
CLASP shares this report
from the Urban Institute that confirms that states and local communities can improve access to preschool by using intentional outreach and enrollment strategies and building stronger relationships with parents. This comes from the fact that despite opportunities for advancing school readiness and child well-being, children of immigrants are less likely than children of U.S.- born citizens to access early education programs.
The CDC has launched this free, online resource for parents of 2 to 4 year olds. This tool addresses common parenting challenges and provides positive parenting skills and techniques that can reduce parenting stress and provide parents with ways to handle their child's misbehavior.
This toolkit, developed by Child Trends, is designed to support state and local efforts to build strong data infrastructure for initiatives designed to measure, monitor and promote high-quality early care and education. The toolkit contains two linked sections, a linkages guide to support effective data collection, and a dictionary of common data elements to instruct the selection and use of data to answer important policy and reporting questions.
The Administration for Children and Families summarized some of the Needs Assessments conducted by State Advisory Councils and found that several states identified the same top priority areas that they hope to focus on in the future. Some priority areas include increasing access to high-quality care opportunities, expanding early childhood data collection systems and strengthening the early childhood workforce.
The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes, CEELO, produced this policy report which finds that access to quality early care and education is highly unequal for children in the U.S. and is of particular concern for African American, Hispanic, and non-English speaking children. This is due in part to the fact that targeted programs are often not high quality and targeting is not always effective in reaching disadvantaged populations. The information presented is based on analyses of three main sources of data: the State of the Preschool Yearbook series, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort 2010/22, and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort 2001. (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center eNotes).
The Role of Program Quality in Determining Head Start's Impact on Child Development: Third Grade Follow-Up to the Head Start Impact Study
This report examines the influence of Head Start quality on selected developmental cognitive and social-emotional outcomes. Using data from the Head Start Impact Study, the report looks at whether the impacts of Head Start might be larger or more persistent for children who participate in high-quality Head Start programs as opposed to lower-quality Head Start programs. (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center eNotes).
Bright Futures and State Implementation
This issue brief from Bright Futures, a national effort of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau and the American Academy of Pediatrics, provides a concise history and overview of Bright Futures, describes its role in healthcare reform, and illustrates past and present examples of state efforts to implement the guidelines. (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center eNotes).
Why Rural Matters
Why Rural Matters highlights the condition of rural education in the 50 states. The report includes a section of Rural Early Child Development and presents census data describing the characteristics of the rural population ages birth to five in each of the 50 states. This is the seventh report in a series of biennial reports on rural education from the Rural School and Community Trust. (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center eNotes).