Subject: Studies in the News 04-52 (August 6, 2004)


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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission


Contents This Week

Introductory Material

EDUCATION
   Early childhood programs and evaluation
   Raising standards and salaries for ECE teachers
   Financing early education
   Bridging prekindergarten, infants and toddlers
   Improving the early childhood career ladder
HEALTH
   Paid family leave in California
   Health services in Early Head Start
   Television viewing and childhood obesity
HUMAN SERVICES
   Early Head Start and child care needs
   Strategies to support enrollment in family services
   Welfare's affect on children
STUDIES TO COME
   Effects of parents' mental health
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News: Children and Family Supplement is a service provided to the First 5 California by the California State Library. The service features weekly lists of current articles focusing on Children and Family policy. Prior lists can be viewed from the California State Library's Web site at www.library.ca.gov/CRB/SITN/.

How to Obtain Materials Listed in SITN:

  • When available on the Internet, the URL for the full-text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:

EDUCATION

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Early Childhood Programs and Evaluation [Issue Theme.] By the Harvard Family Research Project. IN: The Evaluation Exchange, vol. 10, no. 2 (Summer 2004) online.

Full Text at: www.gse.harvard.edu/hfrp/eval/issue26/

["This issue charts the course of early childhood programming and evaluation over nearly half a century. Contributing authors offer a range of views on how best to communicate the importance of investing in a child’s early years and how to improve early childhood programs and policies. Several articles consider the explosion of science — from longitudinal studies of child outcomes to a large-scale demonstration program — that has helped forward the understanding of how young children learn and grow. Finally, a number of articles suggest that better information is needed to close the persistent gap in achievement between children from low-income families and those from middle-income homes."]

[Request #S3544]

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The Early Childhood Challenge: Preparing High-Quality Teachers for a Changing Society. By the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. (The Association, Washington, DC) June 2004. 16 p.

Full Text at: www.aacte.org/Press_Room/ECEpaper.pdf

["This report suggests that preschool teachers should have at least a bachelor's degree -- and get salaries that match those of public elementary, middle and high school teachers. This report calls for what amounts to a complete makeover of the nation's early childhood education system, urging both private and public systems to raise standards and salaries with the aid of taxpayers, colleges and private enterprise." Education Commission of the States e-clips (July 29, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3545]

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Early Education Financing: What is Useful to Know? By John Bennett. UNESCO Policy Briefs on Early Childhood. No. 23. (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, France) 2004. 2 p.

Full Text at: portal.unesco.org/education/en/file_download.php/3429fbed21245ea0aa2c1e9ad2ea7993Brief+23+English.pdf

["In many countries, funding to each child in primary education is 1.5 times greater than similar funding in early education, although younger children need more favorable child/staff ratios. What is more surprising is that funding per university student is generally five or six times greater than for a child in a early education service, although the economic and educational returns from investing in young children are well proven. Today, it seems more equitable that public funding should be allocated to the base of the educational pyramid rather than to its apex, although it is clear that governments may need at times to stimulate through funding an increase of graduates in certain fields."]

[Request #S3546]

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Building Bridges from Prekindergarten to Infants and Toddlers: A Preliminary Look at Issues in Four States: A Discussion Paper. By Joan Lombardi and others. Prepared for Zero to Three Policy Center and Trust for Early Education (The Center, Washington, DC) 2004. 26 p.

Full Text at: www.zerotothree.org/policy/policybriefs/BuildingBridges.pdf

["This report focuses on the strong relationship between infant and pre-kindergarten policies, noting the importance of the years between birth and kindergarten in laying the foundation for lifelong learning." The National Institute for Early Childhood Research Listserv (July 23, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3547]

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The Early Childhood Education Career and Wage Ladder: A Model for Improving Quality in Early Learning and Care Programs. By Jennifer Moon and John Burbank, Economic Opportunity Institute. (The Institute, Seattle, Washington) July 2004. 30 p.

Full Text at: www.eoionline.org/ELC/ChildCare/Ladder/Ladder0704.pdf

["Twenty-five years of research and analysis have shown that children in high-quality early learning and care programs are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college, and earn more as adults. As a consequence of the national failure to provide all young children access to affordable, quality early learning and care, one-fifth to one-half of American children are not fully prepared to learn when they enter kindergarten."]

[Request #S3548]

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HEALTH

CAREGIVERS

Paid Family Leave in California: New Research Findings. By Ruth Milkman and Eileen Appelbaum, California Family Leave Research Project, UCLA Institute of Industrial Relations. (The Project, Los Angeles, California) June 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.familyleave.ucla.edu/briefingpapers/papers/newresearch.pdf

["This brief reports on new findings from two surveys conducted in California in 2003 to evaluate the impact of the Paid Family Leave program. Among its findings: 1) Public support for paid family and medical leave is extensive among all segments of the state's population, yet very few are aware of the new law that takes effect on July 1, 2004; 2) Employed Californians have often taken family and medical leaves in the past, and many expect to need such leaves in the future; 3) Many employers in the state ... already provide family and medical leave benefits beyond what current law requires; 4) Employees are more likely to return to their jobs following a leave when their employers provide more extensive family and medical leave benefits than required by previous law, potentially contributing to lower turnover rates; and, 5) In most cases employers are able to cover the work by assigning it to other employees."]

[Request #S3549]

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CHILDREN

Health and Disability Services in Early Head Start: Are Families Getting Needed Health Care Services? By Ellen Eliason Kisker, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., and Carole Kuhns, Virginia Tech. Prepared for Rachel Chazan Cohen and Helen Raikes, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, New Jersey) 2004. 86 p.

Full Text at: www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/healthanddis.pdf

["Researchers examined the health status, safety, and health care of participating children and families, finding that while most children were in excellent or very good health, the youngest children were most vulnerable. Early Head Start had small but statistically significant favorable impacts on the percentage of children who visited a doctor for treatment of illness, were immunized, and were hospitalized for accident or injury. In the area of safety, most parents implemented important precautions but needed more information on poison control measures. Although almost all parents used car seats when children were infants, fewer did so when their children were toddlers." News from Mathematica (August 3, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3550]

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OBESITY

"Programming Obesity in Childhood." By David Ludwig and Steven Grotmaker. IN: Lancet, vol. 364, no. 9430. (July 17, 2004) pp. 226-227.

["According to this new study, children who watch more than 2 hours of television a night seem to be at a higher risk of becoming smokers or being fat, out of shape, or having high cholesterol as adults. It found that even an average weeknight viewing of one or two hours between the ages of 5 and 15 was associated with the higher body-mass, lower cardio-respiratory fitness, increased and raised cholesterol." Associated Press (July 15, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3551]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

The Role of Early Head Start Programs in Addressing the Child Care Needs of Low-Income Families with Infants and Toddlers: Influences on Child Care Use and Quality. By John M. Love and others, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. Prepared for Rachel Chazan Cohen, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey) 2004. 144 p.

Full Text at: www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/roleofearly.pdf

["Findings demonstrate that Early Head Start families were receiving not only more child care but substantially more good-quality center child care than they would have without the intervention. Nearly two-thirds of Early Head Start 3-year-olds spent at least 30 hours a week in child care. Early Head Start children were three times more likely to be in good-quality center care than were control group children at 14 and 24 months of age, and about 11/2 times more likely to be in good-quality centers at 36 months. Furthermore, they were in classrooms with ITERS scores about one point higher than classrooms attended by control group children at 14 and 24 months of age." News from Mathematica (August 3, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3552]

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LOW INCOME

Closing the Enrollment Gap: Innovative Strategies to Enroll Low-Income Working Families in Food Stamps, Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant. By Jennifer Rottman and Ed Gramlich, Center for Community Change. (The Center, Washington, DC) 2003. 120 p.

Full Text at: 66.36.240.156/publications/cultureofno/EnrollGapFULL.pdf

["This report explores five strategies designed to help low-income families enroll in work-support programs: 1) Social marketing and advertising; 2) Co-enrollment; 3) Advocacy and organizing; 4) Web-based enrollment tools; and 5)Employer-based strategies. The report contains case studies which can help community-based organizations, funders, state and local governments, and business leaders determine which strategies might be most effective at increasing enrollment in work-support programs."]

[Request #S3553]

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WELFARE

Do Child Characteristics Affect How Children Fare in Families Receiving and Leaving Welfare? By Sharon Vandivere and others, Child Trends. Prepared for Assessing the New Federalism, The Urban Institute (The Institute, Washington, DC) August 2004. 46 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/311039_DP04-04.pdf

["Previous research using the 1999 National Survey of America's Families (NSAF) found few differences in developmental risk between children in families who were currently receiving welfare and those in families that had formerly received welfare. This paper reports on new NSAF analyses revealing a pattern in which male adolescents in the families of former recipients may be faring worse than their counterparts in the families of current recipients."]

[Request #S3554]

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STUDIES TO COME
[The following studies, reports, and documents have been ordered or requested, but have not yet arrived. Requests may be placed, and copies will be provided when the material arrives.]

HEALTH

MENTAL HEALTH

"Combined Effects of Mothers' and Fathers' Mental Health Symptoms on Children's Behavioral and Emotional Well-Being." By Robert S. Kahn and others. IN: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, vol. 158, no. 8 (August 2004) pp. 721-729.

["Although many studies have examined the effects on children of mother's mental health symptoms, few have included information about the father's mental health. This study examined whether a father's mental health modifies the association between the mother's mental health and the child's behavioral and emotional health. The authors find that a father in better mental health buffers the influence of a mother's poorer mental health on a child's behavioral and emotional problems. They also conclude that these problems seem to be most severe for children who have two parents with poorer mental health." News from Mathematica (August 3, 2004).]

[Request #S3555]

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