Subject: Studies in the News 06-06 (February 6, 2006)


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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission


Contents This Week

Introductory Material ECONOMY
   Economic benefits of preschool
   Economic growth and education
EDUCATION
   Early childhood program innovations
   Early education and immigrant children
   Literacy and the preschool classroom
   Pre-K and working parents
   Preschool matters
   Preschool teachers' qualifications
HEALTH
   Health care participation
   Healthy Families program facts
   Attachment-focused interventions
HUMAN SERVICES
   Early childhood interventions
STUDIES TO COME
   Preschoolers in China and U.S.
   Disabled toddlers and early intervention
   Children's well-being indicators
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:

ECONOMY

CHILDREN

Investing in Disadvantaged Young Children is an Economically Efficient Policy. By James J. Heckman, Department of Economics, University of Chicago. (Committee for Economic Development, Washington, DC) January 10, 2006. 30 p.

Full Text at: www.ced.org/docs/report/report_2006heckman.pdf

["Why should society invest in disadvantaged young children? The traditional argument for doing so is made on the grounds of fairness and social justice. It is an argument founded on equity considerations. There is another argument that can be made. It is based on economic efficiency. It is more powerful than the equity argument, in part because the gains from such investment can be quantified and they are large. There are many reasons why investing in disadvantaged young children has a high economic return.... Early interventions for disadvantaged children promote schooling, raise the quality of the workforce, enhance the productivity of schools and reduce crime, teenage pregnancy and welfare dependency. They raise earnings and promote social attachment. Focusing solely on earnings gains, returns to dollars invested are as high as 15-17%."]

[Request #S60601]

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Building a 21st Century Economy: The Case for Investing in Early Childhood Education Reform. By Shelley Waters Boots. Issue Brief No. 1. (New America Foundation, Washington, DC) December 2005. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.fcd-us.org/PDFs/CaseforPK-3Paper.pdf

["Never before has the connection between our economic growth and our education system been so critical. In the antiquated industrial economy of the past, a country that could efficiently manufacture and produce material goods succeeded. In today’s new knowledge-based economy, a nation’s success is contingent on its citizens’ human capital.... We make the case for a fundamental change in U.S. early education policies, looking specifically at prekindergarten through third grade—what we call the PK-3 agenda. The reforms we outline below are critical to developing the foundation for learning that children need to succeed in a global economy. PK-3 efforts will also help to ensure that children who start from behind are able to catch up and become full participants in America’s future growth and prosperity."]

[Request #S60602]

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EDUCATION

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Beyond The Comfort Zone: New Ideas for the Early Care and Education Industry: A Summary of the Kellogg Venture Grant Initiative. By Louise Stoney. (The Alliance for Early Childhood Finance, Averill Park, New York) 2005. 13 p.

Full Text at: www.earlychildhoodfinance.org/Publications/BeyondtheComfortZone.doc

["The field of early care and education needs bold, new ideas. To this end, the Cornell University Linking Economic Development and Child Care Project joined forces with Smart Start's National Assistance Center (NTAC) and launched a venture grant initiative. With funding from the Kellogg Foundation, small $5,000 grants were given to encourage innovative ideas that linked child care and economic development. Twenty-seven organizations responded and many of the ideas were terrific. After much deliberation by a panel of experts in ECE, economic development, academia and public policy, six proposals were selected. This paper briefly describes the grantees, what they accomplished in the first year, and where their work is heading."]

[Request #S60603]

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IMMIGRANTS

Reaching All Children? Understanding Early Care and Education Participation Among Immigrant Families. By Hannah Matthews and Danielle Ewen. (Center for Law and Social Policy, Washington, DC) January 2006. 32 p.

Full Text at: www.clasp.org/publications/child_care_immigrant.pdf

["One in five children in the United States is the child of an immigrant. These children stand to benefit greatly from high-quality child care and early learning programs, yet appear less likely to participate in such programs. This paper summarizes evidence about the participation of young children of immigrants in early care and education programs as well as the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of immigrant families that likely influence participation. It then offers policy recommendations for state and local administrators of pre-kindergarten and other early care and education programs, and proposes areas for additional research." Early Education in the News (January 22, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S60604]

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LITERACY

Weaving the Literacy Web: Creating Curriculum Based on Books Children Love. By Hope Vestergaard. (Redleaf Press, St. Paul Minnesota) 2005. 123 p.

["From 'Goodnight Moon' to 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar,' books capture the attention and imagination of young children the way few other things can. 'Weaving the Literacy Web' provides a framework for developing engaging, developmentally appropriate curriculum in the preschool classroom based on books children love." NOTE: Weaving the Literacy Web... is available for loan.]

[Request #S60605]

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PARENTS

Pre-K and Parental Work: Emerging Lessons from the States? [Audio cassette.] By Rachel Schumacher, Center for Law and Social Policy, and others. CLASP 2005 Audio Conference Series: The Family Squeeze. (The Center, Washington, DC) 2005. 1 audio cassette.

["School readiness increasingly attracts public attention. Over the last two decades there have been dramatic increases in the growth of state pre-kindergarten programs from about 10 in 1980 to at least 55 initiatives around the country today. Which programs have been particularly sensitive to working parents who need full-day and year-round care? Are school settings or non-school settings more likely to provide pre-k that helps meet the needs of working parents? How has Connecticut gone about setting aside slots for working parents? How did Illinois develop the political will to increase funding for pre-k without cutting into child care funding?" NOTE: Pre-K and Parental Work (audio cassette)... is available for loan.]

Audio Transcript: 22 p.
http://www.clasp.org/audio/ac_transcript_022505.pdf

[Request #S60606]

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PRESCHOOL

Preschool Matters [Entire Issue.] By the National Institute for Early Education Research. Vol. 4, No. 1. (NIEER, New Brunswick, New Jersey) December/January 2006. 16 p.

Full Text at: nieer.org/resources/printnewsletter/DecJan2006.pdf

["The latest issue of 'Preschool Matters' looks at NIEER's new study of five high-quality state-funded prekindergarten programs, which shows gains in language and math abilities for children in a wide variety of programs. Also in Preschool Matters: A Look Back at Progress in Pre-K Programs and Research in 2005, New NICHD Report on Long-Term Effects of Child Care, Classroom Design and Student Performance, Special Report: The Pew Charitable Trusts Advancing Quality Pre-K for All Initiative, Today’s Preschoolers: The Social Security Cure?, and Urie Bronfenbrenner: The Man Who Changed How We See Human Development."]

[Request #S60607]

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TEACHERS

"Degrees of Improvement: States Push to Reverse the Decline in Preschool Teachers’ Qualifications." By Michael Sadowski, Bard College. IN: Harvard Education Letter, vol. 22, no. 1 (January/February 2006) pp. 1-4.

Full Text at: www.fcd-us.org/PDFs/Jan-Feb2006.pdf

["Better preparation for elementary reading, writing, and math. Lower rates of special education placement and grade retention. Higher incomes and lower incidence of arrest during adulthood. The short- and long-term benefits of quality preschool education are well documented by research dating back decades. Yet at a time when recognition of preschool’s importance seems to be growing, the educational qualifications of preschool teachers are steadily declining. Around the country, advocates, policymakers, and teacher educators are struggling to find ways to improve the skills and credentials of those who teach our nation’s youngest students."]

[Request #S60608]

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HEALTH

ACCESS TO CARE

Who Signs Up? Family Participation in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families: Report to the California Program on Access to Care. By Jennifer R. Kincheloe and E. Richard Brown, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. (The Center, Los Angeles, California) November 2005. 31 p.

Full Text at: www.healthpolicy.ucla.edu/pubs/files/WhoSignsUp_RT_111605.pdf

["This report provides estimates of program participation expressed as the ratio of children who are enrolled in either the MC [Medi-cal] or the HF [Healthy Families] programs to the total number who are eligible to participate in the programs and who do not have private or employer sponsored health insurance coverage. Program participation rates are provided by geographic region and by county (where sample size permits). Because parents are the decision makers regarding children's health insurance enrollment, this report also highlights the disparities in children's enrollment by parental characteristics including ethnicity, immigration status, English language proficiency and language spoken in the home. By learning about the parents of uninsured eligible children, we can better target them with outreach programs. The report also provides the most frequent reasons parents give for not enrolling their eligible children in the programs, by ethnicity."]

[Request #S60609]

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INSURANCE

Healthy Families Facts and Figures: Coverage for Low-Income Children in California. By the California HealthCare Foundation. (The Foundation, Oakland, California) January 2006. 25 p.

Full Text at: www.chcf.org/documents/policy/HealthyFamiliesFactsAndFigures2006.pdf

["This easy-to-use presentation provides an overview of Healthy Families, the California program that provides low-cost health insurance to children of families whose incomes are too high to qualify for Medi-Cal, but are below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The overview covers program essentials such as eligibility, enrollment and benefits, service delivery, and policy issues."]

[Request #S60610]

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MENTAL HEALTH

Enhancing Early Attachments: Theory, Research, Intervention, and Policy. By Lisa J. Berlin and others. Duke Series in Child Development and Public Policy. (Guilford Press, New York, New York) 2005. 357 p.

["The essential engine of human growth and development lies in relationships, starting with the interactions between infants and the important adults in their lives. While the basic science of attachment behavior is well established, this volume moves on to applying this knowledge to strengthening early relationships in at-risk populations. The editors have assembled a stellar group of scholars to present the finest thinking on effective attachment interventions. Their ideas will enrich the thinking of scholars, graduate students, and practitioners in the early childhood field." Edward Zigler, PhD, Department of Psychology (Emeritus), Yale University. NOTE: Enhancing Early Attachments... is available for loan.]

[Request #S60611]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILDREN

Early Childhood Interventions: Proven Results, Future Promise. By Lynn A. Karoly and others. Prepared for the PNC Financial Services Group. (RAND, Santa Monica, California) 2005.

Full Text at:

[According to this RAND Corporation study, "well-designed programs for disadvantaged children age 4 and younger can produce economic benefits ranging from $1.26 to $17 for each $1 spent on the programs.... The report says high-quality early childhood programs can keep children out of expensive special education programs; reduce the number of students who fail and must repeat a grade in school; increase high school graduation rates; reduce juvenile crime; reduce the number of youngsters who wind up on welfare as adults; increase the number of students who go to college; and help adults who participated in the programs as children get better jobs and earn higher incomes. Some of the largest benefits came from the most expensive and comprehensive programs that provide services to children throughout their first five years of life. The researchers found, however, that even some small-scale, less expensive programs also provided benefits. In addition, more disadvantaged children tend to receive greater benefits from programs. The research team believes that its estimates of benefits are likely to be conservative."]

Summary: 20 p.
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG341.sum.pdf

Full Document: 201 p.
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG341.pdf

[Request #S60612]

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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

"The Development of Executive Functioning and Theory of Mind." By Mark Sabbagh, Queen's University, and others. IN: Psychological Science, vol. 17, no. 1 (January 2006) pp. 74-81.

["Chinese children are better able to control impulsive behaviour than their North American counterparts, a new Queen's University study shows.... Working with researchers from China and the U.S., Dr. Sabbagh has discovered that 'executive functioning' (the ability to control our attention and behaviour) develops more rapidly in Chinese preschoolers than in North Americans.... One explanation for the cross-cultural difference may be the importance that parents in China place on their children controlling impulses and following directions, Dr. Sabbagh says. He also points to the genetic risk factor for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) that is associated with executive functioning problems. Present in 20 per cent of North American and European children, it has never been found in Chinese children."]

[Request #S60613]

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DISABILITIES

"Thirty-Six-Month Outcomes for Families of Children Who Have Disabilities and Participated in Early Intervention." By Donald B. Bailey Jr., and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 116, no. 6 (December 2005) pp. 1346-1352.

["Infants and toddlers with disabilities in the United States and their families are eligible for early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. The purpose of this study was to assess family outcomes at the end of early intervention (near the child's third birthday).... At the end of early intervention, most parents felt competent in caring for their children, advocating for services, and gaining access to formal and informal supports. They also were generally optimistic about the future. Most (82%) parents believed that their family was better off as a result of early intervention. Parents were somewhat less positive in their perceived ability to deal with their child's behavior problems or gain access to community resources, and lower family outcome scores were found for parents of minority children, children with health problems, and children who were living with a single adult."]

[Request #S60614]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILDREN

Indicators of Children's Well-Being: Understanding Their Role, Usage and Policy Influence. Edited by Asher Ben-Arieh and Robert M. Goerge. Social Indicators Research Series, vol. 27 (Springer, New York, New York) 2006. 204 p.

["This book contains a series of articles that represent a broad range of viewpoints about how the use of social indicators affects child and family policy. The book discusses the use of indicators as an effective tool to change policy. A distinguished, international group of researchers and policymakers provide insights into the past, current and future use of good information to develop and change policy that improves the well-being of children and youth in the United States. This book will be of value to policymakers, journalists, researchers and professionals working in the social sciences, humanities and health professions."]

[Request #S60615]

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