Subject: Studies in the News 06-20 (May 16, 2006)


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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission


Contents This Week

Introductory Material ECONOMY
   Preschool costs similar to second mortgage?
   Early education and economic growth
EDUCATION
   Imagination, play and electronic media
   Boys not ready for kindergarten?
   Expanding access to quality pre-k in California
   Early Head Start and kinship care
   Preschool matters
   Bi-county assessment of kindergarten readiness
HEALTH
   Family budgets and medical care
   Causes of childhood obesity
   Newborn hearing screening and intervention
HUMAN SERVICES
   New parent home visitation programs
STUDIES TO COME
   Early education and premature children
   Worldwide trends in childhood obesity
   Childhood obesity and physical fitness
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

"High Costs of Child Care Can Lead to Lifestyle Changes, Adjustments." By Stephanie Armour. IN: USA Today (April 18, 2006) 5 p.

Full Text at: www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/general/2006-04-18-child-costs-usat_x.htm

["And you thought college tuition was the most extortionate expense associated with child rearing. Think again. USA Today reports that daycare costs are rising so quickly, sticker-shocked parents are comparing preschool with the cost of a second mortgage.... The burden falls most heavily on single parents, with some spending more than 40 percent of income on preschool care." U.S. News & World Report (April 20, 2006) online.]

[Request #S62001]

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The Effects of Investing in Early Education on Economic Growth. By William T. Dickens and others, Brookings Institution. Policy Brief no. 153. (The Institution, Washington, DC) April 2006. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.brookings.edu/comm/policybriefs/pb153.pdf

["This policy brief analyzes the impact of a high-quality universal preschool policy on economic growth, concluding that such a policy could add $2 trillion to annual U.S. GDP by 2080. By 2080, a national program would cost the federal government approximately $59 billion, but generate enough additional growth in federal revenue to cover the costs of the program several times over."]

[Request #S62002]

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EDUCATION

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Imagination and Play in the Electronic Age. By Dorothy G. Singer and Jerome L. Singer. (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts) 2005. 210 p.

["Television, video games, and computers are easily accessible to twenty-first-century children, but what impact do they have on creativity and imagination? In this book, two wise and long-admired observers of children's make-believe look at the cognitive and moral potential -- and concern -- created by electronic media. As Dorothy and Jerome Singer show, violent images in games and TV are as toxic as many observers have feared by stimulating destructive ideas and troubling aggression. But should all electronic media be banned from children's lives? Calmly and authoritatively, the Singers argue that in fact some screen time can enrich children's creativity and play, and can even promote school readiness." NOTE: Imagination and Play... is available for loan.]

[Request #S62003]

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"Postponing Kindergarten." By Nara Schoenberg. IN: Chicago Tribune (April 26, 2006) 4 p.

["If Aaron continues at his current pace, he will join a surprisingly large, and some say growing demographic: boys whose parents are delaying their entrance into kindergarten until age 6. Some parents want their children to perform better academically; others worry about the social and emotional effects of starting a boy before he is ready, or of allowing a child with a summer birthday to be the youngest and smallest in his class. Many of these parents are affluent, educated and aware that because of factors such as mandatory testing, kindergarten is harder than it used to be, with educators referring to it as the 'new 1st grade.' Some also have been influenced by research indicating that boys typically mature at a slower rate than girls in key school readiness areas such as language and fine motor skills."]

[Request #S62004]

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Deepening the Dialogue: Key Considerations for Expanding Access to High Quality Preschool in California. By Hedy Chang with Deborah Stipek and Nicolle Garza. (Stanford University School of Education, Palo Alto, California) 2006.

[" A movement has emerged throughout the country, including California, to expand access to high quality preschool programs. This brief offers an independent analysis of five critical issues which should be addressed by any such effort in California."]

Executive Summary. 6 p.:
http://ed.stanford.edu/suse/california-preschools/deepening_executive_summary.pdf

Deepening the Dialogue. 39 p.:
http://ed.stanford.edu/suse/california-preschools/deepening_the_dialogue.pdf

Appendix. 16 p.:
http://ed.stanford.edu/suse/california-preschools/deepening_appendix.pdf

[Request #S62005]

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HEAD START

The Enhanced Home Visiting Pilot Project: How Early Head Start Programs are Reaching Out to Kith and Kin Caregivers. By Diane Paulsell and others, Mathematica Policy Research. Prepared for Head Start Bureau. (Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, New Jersey) 2006.

Full Text at: www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/pdfs/homevisitrpt.pdf

["Although children's care before they enter school influences readiness in important ways, quality of care can vary widely. Low-income families tend to rely on family, friends, and neighbors -- 'kith and kin caregivers' -- especially for infants and toddlers. The Enhanced Home Visiting Pilot Project, funded by the Head Start Bureau in 2004, supports the quality of care that kith and kin caregivers provide to infants and toddlers enrolled in home-based Early Head Start programs. This report describes characteristics of enrolled children, families, and caregivers. It also details early implementation experiences of pilot programs based on site visits after one year of operation."]

Issue Brief: 4 p.
http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/pdfs/kithkinisbr.pdf

Full Report: 100 p.
http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/pdfs/homevisitrpt.pdf

[Request #S62006]

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PRESCHOOL

Preschool Matters [Entire Issue.] By the National Institute for Early Education Research, vol. 4, no. 2 (NIEER, New Brunswick, New Jersey) March/April 2006. 12 p.

Full Text at: nieer.org/resources/printnewsletter/MarApr2006.pdf

["The latest issue of 'Preschool Matters' carries an article analyzing changes in state-funded preschool across the country. Based on NIEER's newly-released '2005 State Preschool Yearbook,' [#61510] the article examines patterns of expansion and contraction in programs, discussing issues of quality, access and resources. Also in Preschool Matters: Pre-K Inclusion Program Where Typically Developing Children Learned Alongside Special Needs Kids; New Research: Children Overcoming a Propensity for Shyness; New York's New Vision: Early Ed Begins at Birth; Q & A With Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, and Recommended Reading." NIEER Online Newsletter (April 25, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62007]

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SCHOOL READINESS

Assessment of Kindergarten Readiness in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties: Results from the 2005 School Readiness Assessment Project. By the Peninsula Partnership for Children, Youth and Families and the Santa Clara County Partnership for School Readiness. (Peninsula Partnership, San Mateo, California) 2006.

["Most children in Silicon Valley start kindergarten with a good grasp of the basic skills teachers say they need -- from the alphabet to knowing how to sit still -- according to a survey... But the survey of kindergarten teachers and parents discovered major differences in the skills young students bring to the classroom -- and found that children in San Mateo County are generally better prepared than those in Santa Clara County.... It's not entirely clear why San Mateo County children appear to be more prepared to enter kindergarten. But the survey yields two important clues: a higher portion of children in San Mateo are attending preschool, and San Mateo parents say they spend more time on enrichment activities." San Jose Mercury News (May 3, 2006) online.]

Executive Summary. 19 p.:
http://www.pcf.org/peninsula_partnership/pdfs/exec_summary.pdf

Full Report. 353 p.:
http://www.pcf.org/peninsula_partnership/pdfs/ksra.pdf

[Request #S62008]

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HEALTH

CHILDREN

Rising Out-of-Pocket Spending for Medical Care: A Growing Strain on Family Budgets. By Mark Merlis and others. Publication no. 887. (Commonwealth Fund, New York, New York) February 2006. 36 p.

Full Text at: www.cmwf.org/usr_doc/Merlis_risingoopspending_887.pdf

["An average of 18 million U.S. families face out-of-pocket medical care costs each year that strain their budgets (and qualified as 'high' relative to their income). These families are more likely than others to have trouble getting needed care and paying for it. The share of families struggling under the burden of these costs is up from 1996 –- and according to this Commonwealth Fund report, more families are likely to spend a larger share of their budgets on health care in the coming years." Connect for Kids (March 27, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62009]

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Childhood Obesity: Weighing in on the Causes of an Epidemic. Rand Child Policy Research Newsletter. (April 2006) 2 p.

Full Text at: www.rand.org/child/newsletters/cp_research_0604.pdf

["Childhood obesity has hit epidemic proportions in this country, and rates are rising. The most recent (April 2006) RAND Child Policy Research Newsletter offers a clear, two-page summary of what’s known (and what’s not) about obesity, and findings from the latest RAND studies on the issue -- its causes, complexities, and what can work to stem the rising rates. In particular, the paper looks at the role eating, genetics, the lived environment, and the local cost of food may play." Connect for Kids (May 1, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62010]

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"Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention." By Peggy A. Gallagher, Georgia State University, Atlanta, and others. IN: Infants and Young Children, vol. 19, no. 1 (January-March 2006) pp. 59-71.

["Many states are implementing universal newborn hearing screening and intervention initiatives, also referred to as early hearing detection and intervention. Young children who are identified at birth, or soon thereafter, as having hearing loss are at a much greater advantage in reaching their full potential when programs and services are implemented during the infancy period.... This article provides an overview of the results of a statewide needs assessment to determine program priorities, training needs for the personnel who will work with these young children with hearing loss and their families, and the potential for increasing the level of collaboration among service providers.... Suggestions are offered for expanding the traditional center-based approach to a collaborative model and for developing training and programming initiatives in other states."]

[Request #S62011]

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HUMAN SERVICES

Welcome Home and Early Start: An Assessment of Program Quality and Outcomes. By Deborah Daro. Chapin Hall Working Paper. (Chapin Hall Center for Children, University of Chicago, Illinois) 2005. 149 p.

Full Text at: www.chapinhall.org/article_abstract.aspx?ar=1365

["Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, in collaboration with Westat Associates, designed and implemented a comprehensive evaluation of the Early Childhood Initiative’s (ECI) two home visitation programs – Welcome Home, a universal home visitation program that provides a single home visit to all first-time and teen parents and Early Start, an secondary prevention program targeted to new parents facing significant challenges."]

[Request #S62012]

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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.]

EDUCATION

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

"Early Intervention in Low Birth Weight Premature Infants: Results at 18 Years of Age for the Infant Health and Development Program." By Marie C. McCormick and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 117, no. 3 (March 2006) pp. 771-780.

["A study of children born prematurely finds that those who had intensive early education - in the first three years of life - had higher math and reading scores and fewer behavioral problems than similar children who didn't get the educational boost." NPR Morning Edition (March 6, 2006) online.]

[Request #S62013]

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HEALTH

CHILDREN

"Worldwide Trends in Childhood Overweight and Obesity." By Youfa Wang, John Hopkins University and Tim Lobstein, International Obesity Task Force, London. IN: International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, vol. 1, no. 1 (January 2006) pp. 11-25.

["The number of overweight children worldwide will increase significantly by the end of the decade, and scientists expect profound impacts on everything from public health care to economies.... Nearly half of the children in North and South America will be overweight by 2010, up from what recent studies say is about one-third.... 'We have truly a global epidemic which appears to be affecting most countries in the world,' said Dr. Philip James, chairman of the International Obesity Task Force and author of an editorial in the journal warning of the trend.... Another doctor who examined the journal report was Dr. Brian McCrindle, a childhood obesity expert and professor of pediatrics with a pediatric hospital in Toronto.... He warned that lawmakers had to take a broader view of the looming problem -- and consider doing things such as banning trans fats and legislating against direct advertising of junk food toward children." The Detroit News (March 5, 2006) online.]

[Request #S62014]

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"Active Healthy Living: Prevention of Childhood Obesity Through Increased Physical Activity." By the Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness and Council on School Health. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 117, no. 5. (May 2006) pp. 1834-1842.

Full Text at: aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;117/5/1834.pdf

["This new policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics says that doctors and all health care professionals should encourage better nutrition and more physical activity among children by working with families and communities, especially through in-school programs. The statement also stresses the importance of parental example."]

[Request #S62014]

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