Subject: Studies in the News 06-27 (June 23, 2006)


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Children and Families Commission


Contents This Week

Introductory Material DEMOGRAPHY
   Changes in child poverty
EDUCATION
   Including children with physical disabilities
   Immigrant children and early education
   Early reading and math achievement
   Calculating early care and education costs
   Longitudinal effects of full-day kindergarten
   Electronic media and early childhood
   Cost-benefits of pre-k in Texas
   Efforts to finance prekindergarten
HEALTH
   Uninsured children and public health insurance
   Los Angeles Healthy Kids program
   Obesity and urban preschool children
   Oral health of children
   Home visiting and early intervention
   Feeding infants and toddlers study
HUMAN SERVICES
   Characteristics of high-quality child care
   Assessing quality in informal child care
   Welfare policies and poverty
STUDIES TO COME
   Home versus center care
   School readiness and children at risk
   Young children and smoke exposure
   Preventive health care for children
   Maternal depression and parenting practices
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:

DEMOGRAPHY

CHILDREN

Understanding Changes in Child Poverty Over the Past Decade. By Austin Nichols. Discussion Paper 06–02. (Urban Institute, Washington, DC) May 2006. 32 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411320_DP06-02.pdf

["Child poverty dropped dramatically from 1993 to 2000 and increased from 2000 to 2004, especially among black children. While work, education, and family structure, are significant determinants of child poverty, such economic elements as the state unemployment rate and real minimum wage dominate the explanation for the shifts since 1993." Urban Institute Update (May 18, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62701]

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EDUCATION

DISABILITIES

"Early Care and Education: 'Everyone Can Participate.'" By Claudia Miller. IN: Children's Advocate (May-June 2006) pp. 6-7.

["Child care centers and homes are required by law to include children with special needs. But many teachers and providers aren’t sure how to best accommodate children who have physical disabilities. Teachers and providers offer some tips."]

Early Care and Education: "Everyone Can Participate" 2 p.
http://www.4children.org/pdf/506ecee.pdf

Educación y Atención Temprana: "Todos Pueden Participar" 2 p.
http://www.4children.org/pdf/506eces.pdf

[Request #S62702]

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EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

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

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

["Early education programs can improve language development and academic achievement for immigrant children. This report investigates why immigrant children are less likely to participate in these programs and suggests ways to increase their participation." The Learning Curve, Foundation for Child Development (March 7, 2006).]

[Request #S61607]

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The Early Reading and Mathematics Achievement of Children Who Repeated Kindergarten or Who Began School a Year Late. By Lizabeth M. Malone and others. Statistics in Brief. (National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC) May 2006. 21 p.

Full Text at: nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/2006064.pdf

["This 'Statistics in Brief' examines the association between kindergarten enrollment status (e.g., repeating kindergarten or delaying entry into kindergarten) and children’s first grade reading and mathematics achievement. Based on the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K), the 'Statistics in Brief' reports that in the fall of 1998, 5 percent of all children in kindergarten were repeating kindergarten and 6 percent were attending kindergarten for the first time even though they were age-eligible to do so a year earlier (i.e., delayed entry). In terms of children’s first grade performance by kindergarten enrollment status, at the end of first grade, children who repeated kindergarten have lower reading and mathematics knowledge and skills than those who started on time. At the end of first grade, children whose kindergarten entry was delayed, in general, demonstrate slightly higher reading knowledge and skills than those who started on time. In mathematics at the end of first grade, children whose kindergarten entry was delayed... are behind their classmates who began kindergarten on time."]

[Request #S62703]

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A Guide to Calculating the Cost of Quality Early Care and Education. By Helene Stebbins and Barbara Hanson Langford. Financing Strategies Series. (The Finance Project, Washington, DC) May 2006. 40 p.

Full Text at: www.financeproject.org/publications/costguide.pdf

["This strategy brief... is intended to assist policymakers, community leaders, and program developers create accurate estimates of the cost of high-quality early care and education systems. The brief lays out a step-by-step process for helping users determine what they want to finance and what it will cost to achieve those goals. Throughout the brief, a case study of the cost modeling process The Finance Project facilitated in Kansas City illustrates how one locality calculated the cost of increasing the quality of early care and education services."]

[Request #S62704]

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Is Full Better than Half? Examining the Longitudinal Effects of Full-Day Kindergarten Attendance. By Jill S. Cannon and others. Online draft, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. 2006. 44 p.

Full Text at: www-rcf.usc.edu/%7Egpainter/FullorHalf4_18_05.pdf

["Researchers examining a nationally representative sample of children in half- and full-day programs to see who had better academic outcomes found early but short-lived gains. Full-day students score significantly higher on reading and math tests at the end of kindergarten - boys in full-day programs also exhibit more frequent external behavior problems (there was no significant impact on internal behavior problems) - but by first grade, the achievement gains were cut by two-thirds for reading and in half for math scores, and all but vanished by grade 3. Girls’ math score gains persist through grade 3, however, among those in full-day programs. The study observed no additional benefits for full-day students in families with below-poverty incomes. Overall, full-day programs made it easier for parents to work. The study appeared in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2006. A version of the full paper is available on the University of Southern California research faculty webpage." Connect for Kids (June 5, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62705]

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INFANTS AND CHILDREN

The Media Family: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers and Their Parents. By Victoria Rideout and Elizabeth Hame, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. (The Foundation, Menlo Park, California) May 2006.

["Children ages 6 months to 6 years spend more than twice as much time each day watching television or DVDs, playing video games and using computers than they spend reading or being read to, according to a report released... by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation." ECS e-Connection (May 31, 2006) 1.]

Report: 35 p.
http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/7500.pdf

Appendices: 31 p.
http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/7500Appendices.pdf

[Request #S62706]

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PRESCHOOL

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Universally-Accessible Pre-Kindergarten Education in Texas. By Elisa Aguirre and others. (Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas) May 2006.

["This study provides an analysis of the relative costs and benefits of a high-quality, universally-accessible pre-kindergarten program in Texas. The analysis identifies the costs and benefits unique to Texas’ population, workforce, economy and existing educational system. It concludes that, even under very conservative assumptions, the benefits of universally-accessible, high-quality pre-kindergarten for four-year-olds in Texas greatly outweigh the costs."]

Full Report: 134 p.
http://bush.tamu.edu/academics/mpsa/capstone/projects/TECEC2006/ACostBenefitAnalysisofHigh-QualityUniversally-AccessiblePre-KindergartenEducationinTexas.pdf

Executive Summary: 8 p.
http://bush.tamu.edu/academics/mpsa/capstone/projects/TECEC2006/ExecutiveSummary-ACost-BenefitAnalysiofHigh-QualityUniversally-AccessiblePre-KindergartenEducationInTexas.pdf

Legislative 1-pager:
http://bush.tamu.edu/academics/mpsa/capstone/projects/TECEC2006/Legislative1-pager.pdf

Legislative 3-pager:
http://bush.tamu.edu/academics/mpsa/capstone/projects/TECEC2006/Legislative3-pager.pdf

[Request #S62707]

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PRESCHOOL EDUCATION

New Efforts to Finance Prekindergarten. By Steffanie Clothier, National Conference of State Legislatures. LegisBrief. Vol. 14, No. 16. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) March 2006. 2 p.

["Legislative momentum for prekindergarten has been dramatic because states that are considering how to make effective investments with limited state dollars are choosing to invest in prekindergarten. In 2005, 26 states expanded state funding for prekindergarten, totaling more than $600 million."]

[Request #S61610]

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HEALTH

CHILDREN

"Enrolling Vulnerable, Uninsured but Eligible Children in Public Health Insurance: Association With Health Status and Primary Care Access." By Gregory D. Stevens, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 117, no. 4 (April 2006) pp. e751-e759.

Full Text at: pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/117/4/e751

["Given that more than two thirds of uninsured children in California are eligible for public health insurance coverage, this study examines differences in primary care access and health status between uninsured but eligible (UBE) children and insured children. This study demonstrates that UBE children in California have poorer access to care compared with enrollees, and those with the highest levels of risk have poorer health status. This suggests that providing insurance to these children (and particularly those with multiple risk factors) may lead to improved access and health for these vulnerable children." RAND Child Policy Update (May 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62708]

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What Do Parents Say about the Los Angeles Healthy Kids Program? Findings from the First Evaluation Focus Groups. By Ian Hill, the Urban Institute, and others. Prepared for First 5 LA. (The Institute, Washington, DC) March 2006. 45 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/410308_parents_say.pdf

["The Urban Institute released this report, based on a series of focus groups with parents of children enrolled in the Los Angeles County Healthy Kids program. The groups explored parents' feelings about and experiences with Healthy Kids, which extends coverage to uninsured children from birth through age 18 in families with income below 300 percent of the federal poverty level who are ineligible for Medicaid or SCHIP. Urban researchers Ian Hill and Brigette Courtot, along with outside colleagues Patricia Barreto, Eriko Wada and Enrique Castillo, found that the program is providing families with a highly valued service in the form of comprehensive health insurance coverage, permitting their children easier access to care, making health services more affordable, and increasing options for where and when to obtain care." Urban Institute's Health Policy Newsletter (May 25, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62709]

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"Obesity Among U.S. Urban Preschool Children: Relationships to Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status." By Robert C. Whitaker, and Sean M. Orzol. IN: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, vol. 160, no. 6 (June 2006) pp. 578-584.

Full Text at: archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/160/6/578.pdf

["Study urges starting child obesity battle before birth... As evidence documenting the increasing heft of school-age children mounted during the past decade, Texas passed laws requiring more physical activity and less junk food in schools, especially for the youngest students. But what if such interventions, even those beginning as early as 1st grade, still come too late? That's one possibility raised by a new, national review of 3-year-old children that found nearly 1-in-5 were obese. Perhaps more disconcerting for Texas and its rapidly growing population of Latinos, the study found that Hispanic children were, by far, the heaviest group. Of Hispanic children, 25.8% were labeled obese, compared with 14.8% of whites, and 16.2% of blacks. The study, published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, is the largest-ever snapshot of the weights of very young children." Houston Chronicle (June 6, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62710]

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The Oral Health of Children: A Portrait of States and the Nation, 2005. By Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (The Administration, Rockville, Maryland) 2005. 49 p.

Full Text at: mchb.hrsa.gov/oralhealth/pdf/oralhealth.pdf

["This report's findings indicate that receipt of preventive dental care rises steadily with increased income, and in addition, survey data indicate that there is room for improvement in preventive oral health care for young children (ages 1 to 5) and children from families with lower incomes." MCH Alert (April 13, 2006) online.]

[Request #S62711]

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MENTAL HEALTH

Early Preventive Intervention and Home Visiting [Issue Theme.] Edited by Massimo Ammaniti. IN: Infant Mental Health Journal, vol. 27, no.1 (January-February 2006) pp. 1-119.

["The articles in this special issue are convincing with regard to the efficacy of early home visiting in families with infants. Such programs act positively in a variety of risk populations: low socioeconomic status, psychosocial risk, some maternal depressions, and are yet to be fully tested in family violence and a wider set of maternal depression.... Depending on the program, positive effects can be shown on the sensitivity of maternal behavior, the richness in the perception of the child, the mother's affective state, early maternal and child health, and future health-related life options.... Their cost/benefit advantage and feasability to society are excellent."]

[Request #S62712]

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NUTRITION

Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study II [Issue Theme.] IN: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 106, no. 1, Supplement (January 2006) pp. 1-151.

["The Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS) is a dietary intake survey of infants and toddlers 4-24 months of age, with a cross-sectional random sample of over 3,000 children. Gerber commissioned FITS in response to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity in order to better understand eating habits among our youngest children. These data will inform and provide insights to help health professionals to develop more effective educational messages to help parents and caregivers teach healthful eating habits early in life." NOTE: FITS: Feeding Infants... is available for loan.]

[Request #S62713]

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HUMAN SERVICES

CHILD CARE

What Matters? Results From a Survey About Quality in Caring for Infants and Toddlers in Groups. By Zero to Three. (Zero to Three, Washington, DC) Retrieved May 2006 from the Zero to Three website.

["Almost 1,800 members of the infant-toddler child care community responded to this survey on the characteristics of high-quality group care settings and the essential ingredients of quality caregiving. More than 80% of the participants said elements of child care 'essential to quality' include: safe, healthy, pleasant spaces; small groups with low child/staff ratios; promotion of health and well-being; knowledgeable, thoughtful, responsive caregivers; interactions and planned activities that promote learning; positive, developmentally supportive guidance and discipline; and primary caregiving systems that promote continuity of care. The vast majority of respondents agreed that each of the 20 indicators of quality listed in the survey was essential to good care. But only about half of respondents agreed that achieving these levels of quality was 'a realistic goal.'"]

Survey Results: 5 p.
http://www.zerotothree.org/Survey_Results_NG.html

Survey Questions: 6 p.
http://www.zoomerang.com/reports/public_report.zgi?ID=L22JCB4GSKH2

[Request #S62714]

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Assessing Quality in Family, Friend and Neighbor Care: The Child Care Assessment Tool for Relatives. By Toni Porter with Rena Rice and Elizabeth Rivera, Institute for a Child Care Continuum, Bank Street College of Education. (Bank Street, New York, New York) April 2006. 42 p.

Full Text at: www.bankstreet.edu/gems/ICCC/CCATRfinal4.20.06rev.pdf

["Friend and neighbor care is the most common arrangement for children under five whose parents are working. It is different from registered or licensed family child care and center-based care. Because it is legally exempt from regulation, the child care settings do not have to comply with requirements - other than limits on the number of children or the hours they spend in care - that are imposed on family child care homes or centers. The Child Care Assessment Tool for Relatives (CCAT-R) is an observation instrument specifically designed for measuring quality in child care provided by relatives. This paper discusses the instrument’s development process, its psychometric properties, and the results of a field test with 92 low-income relative caregivers."]

[Request #S62715]

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CHILDREN

The Effect of Specific Welfare Policies on Poverty. By Signe-Mary McKernan and Caroline Ratcliffe. (The Urban Institute, Washington, DC) April 2006. 51 p.

Full Text at: www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411334_welfare_policies.pdf

["After a stunning decline in the 1990s, U.S. poverty rates are rising again. Poverty rates among children and people in single female-headed families have risen steeply between 2000 and 2004 (17.8 percent and 30.5 percent respectively). But what role does welfare assistance - and the changes that took place under the 1996 reform bill - play in family poverty? This Urban Institute paper looks at specific welfare policies and their impact on poverty and deep poverty (defined as 50 percent of the poverty line). The bottom line in this rigorous study: more lenient eligibility requirements and more generous financial incentives for working generally reduce deep poverty. More surprising for some advocates is the finding that stricter time limit policies may actually decrease poverty rates." Connect for Kids (May 30, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62716]

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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

PRESCHOOL

"Who Should Care for Our Children? The Effects of Home Versus Center Care on Child Cognition and Social Adjustment." By Lisa N. Hickman, Ohio State University, Columbus. IN: Journal of Family Issues, vol. 27, no. 5 (May 2006) pp. 652-684.

["The issue of child care is still widely debated, with some scholars arguing that children fare best in parental care, whereas others suggest center care may enhance children's development. Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Kindergarten Cohort of 1998 to 1999, the author demonstrates how the use of cross-sectional versus longitudinal analysis results in different conclusions regarding types of care. Cross-sectional analysis indicates that children who had been in center care the year prior to kindergarten exhibited advanced math and reading skills over their parental care counterparts but poorer peer-related social skills net of background controls. However, employing longitudinal analysis that controls for fall test scores of kindergartners and first graders shows that the cognitive effects of center care do not persist and that some social skills actually deteriorate. Longitudinal analyses more successfully isolate the effect of child care than do cross-sectional analyses, and models employing longitudinal methods suggest that children benefit less from the center care experience than previously thought."]

[Request #S62717]

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SCHOOL READINESS

"Effects of Quality Early Care on School Readiness Skills of Children at Risk." By Nancy Fontaine and others. IN: Early Child Development and Care, vol. 176, no. 1 (January 2006) pp. 99-109.

["Brain research has strengthened our understanding of the first five years of a child’s life as a critical period. Quality early care is important to the healthy development of young children, and their later success in school. Concurrently, many families depend on childcare outside the home. Programs that have knowledgeable and skilled staff, offer a stimulating and supportive environment, provide individualized and developmentally appropriate activities for each child, reach out to parents to gain their involvement, collaborate with community resource partners and empower the family’s capacity to ensure optimal care for their children have shown much success. Many of these comprehensive programs have been particularly effective with children identified as having special needs, being economically disadvantaged or speaking a native language other than English. The Judith P. Hoyer Early Child Care and Family Education Centers (Judy Centers), implemented by the Maryland State Department of Education, is one such initiative."]

[Request #S62718]

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HEALTH

CHILDREN

"Household Characteristics, Smoking Bans, and Passive Smoke Exposure in Young Children." By Yvonne K. Yousey, RN, CPNP, PhD, University of North Carolina, Charlotte. IN: Journal of Pediatric Health Care, vol. 20, no. 2 (March 2006) pp. 98-105.

["Young children are vulnerable to the health effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure in their own homes. Characteristics of households and the use of smoking bans (i.e., no smoking allowed) as an indicator of smoke exposure need to be understood before interventions can be developed to eliminate ETS exposure in homes where young children live. Methods: This cross-sectional, descriptive study investigated demographic characteristics, knowledge, attitudes/beliefs, health of children, smoking practices, and the presence of smoking bans in households. A survey questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 226 English- and Spanish-speaking subjects, 18 to 50 years of age, including both smokers and nonsmokers. Cotinine levels of urine samples from children measured actual smoke exposure to confirm reports of home smoking policies. Results: Ethnicity of households... and negative attitudes toward smoke exposure... predicted the presence of smoking bans. The number of households with no or partial smoking bans correlated significantly with urine cotinine levels...; the presence of no or partial smoking bans predicted smoke exposure in households."]

[Request #S62719]

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"Preventive Care for Children in the United States: Quality and Barriers." By Paul J. Chung, University of California, Los Angeles, and others. IN: Annual Review of Public Health, vol. 27 (April 2006) pp. 491-515.

["Preventive care for kids is critical - but not all care is equal, or evenly accessed. This article in the Annual Review of Public Health 2006 reviews the available literature on elements of effective care and barriers to quality. It then assesses strengths and weaknesses in preventive care and offers strategies for improving quality through practice, training, and sound policy." Connect for Kids (May 1, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S62720]

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MENTAL HEALTH

"Maternal Depressive Symptoms at 2 to 4 Months Post Partum and Early Parenting Practices." By Kathryn Taaffe McLearn and others. IN: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, vol. 160, no. 3 (March 2006) pp. 279-284.

["When new mothers experience depression - a common reaction to postpartum symptoms and the demands of parenting an infant - their ability to safely and effectively care for their children may be impaired. According to a Commonwealth Fund-supported study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, mothers with depressive symptoms are less likely to engage in important developmental behaviors with their infant, such as playing, talking, and following daily routines.... The authors say that all mothers should be screened for depression in the period after childbirth, when parenting practices are established and providers have frequent contact with families."]

[Request #S62721]

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