Subject: Studies in the News 03-50 (August 1, 2003)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material ECONOMY
   Children and the media
   Earned income child credit
   Before and after school care
   Dispelling early childhood education myths
   Evaluation of Head Start reform
   Head Start teachers
   Children's health insurance use increase
   European management of substance abusing parents
   Foster care process for children
   Income sources for low-income families
   Economic success benchmarks for families
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News is a very current compilation of items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau to supplement the public policy debate in California’s Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library’s website. This week's list of current articles in various public policy areas is presented below.

Service to State Employees:

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

  • Items in the State Library collection can be checked out to state officials and staff.

  • Access to all materials listed will be provided by the State Information Reference Center, either by e-mail to or by calling 654-0261.

The following studies are currently on hand:



Perceptions and Misperceptions of America's Children: The Role of the Print Media. By William P. O'Hare, Annie E. Casey Foundation. (The Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland) June 2003. 18 p.

Full Text at:

["The Casey Foundation commissioned a media analysis to look more closely at the kind of newspaper coverage people were reading on the issues of children and the media. The analyses found relatively few articles on the topics covered by this poll, and very few articles provided even basic statistics or trend data." CDF Violence Prevention Listserv (July 29, 2003).]

[Request #S8755]

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Tax Reform for Families: An Earned Income Child Credit. By Adam Carasso and others, Urban Institute. Welfare Reform and Beyond Policy Brief No. 26. (The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC) July 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["This study concludes that in revising and combining the Eearned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC), it is possible to improve: simplicity; work incentives and net income from work at the bottom of the income distribution; and benefits for most families with children."]

[Request #S8756]

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Before and After School: No Time to Waste. Vol. 1: Legislative Resources. 17 p. Vol. 2: Programs and Providers. 21 p. Vol. 3: Understanding the Issues. 26 p. By Christine Eilertson and others, National Conference of State Legislatures. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) [2003.]

["Increasingly, communities, cities and states are offering out-of-school-time programs to children which aim to keep kids safe and out of trouble; improve literacy, test scores and grades; or reduce risk-taking attitudes and behaviors. These books seek to help policymakers understand out-of-school-time programs and identify opportunities for state involvement in the development of these programs." NOTE: Each volume of Before and After School ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S8757]

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Fact and Fantasy--Eight Myths About (ECEC) Early Childhood Education and Care. By Gordon Cleveland and Michael Krashinsky, Economics, Division of Management, University of Toronto at Scarborough. (Child Care Resource and Research Unit, University of Toronto, Scarsborough, Canada) July 2003.

["This paper examines eight myths often used to argue against public support for early childhood education and care. Its main objective is to respond to these eight myths, to subject them and associated research to critical scrutiny, and to respond in a popular fashion. Research evidence and logic are combined to provide a readable, economically-oriented critique to these frequently heard assertions."]

Briefing Note. 6 p.:

Full Report. 79 p.:

[Request #S8758]

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The Future of Head Start. By Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill, Brookings Institution. Welfare Reform and Beyond Policy Brief No. 27. (The Institution, Washington, DC) July 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["The Bush administration is proposing that control of Head Start be turned over to state governments that promise to meet a series of conditions regarding school preparation, comprehensive services, and public accountability. The purpose of this brief is to review the arguments for and against giving greater control of Head Start to the states and to make recommendations about Head Start policy. The study concludes that expecting a one-year preschool program to overcome the huge gap in school readiness between poor and more fortunate children may be unreasonable.... More than one year of high quality preschool education will be required to reduce the school readiness gap.... Additional funds will almost certainly be necessary to provide all poor children with at least a year of high quality preparation for schooling."]

[Request #S8759]

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NIEER Fact Sheet on Head Start Teachers. By National Institute for Early Education Research. (The Institute, New Brunswick, New Jersey) July 2003. 4 p.

Full Text at:

["Teacher qualifications and compensation are major issues for preschool generally, but occupy an unimportant position in the debates about Head Start reauthorization. Serious efforts to improve the educational effectiveness of Head Start would need to begin with teachers. Standards for teachers remain minimal and compensation is extremely low compared to K-12 teachers."]

[Request #S8760]

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Children's Insurance Coverage and Service Use Improve. By Genevieve Kenney and others, Urban Institute. Snapshots of America's Families III, No. 1. (Urban Institute, Washington, DC) July 31, 2003. 4 p.

Full Text at:

["Between 1999 and 2002, the number of uninsured children in the United States declined by 1.8 million to 7.8 million, a decrease largely attributable to greater coverage through Medicaid and SCHIP programs, according to this report. The report, based on a survey of 40,000 families, also found that over the three-year time period, two million fewer children had private health insurance as more employers terminated benefits for employees and their families." California Healthline (July 31, 2003).]

[Request #S8761]

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"Case Management For Substance Abusing Parents and Their Children: A View From Europe." By The National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center. IN: The Source, vol. 12, no. 1 (Spring 2003) pp. 1-7.

["In the European Union, it is estimated that 18 to 75% of all female substance abusers have at least one child, and trend figures show that this percentage continues to grow. Though parenthood seems to be an important life-event for most substance users, substance abuse clearly is a risk factor for the development of children.... However, characteristics such as the presence of a social network, family rituals and controlled drug use, contribute to adequate parental functioning."]

[Request #S8762]

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A Child's Journey Through the Child Welfare System. By Sue Badeau and Sarah Gesiriech. (Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, Washington, DC) 2003. 25 p.

Full Text at:

["The Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care has drawn a diagram that highlights typical decision points on a child's journey through the current foster care system, based on federal and common state law and practice." Connect for Kids (July 14, 2003).]

[Request #S8672]

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Survival at the Bottom: The Income Packages of Low-Income Families With Children. By Heidi Hartmann and others. (Institute for Women's Policy Research, Washington, DC) 2003. 98 p.

Full Text at:

["This study builds on previous Institute for Women's Policy Research work and provides information on the income packaging strategies and outcomes for a variety of low-income families with children in the U.S. during a time period prior to the welfare reform legislation of 1996. The study is organized around: diversity of family structures; the income generating activities of low-income families; and the economic well-being of low-income families ... and provides a baseline for evaluating the economic well-being of families in the post-welfare reform environment."]

[Request #S8763]

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[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.]


Policy Matters: Setting and Measuring Benchmarks for State Policies; Improving the Economic Success of Families: Recommendations for State Policy. By the Center for the Study of Social Policy. (The Center, Washington, DC) 2003. 56 p.

["This paper presents a framework for policies and policy benchmarks aimed at improving family economic success. This paper specifically examines a combination of work, income and asset-based outcomes for improving the economic success of low-income familes. The policies identified present opportunities to help families achieve long-term economic success." NOTE: Policy Matters ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S8764]

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