Subject: Studies in the News 03-58 (September 12, 2003)

Studies in the News
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Successful early childhood classrooms
   Benefits of Reggio Emilia preschools
   High/Scope curriculum and kindergarten
   Early education research
   Childhood education research
   Poverty and kindergartners
   Lead hazards and child care centers
   Importance of preserving Medicaid and SCHIP
   Children of depressed mothers
   Children's insurance
   Evaluation of the early care workforce
   Grandparent foster care and TANF
   Environmental exposures and asthma
   Insurance status, vaccine costs, and coverage
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 Californiaís Capitol. To help share the latest information with state policymakers, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Libraryís 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:



The Power of Projects: Meeting Contemporary Challenges in Early Childhood Classrooms -- Strategies and Solutions. By Judy Harris Helm and Sallee Beneke, National Association for the Education of Young Children. (Teachers College Press, New York) 2003. 120 p.

[Includes: "Moving Young Children Toward Literacy;" "Responding to Children's Special Needs;" "Supporting Second-Language Learners;" and others. NOTE: The Power of Projects ... is available for 3-day loan."]

[Request #S9027]

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"The Real Head Start." By Howard Gardner, Harvard Graduate School of Education. IN: The Boston Globe (September 7, 2003) 3 p.

["Harvard University professor Howard Gardner praises the preschools in Reggio Emilia, a city in northeastern Italy, for their imaginative approach to learning as a group activity. He says the schools, which have engaged children in such activities as exploring fax machines and building bird amusement parks, successfully allow preschoolers to follow their own interests while teachers introduce new ideas and materials." ASCD SmartBrief (September 8, 2003).]

[Request #S9028]

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The Effect of Participation in HighReach Learning Pre-Kindergarten Curriculum on Students' Kindergarten Assessment Scores. By Bruce T. Yelton, Praxis Research, and others. (Praxis Research, Charlotte, North Carolina) 2003. 28 p.

Full Text at:

["The results of the study show that there is no difference between the outcome for students using the High Reach Learning (HRL) curriculum and other curricula on the GKAP-R testing for all schools. However, when controlling for the largest subset of other curricula used, High/Scope, HRL did produce statistically significant better results for students. HRL students also performed better in schools with high concentrations of minority students and very high proportions of free/reduced lunch participants."]

[Request #S9029]

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Journal of Research in Childhood Education, An International Journal of Research on the Education of Children, Infancy Through Early Adolescence, vol. 17, no. 2 (Spring/Summer 2003) pp. 133-265.

[Includes: "Preschool to Kindergarten Transition Activities: Involvement and Satisfaction of Families and Teachers;" "When Good Intentions are not Enough: A Response to Increasing Diversity in an Early Childhood Setting;" "Mentoring Early Childhood Professionals;" and others. NOTE: Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S9030]

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Childhood Education, Infancy Through Early Adolescence, vol. 70, no. 4 (Summer 2003) pp. 194-256.

[Includes: "Emergent Curriculum and Kindergarten Readiness;" "Effective Practices and Principles to Support English Language Learners in the Early Childhood Classroom;" "Learning about the 'Other': Building a Case for Intercultural Understanding Among Minority Children;" Individualization in the Inclusive Preschool: A Planning Process;" and others. NOTE: Childhood Education ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S9031]

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Low Income and Hardship Among America's Kindergartners. By Elizabeth Gershoff, National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University. (The Center, New York, New York) September 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["According to this report, most of the families with incomes between 100-200 percent of the federal poverty level include at least one full-time working parent and even so continue to experience hardship, underscoring the importance of work supports such as child care subsidies. At least one in eight low-income families still cannot obtain health insurance for their children, have not taken their child to a dentist in the last year, and have moved three or more times in the child's life."]

[Request #S9032]

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First National Environmental Health Survey of Child Care Centers: Analysis of Lead Hazards. By David Marker and others, Westat. Prepared for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Westat, Rockville, Maryland) July 15, 2003. 65 p.

Full Text at:

["This report includes the findings for lead hazards and describes lead levels in dust, soil, and paint in the nationís child care centers by the building's age, type, and geographical location, and population demographics. In addition, the report estimates the number and percent of child care centers with dust and soil lead levels above the thresholds in the EPA 403 rule, which HUD adopted in HUDís Lead Safe Housing Rule (24 CFR Part 35 et al., Requirements for Notification, Evaluation and Reduction of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Federally Owned Residential Property and Housing Receiving Federal Assistance, effective September 15, 2000)."]

[Request #S9033]

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Maintaining the Gains: The Importance of Preserving Coverage in Medicaid and SCHIP. By Ellen O'Brien and Cindy Mann, Health Policy Institute, Georgetown University. (The Institute, Washington DC) June 2003. 41 p.

Full Text at:

["This brief examines 'why it is important to maintain the gains that have been made over the past several years, and build on the improvements in Medicaid and SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) coverage for children and families.' Making enrollment in SCHIP and Medicaid easier by expanding outreach efforts, coordinating outreach with programs such as the School Lunch program and simplifying applications has allowed more families to enroll in these programs. Some of the studies cited in the brief show that public coverage matters for children and families because it promotes access to care, increases use of necessary and appropriate care and promotes health and improves health outcomes." CDF Child Health Information Project (August 22, 2003).]

[Request #S9034]

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"Preschool Outcomes of Children of Depressed Mothers: Role of Maternal Behavior, Contextual Risk, and Children's Brain Activity." By Geraldine Dawson and others. IN: Child Development, vol. 74, no. 4 (July/August, 2003) pp. 1158 - 1175.

["Children of depressed mothers are at risk for behavioral and emotional problems. Infants of depressed mothers exhibit behavioral disturbances and atypical brain activity. The mechanisms by which children develop such vulnerabilities are not clear . . . . The present study was a follow-up of preschool children and their depressed or nondepressed mothers who were first seen when the children were 14 months old and it examines how maternal depression relates to children's brain activity and behavior at age 3 1/2/ years."]

[Request #S9035]

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Snapshots of America's Families III: Children's Insurance Coverage and Service Use Improve. By Genevieve M. Kenney, Jennifer M. Haley and Alexandra Tebay, Urban Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) July 2003. 4 p.

Full Text at:

["According to the report, more than half of the nation's 78 million uninsured children are eligible for free or low-cost coverage under Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program .... However the number of uninsured children has declined over the past three years due primarily to expanded SCHIP and Medicaid initiatives." Health Care Policy Report (August 4, 2003) 1025.]

[Request #S9036]

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A Research Perspective On the Child Care Workforce in Connecticut. By Jean King, Parisky Group, and others. (Early Childhood DataCONNections Project, Farmington, Connecticut) June 2003. 24 p.

Full Text at:

["This report is the first attempt in Connecticut to display and analyze all available information on the early care and education workforce. It summarizes Connecticut data and relevant national information, highlighting not only what we know, but also what we do not know about the non-parental caregivers who are helping to shape the development of our youngest children ... and offers recommendations for further research into the dynamics of the child care workforce."]

[Request #S9037]

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Identifying and Addressing the Needs of Children in Grandparent Care. By Cynthia Andrews Scarcella and others, Urban Institute. (The Institute, Washington, DC) August 2003. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["Data from the 1999 National Survey of America's Families indicates that 58 percent of children in relative care live with a grandparent. These children tend to be younger and live with older caregivers who have less formal education compared with children in the care of other relatives. Children in grandparent care are more likely to live in poverty and with a caregiver in poor health, but both groups experience similarly high levels of housing problems, food insecurity, and poor caregiver mental health. Grandparents are as likely as other relatives to care for children with health, behavioral or emotional, or school problems. While all are eligible, only 29 percent of children living with grandparents receive foster care or child-only TANF payments."]

[Request #S9038]

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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.]



"How Environmental Exposures Influence the Development and Exacerbation of Asthma." By Ruth A. Etzel, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 112, no. 1. (July 2003) pp. 233-239.

["Environmental exposures may increase a childís risk of developing asthma and also may increase the risk of asthma exacerbations. This article reviews several environmental exposures and suggests whether they contribute to asthma prevalence, asthma exacerbations, or both. Exposure to outdoor air pollutants primarily leads to increased exacerbations, sometimes manifested as asthma clusters."]

[Request #S9039]

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"Influence of Insurance Status and Vaccine Cost on Physiciansí Administration of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine." By Matthew M. Davis, Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 112, no. 3 (September 2003) pp. 521-526.

["This study says a vaccine that protects children against bacterial meningitis is so expensive that some youngsters covered by private insurance aren't getting the shots. Some employer-sponsored insurance plans may not cover Prevnar because it costs about $260 for a four-shot series. But the federally funded vaccine is provided free to children covered by Medicaid. If the child has no insurance, vaccines can be given at public clinics. Prevnar protects against bacterial meningitis and other diseases. The CDC recommends the shots for all children under age 2." The KCRA Channel 3 Health Watch (September 2, 2003) online.]

[Request #S9040]

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