Subject: Studies in the News 04-29 (April 29, 2004)

Studies in the News:
Children and Family Supplement

Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Content of after-school programs
   Agenda for prekindergarten
   Funding of early learning
   Pre-kindergarten policy framework
   Universal pre-kindergarten in France
   Early childhood and children of color
   Social functioning and early care
   School readiness plan in Arizona
   Low-wage parents lack leave
   Increase in stay-at-home mothers
   Basic facts on child abuse
   Annual child maltreatment data
   Children and health care
   Health statisitics for American children
   Children's behavioral health screening
   States' budgets and SCHIP
   Health education and Head Start parents
   Quality of preschool and physical activity
   Improving birth outcomes
   Imported candy causing lead poisoning
   Preschoolers and nutrition
   Challenges of immunization
   States' efforts on best child care practices
   California child care statistics
   Unreliable child support data
   Child well-being
   Expenditures on children in 5 cities
   Child poverty in rural areas
   Health care trends for children
   Inner-city children and second-hand smoke
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News (SITN) is a current compilation of policy-related items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau and State Information & Reference Center to supplement the public policy debate in California's Capitol. To help share the latest information with state employees and other interested individuals, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library's website.

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; 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:



Inside the Black Box: Exploring the "Content" of After-School. By Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom and others, The Forum for Youth Investment. Out-of-School Time Policy Commentary. No. 5. (The Forum, Washington, DC) November 2003. 7 p.

Full Text at:

["This policy brief assesses the role of after-school programs in fostering academic development and engagement in learning. The report weighs the merits of explicit and embedded learning programs, and discusses the 'basics plus' approach to after-school learning programs, which includes components that teach youth skills beyond those that apply to the classroom." Youth Today (February 2004) 28.]

[Request #S1907]

Return to the Table of Contents


Researching Universal Prekindergarten: Thoughts on Critical Questions and Research Domains From Policymakers, Child Advocates and Researchers. By Anthony Raden, Columbia University Institute for Child and Family Policy, and Lisa McCabe, Cornell Early Childhood Program. (Foundation For Child Development, New York, New York) 2004. 102 p.

Full Text at:

["This report brings together the voices of key stakeholders across the country to set a research agenda for prekindergarten... Policymakers, advocates and scholars often have dramatically different research needs and priorities. One of the goals of the survey, therefore, was to try to delineate some of the differences in research priorities related to universal Pre-K.... The report is intended to complement existing research reviews by providing an analytical synthesis of critical research gaps, recommendations and challenges specifically raised by the increasing trend to universalize access to publicly-funded Pre-K programs."]

[Request #S1908]

Return to the Table of Contents

Early Learning Left Out: An Examination of Public Investments in Education and Development by Child Age. By Charles Bruner, Child and Family Policy Center, and others. (Voices for America's Children, Washington, DC) February 2004. 39 p.

Full Text at:

["This report on federal and state spending shows a significant gap in funding of early education. Looking at federal, state, and school district spending in 12 states, they found an average public investment per child of $740 for children before school; $5,410 for elementary and secondary education; and $3,664 for higher education. (This is not to suggest that K-12 and higher education are adequately funded either.) Infant and toddler programs and services are the most under-funded area." NAEYC Update (February 27, 2004).]

[Request #S1909]

Return to the Table of Contents

Prekindergarten Policy Framework. By the National Prekindergarten Center. (The Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina) 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at:

["The framework was developed to provide local, state, and federal policymakers with research-based information on how to build high-quality programs. It provides: a comprehensive array of topics on the dimensions of high-quality prekindergarten programs; concise, current summaries of the research on prekindergarten; examples of state programs including links to state prekindergarten websites; and bibliographies and web resources for more information on each topic."]

[Request #S1910]

Return to the Table of Contents

Focus on Early Learning: Lessons From the French Ecoles Maternelles. By Shanny Peer, French-American Foundation, and John Burbank, Economic Opportunity Institute. (The Institute, Seattle, Washington) January 2004. 11 p.

Full Text at:

["High-quality early learning is not available to many of the state's young children. Quality, affordability, and accessibility issues remain unresolved for parents, educators, government officials, and all individuals concerned about early childhood education and development. In this context, the French-American Foundation and Economic Opportunity Institute thought it would be useful to examine the French ecole maternelle, a universal pre-kindergarten system, and explore what elements of that system may be appropriate and applicable for children and families in Washington [state]."]

[Request #S1911]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Studying the Effects of Early Child Care Experiences on the Development of Children of Color in the United States: Toward a More Inclusive Research Agenda." By Deborah J. Johnson, Michigan State University, and others. IN: Child Development, vol. 74, no. 5 (October 2003) pp. 1227-1244.

["Evidence is presented of the different cultural and ecological contexts affecting early child care for families of color. It is argued that improvements on previous research require a fundamental shift in how race, ethnicity, and culture as psychological variables are examined... New research must incorporate expanded models of child care and development in childhood."]

[Request #S1912]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Social Functioning in First Grade: Associations With Earlier Home and Child Care Predictors and With Current Classroom Experiences." By the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Network. IN: Child Development, vol. 74, no. 6 (December 2003) pp. 1639-1662.

["Family and child care factors from birth to 54 months, achievement and social outcomes at entry to school, and qualities of first-grade classrooms were used to predict first-grade social functioning for 864 children from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care. Child gender, mothers' partner status, maternal education and depressive symptoms, sensitivity of mothering, and amount of time spent in nonmaternal child care were significant predictors. Home and child care variables predicted social functioning through associations with prior social functioning rather than directly. More teacher-led structured activities in first-grade classrooms predicted mother's reports of more internalizing behavior. Classrooms rated as more emotionally supportive predicted lower levels of mother-reported internalizing behavior and concurrently observed indicators of competence."]

[Request #S1913]

Return to the Table of Contents


School Readiness Action Plan. By the Governor's Office for Children, Youth and Families. (The Office, Phoenix, Arizona) January 22, 2004.

["Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona has developed a ten-part plan to improve the quality of early care and education services in her state, including new educational opportunities for the ECE workforce. With a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the Governor’s office, in partnership with Arizona State University, is developing a statewide scholarship program that will provide funding and academic support for 300 teachers to obtain their associate’s degree. Participants will be required to enroll in the state registry system, SUCCEEDS, which is linked to a career lattice that awards early care and education professionals with financial incentives once they reach a higher career level." Center for the Child Care Workforce Newsletter (April 22, 2004).]

Full Plan. 18 p.:

Summary. 2 p.:

[Request #S1914]

Return to the Table of Contents



Getting Time Off: Access to Leave Among Working Parents. By Katherin Ross Phillips, The Urban Institute. New Federalism: National Survey of America's Families. Series B, No. B-57. (The Institute, Washington, DC) April 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["Although access to maternity/paternity and paid leave is not universal, most working parents age 18 to 54 are employed at jobs that provide both. But those who need paid sick leave the most -- parents of very young children and welfare-to-work parents -- are least likely to have it, according to the Urban Institute. Many in the low-wage workforce lack paid time off, health benefits and opportunities for advancement that enable working parents to take care of their families." Connect for Kids Weekly (April 26, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1915]

Return to the Table of Contents


"The Case For Staying Home." By Claudia Wallis. IN: Time Magazine, vol. 163, no. 12 (March 22, 2004) pp. 51-59.

["Caught between the pressures of the workplace and the demands of being a mom, more women are sticking with the kids... What some experts are zeroing in on is the first-ever drop-off in workplace participation by married mothers with a child less than 1 year old... Significantly, the drop was mostly among women who were white, over 30 and well educated... For most mothers - and fathers, for that matter - there is little choice but to persevere on both fronts to pay the bills."]

[Request #S1916]

Return to the Table of Contents



Child Abuse & Neglect Media Handbook. By Child Trends. (Child Trends, Washington, DC) 2004. 24 p.

Full Text at:

["While the media frequently focus on tragic cases of individual children who have been abused or neglected, these stories often fail to put these cases into a larger context. This handbook helps journalists provide that larger context. The handbook includes basic facts on child abuse and neglect and foster care, as well as quick references to sources of information that can help journalists develop a deeper understanding of the complex issues related to child welfare."]

[Request #S1917]

Return to the Table of Contents

Child Maltreatment 2002. By The Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (The Bureau, Washington, DC) 2004. 166 p.

Full Text at:

["How are American children faring? The latest numbers about maltreatment are grave. Child protective service agencies received about 2,600,000 reports of possible maltreatment in 2002 -- 896,000 cases were substantiated, according to the latest national data released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. About 1,400 children died of abuse or neglect. Although there have been slight improvements since 1990 -- the rate of victimization per 1,000 children is down from 13.4 in 1990 to 12.3 in 2002 -- the numbers are still too high, say advocates." Connect for Kids Weekly (April 5, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1918]

Return to the Table of Contents


Quality of Health Care for Children and Adolescents: A Chartbook. By Sheila Leatherman and Douglas McCarthy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (The Commonwealth Fund, New York, New York) April 2004. 134 p.

Full Text at:

["Insurers and health policymakers have 'paid less attention to the quality of care for children' than they have for older patients, resulting in a fragmented 'nonsystem' of care, particularly for the uninsured, according to this report. It found lapses in patient safety, shortcomings in providing effective care, persistent racial and ethnic disparities in care and 'widespread failure to provide needed preventive services to teens.'" California Healthline (April 16, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1876]

Return to the Table of Contents

Summary Health Statistics For U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2002. By the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Statistics. Series 10, Number 221. (The Center, Hyattsville, Maryland) March 2004. 87 p.

Full Text at:

["This report presents both age-adjusted and unadjusted statistics from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey on selected health measures of children under 18 years of age, classified by sex, age, race, Hispanic origin, family structure, parent's education, family income, poverty status, health insurance coverage, place of residence, region, and current health status."]

[Request #S1919]

Return to the Table of Contents

Children's Behavioral Health Screening. By Michelle Herman, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 12, No. 24. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) April/May 2004. 2 p.

["One in five children has a diagnosable mental, emotional or behavioral disorder. Although federal law requires that states conduct behavioral health screenings, almost half the states do not include specific behavioral questions in their early and periodic screening tools (ESPDT). To improve practices, states could require stricter adherence to federal screening requirements.... Currently, West Virginia and some California counties mandate that providers use a specific EPSDT tool to screen for behavioral health problems."]

[Request #S1920]

Return to the Table of Contents

SCHIP Programs More Likely to Increase Children's Cost Sharing than Reduce Their Eligibility or Benefits to Control Costs. By Harriette B. Fox and Stephanie J. Limb, Fox Health Policy Consultants. The Child Health Program Impact Series. No. 4. (Maternal and Child Health Policy Research Center, Washington, DC) April 2004. 6 p.

Full Text at:

["This paper examines the impact of budget problems on SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Programs) in 50 states (including the District of Columbia, not including Tennessee). Even though many states are faced with budget shortfalls, most states have no made significant cuts to their SCHIP programs. The report found 'virtually all states have protected their SCHIP programs from reductions in eligibility levels, although there are some that moved to restrict benefits or control enrollment and many that are requiring greater financial contributions by families.' Some states have been able to expand their SCHIP programs through changes in eligibility, enrollment, or benefits." CDF Child Health Information Project (April 23, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1921]

Return to the Table of Contents

"Reducing the Use of Emergency Medical Resources Among Head Start Families: A Pilot Study." By Ariella D. Herman, UCLA Anderson School of Management, and Gloria G. Mayer, Institute for Healthcare Advancement. IN: Journal of Community Health, vol. 29, no. 3. (June 2004) pp. 197-208.

["The objective of this study was to determine whether self-care training with Head Start parents can improve their ability to manage the healthcare needs of their children measured by utilization of emergency department and physican services.... Parents were given a low-literate self-help book entitled What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick. In a six month follow-up, parents who received the book reported a 48% reduction in emergency department visits and a 37.5% reduction in clinic visits."]

[Request #S1922]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Influences of Preschool Policies and Practices on Children's Physical Activity." By Marsha Dowda, University of South Carolina, and others. IN: Journal of Community Health, vol. 29, no. 3 (June 2004) pp. 183-196.

["The objective of this study was to determine if moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) of 3-5 year old preschool children varied with differences in policies/practices, and overall quality of preschools... When preschools offered more field trips, and more college educated teachers, the children participated in more MVPA... children who attended preschools with lower quality spent more time in sedentary activity."]

[Request #S1923]

Return to the Table of Contents


Improving Birth Outcomes: Meeting the Challenge in the Developing World. By the Board on Global Health and the Institute of Medicine. (National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.) 2003. 354 p.

["The death of a mother, fetus, or neonate is tragic whenever it occurs. While relatively rare in the industrialized world, these deaths are considerably more common in developing countries, accounting for the vast majority of the 515,000 maternal deaths, 4 million late fetal deaths (beyond 22 week' gestation), and 4 million neonatal deaths conservatively estimated to occur each year. This book reviews the evidence on key interventions that could greatly improve birth outcomes in developing countries. It also reviews the available statistics on major causes of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity and of fetal loss, summarizes current knowledge and practice with regard to a healthy pregnancy, and identifies cost-effective opportunities for improving birth outcomes." NOTE: Improving Birth Outcomes ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S1924]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Hidden Threat: Mexican Candy, a Seemingly Harmless Indulgence, Can Contain a Poison that is Especially Dangerous to Children." By Jennifer McKim and others. IN: Orange County Register, (April 25-30, 2004) A1+

["Ten of Mexico's biggest candy makers ... have had repeated high lead tests but have not faced federal or state sanctions.... State health workers say that regulating the fast-growing $620 million Mexican candy industry is fraught with problems because they have too few resources, they have no jurisdiction in Mexico, and the amount of lead in candy varies from batch to batch. Experts say lead can live in a person's system for 25 years, and the damage can be permanent."]

[Request #S1925]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Preschooler's Choice: Tofu or Potato Chips?" By Linda Jacobson. IN: Education Week (April 21, 2004) online.

["Eating and fitness habits start early, so some preschools are introducing their young charges to good nutrition and exercise habits in efforts to combat the rise of obesity in children, reports Education Week." Connect for Kids Weekly (April 26, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1926]

Return to the Table of Contents


Financing Vaccines in the 21st Century: Assuring Access and Availability. By the Institute of Medicine. (National Academies Press, Washington, DC) 2004. 247 p.

["The public-private partnership that has formed the foundation for purchasing and distributing vaccines in the United States over the past 50 years is showing signs of erosion. The existing national immunization system has performed well in achieving high levels of immunization for children. But difficult new challenges have emerged, including a growing number of recommended vaccines, higher prices associated with new vaccines, persistent disparities in immunization levels, low levels of immunization for adults with chronic illness, the growing burden of immunization of clinicians, recent shortages in the supply of vaccines, and the increasing investment required to license and produce new vaccines." NOTE: Financing Vaccines ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S1927]

Return to the Table of Contents



"Who's Accredited? What and How the States are Doing on Best Practices in Child Care." By John Surr. IN: Child Care Information Exchange, no. 156 (March/April 2004) pp. 14-22.

Full Text at:

["This article reviews the types of accreditation available to child care centers, reviews what states are doing regarding accrediting child care, the trends over time in NAEYC accreditation, details about each state's NAEYC accreditation history and relative standing, and family child care numbers."]

[Request #S1928]

Return to the Table of Contents

The 2003 California Child Care Portfolio. By the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network. (The Network, San Francisco, California) 2004. Various pagings.

Full Text at:

["The 2003 California Child Care Portfolio presents a compilation of California statewide and county-by-county statistics on child care. The Portfolio includes: a comprehensive California statewide report and 58 separate county level reports in both narrative and graphic format highlighting child care supply, demand, and cost issues in the context of current policy, demographic and labor force trends." California Child Care Resource and Referral Network (March 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1929]

Return to the Table of Contents


The Real Cost of Unreliable Child Support Data. By Stephanie Walton, National Conference of State Legislatures. Legisbrief. Vol. 12, No. 20. (NCSL, Denver, Colorado) April/May 2004. 2 p.

["States risk losing federal money if their child support agencies do not meet federal requirements.... There are a number of reasons for the problems. The federal government increased the percentage of data in the systems that must be correct to pass the audit from 90 percent to 95 percent beginning in 2001.... State and federal child support personnel have agreed to seek a federal legislative solution to one concerned with the performance audits, giving states an adequate amount of time to correct problems."]

[Request #S1930]

Return to the Table of Contents


The Foundation For Child Development Index of Child Well-Being, 1975-2002, With Projections for 2003: A Composite Index of Trends in the Well-Being of Our Nation's Children. By the Foundation for Child Development and Duke University. (The Foundation, New York, New York) March 15, 2004. 21 p.

Full Text at:

["The Index assesses trends in seven quality-of-life areas for children and young people (aged 1 to 19) from 1975 to 2002. The study offers mixed news on the overall health and well-being of American children. Child well-being, as measured by the index, has improved five percent since 1975. Children are more safe and connected to their communities than thirty years ago, and teenage birth rates have substantially declined. However, more children are obese, living in poverty, and attempting suicide than they were in 1975." Brookings Alert (March 29, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1931]

Return to the Table of Contents

What Does Government Spend on Children?: Evidence From Five Cities. By Charles Brecher and others, Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, the Brookings Institution. (The Institution, Washington, DC) March 2004. 16 p.

Full Text at:

["A study of expenditures by all levels of government for services to children in five economically distressed cities -— Baltimore, Detroit, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Richmond -— from 1997 to 2000 reveals that: spending on children only increased marginally compared to overall growth; education was the largest children's service on an expenditure basis; expenditures on income support dropped while child care, social services, and juvenile justice spending increased; and state and federal governments funded 80% of children's expenditures."]

[Request #S1932]

Return to the Table of Contents


Child Poverty in Rural America. By William P. O'Hare, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Kenneth M. Johnson, Loyola University-Chicago. Reports on America. Vol. 4, No. 1. (Population Reference Bureau, Washington, DC) March 2004. 23 p.

Full Text at:

["Most (48 of the nation's 50) counties with the highest child poverty rates are located in rural America, where families are less likely to receive public cash assistance, and when they do, at considerably lower amounts than their urban counterparts. The challenges facing poor, rural children are exacerbated by isolation and lack of nearby services." Connect for Kids Weekly (April 19, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1933]

Return to the Table of Contents

[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 Care Trends for Children and Youth in the United States: 2002 Report on Trend in Access, Utilization, Equality and Expenditures." By L. Simpson and others. IN: Ambulatory Pediatrics, vol. 4, no. 2 (2004) pp. 131-153.

["The authors conclude that 'the last 15 years has been a time of numerous policy interventions at the state and federal levels intended to increase health insurance coverage for many of America's low-income children; it has also been a period of change in the organization of health care.' They continue, 'Untangling the different effects of these changes on trends in children's health care is challenging, but the data in this report can help point future analyses in some fruitful directions'." Maternal and Child Health Alert (April 8, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S1934]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Developmental Effects of Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Material Hardship Among Inner-City Children." By V.A. Rauh and others. IN: Neurotoxicology and Teratology, vol. 26, issue 3 (May/June 2004) pp. 373-385.

["The effects of prenatal exposure to second-hand smoke on mental development are exacerbated in children who experience socioeconomic hardships, such as substandard housing and inadequate food and clothing, during the first two years of life, according to this study. While the study results indicate that prenatal exposure to second-hand smoke can be harmful to the unborn child regardless of socioeconomic conditions, the data also suggest that lower-income children may be less able to compensate for these effects over the next few years of life." National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (March 15, 2004).]

[Request #S1640]

Return to the Table of Contents