Subject: Studies in the News 05-1 (January 3, 2005)

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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission

Contents This Week

Introductory Material EDUCATION
   Assessing teacher-child interactions
   Parents' contributions to cognitive development
   Reasons to invest in children
   Long-lasting effects of pre-k programs
   Promise of Early Head Start
   Universal early care for Canadian children
   Early education agenda for Hispanic children
   Pre-K program advantages for at-risk preschoolers
   Developing a universal preschool policy
   New Zealand's parental leave program
   North Carolina child care workforce survey
   Public health agencies and child care
   Low-wage families and work supports
   Best teaching 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

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:



"Measuring Teachers' Perceived Interactions with Children: A Tool for Assessing Beliefs and Intentions." By Amanda Wilcox-Herzog & Sharon L. Ward, California State University, San Bernardino. IN: Early Childhood Research & Practice, vol. 6, no. 2 (Fall 2004) online.

["This study examined the relationship between teachers' beliefs and intentions about the importance of teacher-child interactions. The participants were 71 early childhood teachers who had worked with children ages 3-5 for an average of 9 years (range 0-29). Roughly 35% of the teachers had majored in early childhood education, and 63% held at least a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. In addition, approximately 66% of the sample had taken enough coursework in early childhood education to obtain a permit to work with young children. The results of this study show that beliefs are predictive of intentions. The results also indicate that depth of training influences intentions. It appears that those with the least and most training feel that they are interacting with children most appropriately. Job title was related to perceived ability to practice beliefs. Teacher aides felt more able to practice their beliefs than did teachers."]

English Version. 16 pp.:

Spanish Version. 18 pp.:

[Request #S4686]

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"Fathers and Mothers at Play with Their 2- and 3-Year-Olds: Contributions to Language and Cognitive Development." By Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda and others. IN: Child Development, vol. 75, no. 6 (November/December 2004) pp. 1806-1820.

["Father-child and mother-child engagements were examined longitudinally in relation to children's language and cognitive development at 24 and 36 months. The study involved a racially/ethnically diverse sample of low-income, resident fathers. Father-child and mother-child engagements were videotaped for 10 minutes at home during semistructured free play, and children's language and cognitive status were assessed at both ages. Fathers' and mothers' supportive parenting independently predicted children's outcomes after covarying significant demographic factors. Moreover, fathers' education and income were uniquely associated with child measures, and fathers' education consistently predicted the quality of mother-child engagements. Findings suggest direct and indirect effects of fathering on child development."]

[Request #S4687]

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Starting Young: The Case for Investment in America's Kids [Special Report.] IN: The American Prospect, vol. 15, no. 11 (November 2004) pp. A1-A23.

Full Text at:

["This issue includes articles on investing in early childhood education, Oklahoma's universal preschool program, parent involvement in child care, alternatives to testing young children, stipend programs that reward provider training, and building a movement for children and families." Action Alliance for Children Master Calendar (December 23, 2004).]

[Request #S4688]

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What is the Penny Buying for South Carolina? Child Development Programs for Four-Year Olds: Longitudinal Studies of Later Academic Achievement. By the South Carolina State Board of Education. (The Board, Columbia, South Carolina) December 2004. 54 p.

Full Text at:

["A study by the S.C. Education Department found that children in the state's pre-kindergarten program did better years later than peers who did not attend the program. The study looked at student performance in English and math on the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test and narrowing the achievement gap between races. The study followed about 3,500 4-year-olds at risk of failing in school from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Children from low-income families, whose parents did not graduate from high school or children with developmental delays are given first priority in admission. Pre-kindergarten helps children who may otherwise come into school not knowing how to hold a book, much less having the basics to start reading. Waiting until a child is in third grade to find he is behind means missing out on educational opportunities." (December 9, 2004).]

[Request #S4689]

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Beacon of Hope: The Promise of Early Head Start for America's Youngest Children. Edited by Joan Lombardi and Mary M. Bogle. (Zero to Three Press, Washington, DC) 2004. 199 p.

[Includes: "What Works: Improving the Odds for Infants and Toddlers in Low-Income Families;" "Ready for Life: How Early Head Start Nurtures Early Learning;" "Dads and Babies: Early Head Start and Fathers;" and others. NOTE: Beacon of Hope ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S4691]

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Early Learning and Child Care: Getting the Next Steps Right. By Martha Friendly, Childcare Resource and Research Unit, University of Toronto. Submitted to the Standing Committee on Finance, House of Commons, November 18, 2004. (Childcare Resource & Research Unit, Toronto, Canada) 7 p.

Full Text at:

["Based on the history and condition of Canadian ELCC, the commitment to develop a universal system of high quality ELCC by the Liberal government, the high expectation that this time the promises on child care will be fulfilled, and the extensive knowledge about policy learned from work such as the OECD Review, three recommendations about financing ELCC beginning in the 2005 federal budget follow. These financing recommendations propose ways to help ensure that the next steps toward a universal national system of high quality early learning and child care will be the right steps." Child Care Canada (December 21, 2004) online.]

[Request #S4696]

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"Toward an Early Care and Education Agenda for Hispanic Children." By Ray Collins & Rose Ribeiro, National Child Care Information Center. IN: Early Childhood Research & Practice, vol. 6, no. 2 (Fall 2004) online.

["The age distribution and growth of the Latino population have critical implications for the present and future of social and economic policy, with particular emphasis on early care and education. Following a discussion of the demographic trends involving Latino children and families, this paper discusses the child care and early education needs of Latinos, including workforce issues, immigration, educational challenges, and English-language learners. The paper then discusses how Latinos are served by early care and education programs, including Head Start, prekindergarten, and child care, concluding that Latinos are underserved. The last section addresses possible actions that might be taken to improve early care and education services for Latinos."]

English Version. 20 pp.:

Spanish Version. 22 pp.:

[Request #S4697]

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Bright Beginnings: An Effective Literacy-Focused Pre-K Program for Educationally Disadvantaged Four-Year-Old Children. By Eric J. Smith and others. (Educational Research Service, Arlington, Virginia) 2003. 106 p.

["The first five-year assessment of the Bright Beginnings program in Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Public Schools shows consistent positive effects in accomplishing the program’s purpose of preparing educationally disadvantaged four-year-old children for kindergarten. The study also assesses Bright Beginnings participants through grade 3. The first participants in Bright Beginnings, who began kindergarten during the 1997-98 school year, scored notably higher in nearly all categories than a comparison group of other disadvantaged children. Second-grade comparisons are particularly dramatic, considering the children who were selected for the program were among the most disadvantaged and showed the lowest levels of school readiness." NOTE: Bright Beginnings ... is available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S4698]

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English Language Learners, Immigrant Children and Preschool for All: The Importance of Family Engagement. By Sandra Naughton, Children Now. (Children Now, Oakland, California) December 2004. 28 p.

Full Text at:

["The issue brief offers recommendations for developing a preschool-for-all policy based on: 1) a summary of current research; 2) descriptions of how California and other states currently structure policy to involve families of ELLs; and 3) profiles of several local preschool programs that have demonstrated success in working with the families of ELLs."]

[Request #S4690]

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Taking the Next Step: What Can the U.S. Learn About Parental Leave from New Zealand? By Jodie Levin-Epstein, Center for Law & Social Policy. Policy Brief. No. 1. Work-Life Balance Series. (The Center, Washington, DC) December 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["This brief discusses New Zealand’s experience with paid parental leave and includes qualitative data from 17 New Zealand small businesses on their experiences with their new law. It concludes with policy implications and some next steps for the United States in this arena." ECPEN Listserv (December 15, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S4692]

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Working in Child Care in North Carolina: The North Carolina Child Care Workforce Survey 2003. NC Early Childhood Needs and Resources Assessment. By Child Care Services Association and FPG Child Development Institute. (The Association, Chapel Hill, North Carolina) December 2004. 29 p.

Full Text at:

["This study provides comprehensive data on child care providers and on the facilities in which they work. This report includes a summary of the workforce survey results in North Carolina and a comparison of 2003 data to similar data collected in 2001. Survey response rates were 78% of center directors (n = 2,203 director surveys collected), 52% of teachers (n = 13,120 teacher surveys collected) and 78% of family child care providers (n = 2,337 family child care provider surveys collected)."]

[Request #S4693]

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The Role of Public Health Agencies in Child Care. By Kristen Keneipp, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. (The Association, Washington, DC) November 2004. 2 p.

Full Text at:

["This fact sheet highlights the need for state participation in early childhood development and opportunities for state public health agencies to partner with child care professionals to improve the health and safety of young children in child care settings. It presents information on the role of child care for families, national and federal health and safety in child care initiatives, and examples of ways state public health agencies can pursue early childhood development initiatives." Maternal and Child Health Alert (December 10, 2004).]

[Request #S4694]

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Multiple Work Supports and Services May Help Low-Wage Workers Climb the Economic Ladder. By Mike Fishman, the Lewin Group. The Forum, Vol. 7, No. 3. (National Center for Children in Poverty, New York, New York) December 2004. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["Are welfare-to-work families moving out of poverty, or just off the rolls? A new federal demonstration project tested eight states’ approaches to promoting employment retention and advancement among welfare participants. Overall, the results were mixed—but the study identified challenges and opportunities for the future. In particular, success depends on access to a system of community supports, including access to transportation, mental and physical health care, child care and job training and mentoring." Connect for Kids (December 13, 2004) Online.]

[Request #S4695]

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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.]



Best Teaching Practices for Reaching All Learners: What Award-winning Classroom Teachers Do. By Randi Stone. (Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, California) 2004. 154 p.

["Educators are always challenged to motivate students to learn, working hard to identify learning standards as well to find creative and meaningful ways of incorporating them into their classrooms. This book is a guide to how award-winning teachers reach every child and provide what each learner needs to succeed." NOTE: Best Teaching Practices ... will be available for 3-day loan.]

[Request #S4699]

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