Subject: Studies in the News 06-17 (April 26, 2006)

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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission

Contents This Week

Introductory Material ECONOMY
   Child care and economics
   KIPP Knowledge is Power Program
   Benefits of reading to toddlers
   State standards for early childhood education
   What makes programs high-quality?
   In-home parent coaching and abuse prevention
   Prevention of childhood obesity
   Poor, minority children and pollutants
   Immigrant families children's health access
   California children's oral health
   Childcare and children's development
   Early intervention with multi-risk families
   Obesity and child car seats
   Dental decay in young children
   Overweight 3- to 5-year-olds
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.

  • 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:



Child Care and Economic Development: The Role for Planners. By Mildred Warner, Cornell University. PAS Memo, American Planning Association. (Cornell University, Department of City and Regional Planning, Ithaca, New York) January/February 2006. 11 p.

Full Text at:

["Traditionally, child care has been considered the private problem of families. Unlike other advanced industrialized countries, the U.S. has not made a major public commitment to support early education and child care for our youngest children (birth to age five).... As a result, working parents here face more financial and emotional stress than their Canadian and European counterparts.... Employers, economic development professionals, and planners are now realizing the costs to productivity of this failure. Child care is now being recognized as part of the social infrastructure for economic development.... Just as roads and public transit help people get to work, so does child care. But public subsidies for highways and transit allow the user to pay only a small portion of the total costs. In contrast, parents shoulder the primary financial burden for child care. Public support is largely limited to children of low-income families... "]

[Request #S61701]

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"A Miracle in the Making? KIPP Turns its Efforts Toward Elementary Schools." By Jay Mathews. IN: Washington Post (April 2, 2006) p. W20.

Full Text at:

["Laura Bowen wants to create the best elementary school in the District. That doesn't seem very realistic, considering that she is only 28 and that the public school will be located in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods. But the KIPP charter school instructor has had success teaching low-income middle school children in Washington, and she saw something at a new school in Houston recently that convinced her the project is not as nutty as it might sound. Bowen visited KIPP SHINE Prep, a 1 1/2-year-old charter elementary school housed in a collection of portable classrooms in southwest Houston. Seventy-eight percent of its students are Hispanic, 21 percent are African American, and 98 percent come from low-income families. Often kindergartners in such schools struggle to recognize just a few letters of the alphabet. But when Bowen sat down with a SHINE prekindergarten class last November, several 4-year-olds rushed up and asked her eagerly, 'Can I read you a book?'"]

[Request #S61702]

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Toddler Reading Time. By Laura Bailet, Nemour Foundation. KidsHealth for Parents. (The Foundation, Jacksonville, Florida) April 2006. Website.

Full Text at:

["This article discusses the benefits of reading to children, emphasizing the importance of emergent literacy skills. It provides tips and techniques for parents and caregivers and includes links to related articles and additional resources. The information included in the 'related articles' includes age-appropriate information for children ages 0-5."]

[Request #S61703]

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"State Standards for Children's Learning: What Do They Mean for Child Care Providers?" By Catherine Scott-Little, Sharon Lynn Kagan, and Victoria Stebbins Frelow. IN: Exchange, no. 168 (March/April 2006) pp. 27-34.

["It is not uncommon for teaches and parents to wonder what young children should learn so that they can have a successful start in kindergarten. Many states have recently addressed this question. This article describes the author's national review of states' early learning standards."]

[Request #S61704]

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High-Quality Early Childhood Education Programs: What Makes the Difference? By Ellen Galinsky, Families and Work Institute. (New York, New York) February 2006.

Full Text at:

["CED's latest paper... examines the factors associated with high-quality early education programs. Ms. Galinsky examined three well-known, high-quality early education programs - the High/Scope Perry Preschool project, the Carolina Abcedarian Project and Chicago's Child-Parent Centers (CPC) - and for one of the first times, has examined what those programs actually did to have such lasting impact decades later, relying, in part, on interviews with the principal investigators of those programs." Economic Development Futures Journal (February 26, 2006) 1.]

Summary: 2 p.

Full Report: 32 p.

[Request #S61705]

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Protect Kids, Reduce Crime, Save Money - Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect in Ohio: A Report on In-Home Parent Coaching. By William Christeson and others. (Fight Crime Invest in Kids, Washington, DC) 2006. 28 p.

Full Text at:

["Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Ohio analyzed research that found child abuse and neglect increases by 29 percent the likelihood an at-risk child will commit a violent crime when he or she grows up.... 'Quality in-home parent coaching can turn a potential victim of child abuse and neglect into a healthy kid growing up to become a responsible adult,' Chief Streicher said.... In-home parent coaching programs offer first-time, low-income parents - typically unmarried young women - weekly visits from nurses or other trained coaches beginning during the mother’s pregnancy and continuing through the child’s earliest years. These programs coach parents on the skills needed to raise their children in a safe, caring home."]

[Request #S61706]

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Perspectives on the Prevention of Childhood Obesity in Children and Youth. By the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (National Academies Press, Washington, DC) 2006. 52 p.

["The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently released a publication based on the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Lectures... 'Perspectives on the Prevention of Childhood Obesity in Children and Youth....' The report features discussions on balance in the fight against obesity, health disparities, the role of industry, and the government perspective." NOTE: Perspectives on the Prevention... is available for loan.]

[Request #S61707]

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"Mercy Mercy Me: Social Injustice and the Prevention of Environmental Pollutant Exposures Among Ethnic Minority and Poor Children." By Janean E. Dilworth-Bart and Colleen F. Moore, University of Wisconsin. IN: Child Development, vol. 77, no. 2 (March/April 2006) pp. 247-265.

["Environmental toxins that harm a child's brain development and other aspects of health are much more likely to affect poor or minority kids than youngsters from white or more affluent families, a U.S. study shows. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, also believe that local, state and federal policies aren't doing enough to correct these inequities.... All children are at risk of harm from exposure to toxic pollutants. But children living in poverty, especially black children and the children of migrant farm workers, are at significantly greater risk, the Wisconsin team said. For example, even though overall rates of childhood exposure to lead continue to fall in the United States, black children living in poverty continue to be at much greater risk of high lead exposure than white children. Childhood lead exposure is associated with lower IQ scores, higher levels of restlessness, inattention and aggression - all factors that can affect cognitive ability and school performance." HealthDay News (March 22, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61708]

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"Health Status and Health Service Access and Use Among Children in U.S. Immigrant Families." By Zhihuan Jennifer Huang and others. IN: American Journal of Public Health, vol. 96, no. 4 (April 2006) pp. 634-640.

["Whether born in the United States or abroad, children living in the U.S. with non-citizen parents are more likely to have limited access to health insurance and health care than their peers with citizen parents, according to research published in the April 2006 American Journal of Public Health. Many are not accessing the services for which they are eligible. Children whose foreign-born parents were citizens fared slightly better in terms of access and health – perhaps because they are more aware of and familiar with U.S. health care systems, public and private." Connect for Kids (April 3, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61709]

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Oral Health: Successes and Opportunities for Children's Health Initiatives. By Joel Diringer. Prepared for the California Endowment. (Diringer and Associates, San Luis Obispo, California) February 2006. 12 p.

Full Text at:

["One of the most important, yet often overlooked, aspects of health is oral health. This issue brief looks at the potential for Children's Health Initiatives, which have provided dental coverage to tens of thousands of children, to play a larger role in improving oral health through promoting early and continuous use of dental providers, expanding coverage to those without dental coverage, and supporting programs to increase the number of providers willing to treat young low-income children."]

[Request #S61710]

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What We Know About Childcare. By Alison Clarke-Stewart and Virginia D. Allhusen, University of California, Irvine. (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts) 2005. 303 p.

["Nearly three-quarters of American mothers work full- or part-time - usually out of financial necessity - and require regular child care. How do such arrangements affect children? If they are not at home with their mothers, will they be badly behaved, intellectually delayed, or emotionally stunted? Backed by the best current research, Alison Clarke-Stewart and Virginia Allhusen bring a reassuring answer.... Quality child care, they show, may be even more beneficial to children than staying at home." NOTE: What We Know... is available for loan.]

[Request #S61711]

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Early Intervention with Multi-Risk Families: An Integrative Approach. By Sarah Landy and Rosanne Menna. (Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Baltimore, Maryland) 2006. 501 p.

["Helping families who live in environments with multiple risk factors - including poverty, domestic violence, teen parenthood, mental illness, and substance abuse - requires that professionals and paraprofessionals work together to provide the best possible interventions. This much-needed book shows service providers how to help these multi-risk families by using an integrative model that brings together the most effective intervention techniques from a variety of theoretical approaches, parenting strategies, and innovative programs." NOTE: Early Intervention... is available for loan.]

[Request #S61712]

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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.]


"Tipping the Scales: Obese Children and Child Safety Seats." By Lara B. Trifiletti, Columbus Children’s Research Institute, Ohio, and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 117, no. 4 (April 2006) pp. 1197-1202.

["Hundreds of thousands of obese U.S. children cannot fit into car seats, leaving them at risk in the event of a crash, researchers said Monday. 'As the number of obese children in the United States increases, it is essential to develop child safety seats that can protect children of all sizes and shapes,' wrote study author Lara Trifiletti.... According to the study... more than 282,000 overweight children under the age of seven do not fit into most child safety or booster seats available on the market and therefore are improperly restrained inside vehicles. 'We hope that the results of this study can be used to influence future products brought to market,' Trifiletti said. The study identified only four types of car seats that some obese toddlers could use. However each cost at least $240, and with childhood obesity concentrated in low-income families, many might be deterred by such prices." Reuters (April 3, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61713]

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"Early Childhood Caries: Current Evidence for Aetiology and Prevention." By Mark G. Gussy, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, and others. IN: Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, vol. 42, no. 1/2 (January 2006) pp. 37-43.

["Despite the fact that it is largely preventable, dental caries (decay) remains one of the most common chronic diseases of early childhood. Dental decay in young children frequently leads to pain and infection necessitating hospitalization for dental extractions under general anaesthesia. Dental problems in early childhood have been shown to be predictive of not only future dental problems but also on growth and cognitive development by interfering with comfort, nutrition, concentration and school participation.... Contemporary evidence suggests that potentially effective interventions should occur in the first 2 years of a child's life. Dental attendance before the age of 2 years is uncommon; however, contact with other health professionals is high. Primary care providers who have contact with children well before the age of the first dental visit may be well placed to offer anticipatory advice... "]

[Request #S61714]

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"Prevalence of Overweight and Risk of Overweight Among 3- to 5-Year-Old Chicago Children, 2002-2003." By Maryann Mason, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, and others. IN: Journal of School Health, vol. 76, no. 3 (March 2006) pp. 104-110.

["Preparation is needed as children enter schools already overweight. A study published in... the Journal of School Health finds that nearly one quarter of children, ages three to five years, were entering school in Chicago overweight. For the authors, this is an urgent problem reflecting the nutritional status and health influence of the children's home and community. The results signify a need for schools, in and outside the Chicago area, to develop protocol and procedures to support the physical and mental health of overweight and at risk of overweight children. 'Cities that lack data on the weight status of their young children can use the data from Chicago… to guide their planning until local data are available,' the authors explain." EurekAlert! (March 9, 2006) 1.]

[Request #S61715]

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