Subject: Studies in the News 07-18 (March 15, 2007)

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Studies in the News for
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Children and Families Commission

Contents This Week

Introductory Material DEMOGRAPHY
   Disparities in children's opportunities in U.S. metros
   Low U.S. ranking in child well-being
   Culturally diverse families and early education
   Head Start funding shrinking
   California preschools are short of space
   Fulfilling the promise of preschool
   Promoting higher education for early childhood workforce
   Decline in quality of early childhood education workforce
   Deceptive packaging in children's foods
   Oral health resource guide
   Knowledge path on oral health for children
   Child public health insurance programs in San Mateo county
   Depression among fathers of infants
   Childhood obesity, prevention and intervention
   Child care licensing study
   What factors contribute to a 'strong start' in life?
   Mental health services for very young children
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:



Children Left Behind: How Metropolitan Areas Are Failing America's Children. By Dolores Acevedo-Garcia and others. (DiversityData, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusettes) January 2007.

["The report presents findings on indicators of child well-being for four racial and ethnic groups focusing first on families, then on neighborhood environment, and finally on school environment. Then, for each racial and ethnic group, the report shows rankings of metropolitan areas for a subset of indicators of neighborhood environment. The metro areas with the largest disparities are also shown. The report concludes with a discussion of the policy implications, a brief overview of the levers that might be employed to improve prospects for children, and a detailed description of several promising models for action." MCH Alert (February 9, 2007).]

Report: 42 p.

Chartbook: 53 p.

[Request #S20739]

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Child Poverty in Perspective: An Overview of Child Well-Being in Rich Countries. By the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre. (The Centre, Florence, Italy) 2007. 52 p.

Full Text at:

["UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre released a comparison of child well-being among 21 wealthy nations. The report assessed six measurements of well-being: material well-being, health and safety, educational well-being, family and peer relationships, behaviors and risks, and young people's own perceptions of their well-being. The United States was near the bottom across the board, and ranked worst in health and safety, largely due to infant mortality, accidental death/injury, and obesity." CFK Weekly (February 21, 2007).]

[Request #S20740]

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Family, Friend, and Neighbor Care Best Practices: A Report to Ready4 K. How Culturally Diverse Families Teach Their Children to Succeed and How Early Education Systems Can Learn from Them. By Betty Emarita. (Ready 4K, St. Paul, Minnesota) January 2007. 64 p.

Full Text at:

["A description of informal care and early education practices of African-American, Hmong, Latino, Mille Lacs/Ojibwe, and Somali communities in Minnesota, and an analysis of the relationship between caregiving practices in these communities and the skills and abilities guidelines expressed in Minnesota’s Early Learning Standards." Research Connections (February 2007).]

[Request #S20741]

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Special Report: Quality of Head Start Programs Imperiled By Steady Erosion of Funding. By the National Head Start Association. (The Association, Alexandria, Virginia) 2007. 13 p.

Full Text at:

["Already reeling from an 11 percent effective cut in federal support that could grow to 13 percent in Fiscal Year 2008, more than half (56 percent) of Head Start programs surveyed across the United States have been forced to cut early childhood health and education services for America’s most at-risk children and families, according to a major new survey by the National Head Start Association (NHSA), the voice of Head Start programs in the U.S.... Head Start programs have been forced to respond to rising costs and shrinking federal funds by laying off teachers and other staff, reducing salaries and benefits, cutting operating hours, downgrading services from full-day/full-year program to part-day/part-year programs, and reducing key special services (e.g., mental health, medical, dental, ESL offerings, and help for children with disabilities)."]

[Request #S20142]

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California’s Preschool Space Challenge: What Preschool Advocates, Parents and Policy-Makers Need to Know. By Molly Munger and others. (Advancement Project, Los Angeles, California) [February 2007.]

Full Text at:

["Though the Preschool for All statewide initiative was defeated by California voters last year, there remains strong public support for making preschool more widely accessible to California’s children. The initiative has also fueled ongoing discussions in Sacramento and elsewhere about how best to meet this goal. Missing from many of these discussions, however, is an analysis of whether the state has sufficient physical facilities required to house the preschoolers it aims to serve. This report, the first comprehensive examination of California’s preschool space challenge, answers this question. Whether preschool is envisioned as universal or as targeted, whether the impetus comes from an initiative, the Legislature, the Governor or elsewhere, decision-makers will face the same reality: A preschool program cannot be offered where there is no space in which to house it. This report analyzes where preschool-suitable space is plentiful in California and where it is not."]

Executive Summary: 3 p.

Report: 46 p.

Measuring the Match Between Children and Preschool Spaces: 26 p.

County Level Maps:

[Request #S20743]

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Fulfilling the Promise of Preschool: The Report of the NASBE Study Group on Creating High-Quality Early Learning Environments. Executive Version. By the National Association of State Boards of Education. (The Association, Alexandria, Virginia) October 2006. 18 p.

Full Text at:

["This NASBE study recommends that state boards of education leverage their existing authority - over K-12 system standards and teacher licensure - to vertically align the pre-kindergarten system with the rest of public education. The report also encourages state boards to collaborate with other state agencies, both to transform disparate preschool service providers into a more cohesive network and move toward universal preschool, in an incremental and phased-in shift that serves low-income and at-risk children first." Preschool California.]

[Request #S20744]

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Clearing a Career Path: Lessons from Two Communities in Promoting Higher Education Access for the Early Care and Education Workforce. Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, California. By Kara Dukakis and Dan Bellm. (The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, Berkeley, California, First 5 Alameda County, San Leandro, California and WestEd - E3 Institute: Advancing Excellence in Early Education, San Jose, California) 2006. 34 p.

Full Text at:

[This publication "documents recent groundbreaking efforts in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, CA, including challenges faced and lessons learned, as a guide for other counties and institutions seeking to improve professional development in the early care and education field." Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (February 23, 2007).]

[Request #S20745]

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Roots of Decline: How Government Policy Has De-Educated Teachers of Young Children. By Dan Bellm and Marcy Whitebook. (Center for the Study of Child Care Employment Institute of Industrial Relations, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California) 2006. 35 p.

Full Text at:

[This study "analyzes labor trends for the early care and education workforce over the past 25 years - notably, an overall decrease in educational qualifications, and persistent wage stagnation - in the light of federal and state policy, and makes a series of recommendations for reversing these downward trends." Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (February 23, 2007).]

[Request #S20746]

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Where's the Fruit? Fruit Content of the Most Highly-Advertised Children’s Food and Beverages. By Leslie Mikkelsen and others. (Prevention Institute, Oakland, California) 7 p.

Full Text at:

["Over half of the most aggressively advertised children’s foods that prominently feature fruit on their packaging contain no fruit at all, according to a study.... The study, 'Where’s the Fruit?', reveals that 51 percent of these products do not contain fruit, and another 16 percent contain only minimal amounts of fruit despite prominent fruit promotions on the packaging. 'Parents drawn to products that seem healthier for their children based on references to fruit on the packaging are being deceived,' explains Leslie Mikkelsen... lead author of the study. 'Food and beverage companies are some of the most sophisticated communicators in the world and are clearly capable of accurately reflecting what is in their products if they wanted to.'"]

[Request #S20747]

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Maternal Oral Health Resource Guide. Edited by Michelle Clark and Katrina Holt. (National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, Washington, DC) 2006. 44 p.

Full Text at:

["The 'Maternal Oral Health Resource Guide' is designed to assist health professionals, educators, program administrators, and others working to promote and improve the oral health of pregnant women, infants, and young children. The guide is divided into three sections: journal articles that appeared in the literature between January 2004 and November 2006; materials, such as curricula, fact sheets, guidelines, reports, and audiovisual materials; and organizations, such as federal agencies, professionals associations, and policy centers that may serve as additional resources."]

[Request #S20748]

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Knowledge Path: Oral Health and Children and Adolescents. By Michelle Clark and others. (Maternal and Child Health Library, Georgetown University, Washington, DC) February 2007. Interactive website.

Full Text at:

["The new edition of 'Knowledge Path: Oral Health and Children and Adolescents' is an electronic guide to recent resources that analyze data, describe effective programs, and report on policy and research aimed at improving access to and the quality of oral health for children and adolescents. The knowledge path... contains separate sections that identify resources on specific aspects of oral health including dental sealants, early childhood caries, fluoride varnish, Head Start, child care, school-based education, and school-based care. The final section lists oral health resources for consumers. The path is intended for use by health professionals, program administrators, educators, policymakers, and families who are interested in tracking information on this topic." MCH Alert (February 2, 2007).]

[Request #S20749]

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Where Have All the Children Gone? Studying Retention in Child Public Health Insurance Programs in San Mateo County, California. By Embry Howell and others. (The Urban Institute, Washington, DC) December 2006. 44 p.

Full Text at:

["Even though most low income children in the U.S. are entitled to public health insurance, many children are still uninsured. One reason for this problem is that when insurance expires (after, for example, one year of enrollment) parents may fail to re-enroll their child. This report examines rates of renewal in three public health insurance programs in San Mateo County, California: Healthy Families, Healthy Kids, and Medi-Cal. Renewal rates were low in all three programs; only about 50 percent of children renewed coverage after a year. The report provides recommendations regarding improving monitoring systems for tracking retention over time."]

[Request #S20750]

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"Symptoms of Major Depression in a Sample of Fathers of Infants : Sociodemographic Correlates and Links to Father Involvement." By Jacinta Bronte-Tinkew and others. IN: Journal of Family Issues, vol. 28, no. 1 (January 2007) pp. 61-99. TC

["Depression has been extensively studied for mothers but not for fathers. This study examines the sociodemographic correlates of symptoms of depression and how depression is associated with father involvement.... The study uses a sample of 2,139 resident fathers in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing 12-Month Father Survey. Results indicate that symptoms of major depression differ by race, marital status, and employment status but not by age and educational status. Major depression also differs significantly based on drug and alcohol use and criminal justice experience. Results... indicate that major depression is negatively associated with father/child activities (engagement), positively associated with paternal aggravation/stress in parenting, and negatively associated with both the quality of the mother-father relationship and coparental relationship supportiveness. Findings are important for identifying fathers for whom interventions would be valuable." (Author abstract.)]

[Request #S20751]

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"The Epidemic of Childhood Obesity: Review of Research and Implications for Public Policy." By Jenelle S. Krishnamoorthy and others. IN: Social Policy Report, vol. 20, no. 2 (2006) 20 p.

Full Text at:

["Over the past 30 years, the rate of childhood obesity has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2 to 5 years and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years, and it has more than tripled for children 6 to 11 years of age (Institute of Medicine, 2005).... This article reviews the successes and failures of existing prevention and intervention efforts. Intervention to treat obese children is necessary to encourage weight loss, and prevention efforts are necessary in this society of overeating to make sure that non-obese children stay that way.... These authors stress that change is required at multiple levels, and they offer suggestions for how parents, schools, communities, and governments can each do their part to tackle this epidemic."]

[Request #S20752]

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The 2005 Child Care Licensing Study: Final Report. By the National Association for Regulatory Administration and the National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center. (The Association, Conyers, Georgia) December 2006.

["This comprehensive report compares licensing policies and practices in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Among the key findings: *There are more than nine million licensed child care slots in the United States. *More than 70% of these slots (6,634,247) are in centers. *There are 105,444 licensed child care centers and 213,966 licensed family child care homes in the United States. *The average licensed capacity for centers in the U.S. is 63 slots. *19 states exempt preschools operated by the public schools from licensing; 12 states exempt centers operated by religious organizations. *In some states (not identified), a 14 year old can serve as a teacher and a 16 year old can serve as a center director. *Only three states require a director to have an associate's degree or higher. *No states require a teacher to have any training beyond a CDA credential. Summary from Child Care Exchange." Early Education in the News (February 20, 2007).]

Executive Summary: 8 p.

Final Report: 132 p.

State Data:

[Request #S20753]

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Conceptualizing a "Strong Start": Antecedents of Positive Child Outcomes at Birth and Into Early Childhood. By Cassandra Logan and others. Child Trends Research Brief. Publication No. 2007-10. (Child Trends, Washington, DC) February 2007. 8 p.

Full Text at:

["A variety of elements of a mother's circumstances before and during pregnancy are associated with a child having a strong start in life. Child Trends' latest research brief examines factors associated with positive outcomes for children."]

[Request #S20754]

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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.]


"Feasibility of Expanding Services for Very Young Children in the Public Mental Health Setting." By Penelope K. Knapp, University of California Davis, and others. IN: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 46, no. 2 (February 2007) pp. 152-161. TC

["Preschool-age children are underserved by the public mental health system despite the growing awareness of the prevalence of mental health concerns in infants and young children and recognition that early parent-child relationship dysfunction may lead to psychopathological symptoms in later childhood or adolescence.... This article reports on a quality-improvement project carried out as part of an infant-preschool family mental health initiative in eight California county mental health programs...." MCH Alert (February 9, 2007).]

[Request #S20755]

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