Subject: Studies in the News 07-23 (March 25, 2007)

California State Library Logo
Studies in the News for
First Five California Logo
Children and Families Commission

Contents This Week

Introductory Material DEMOGRAPHY
   Kids Count Snapshot: children in immigrant families
   Early childhood education for Hispanics
   Childcare quality affects language development
   State-funded prekindergarten programs - 2006
   Teach for America early-childhood pilot
   Improving the child welfare workforce
   Children with special health care needs
   Partnerships and collaborative intervention projects
   Uninsured children have worse hospital outcomes
   State Children's Health Insurance Program
   Unionizing home-based child care providers
   Many states lax in oversight of child care centers
   Family-strengthening intervention programs
   Preventing child abuse and neglect
   Eye tests for preterm toddlers
   Child health promotion with computer kiosks
   Kids with 'green spaces' less likely to be overweight
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:



One Out of Five U.S. Children is Living in an Immigrant Family. By Kids Count. Data Snapshot. No. 4 (March 2007) 4 p.

Full Text at:

["The fourth KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot highlights the 15.7 million children in immigrant families living in the United States. Although 80 percent of these children were born here and are entitled to the same support other citizen children receive, 'linguistic isolation and lack of economic resources put children in immigrant families at greater risk of growing up without the opportunities they need to succeed.' See how your state rates, and learn more, in this online brief." CFK Weekly (March 7, 2007).]

[Request #S70321]

Return to the Table of Contents



Para Nuestros Niños: Expanding and Improving Early Education for Hispanics. By the National Task Force on Early Childhood Education for Hispanics. (The Task Force, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona) March 2007. 76 p.

Full Text at:

["Hispanics now constitute one-fifth of the nation’s young children (infants through eight-year-olds) and are projected to be a quarter of all young children in the United States by 2030. It is of great concern, then, that Hispanic children lag well behind their White counterparts on measures of school readiness when they start kindergarten, and subsequently achieve at much lower levels in the primary grades.... The major reason why levels of school readiness and school achievement are lower for Hispanic children than for Whites is that a high percentage of Hispanic youngsters are from low socioeconomic status (SES) families - families in which the parents have little formal education and low incomes. The situation is complicated further by the fact that a large share of low SES Hispanic children are from immigrant families; and, therefore, many of these youngsters know little English when they start kindergarten. To address these challenges, low SES Hispanic children need excellent preschools and elementary schools, and teachers who can build effectively on their primary language, Spanish."]

[Request #S70322]

Return to the Table of Contents

Quality of Childcare Affects Language Development. By the FPG Child Development Institute. FPG Snapshot. No. 40 (February 2007) 2 p.

Full Text at:

["Children in higher quality care had more advanced language development, especially at 24 and 36 months. Children in lower quality care became progressively further behind the children in higher quality care on all language measures. This finding was especially true for vocabulary, with children in higher quality care having double the number of different words by 36 months of age than those in lower quality care. These differences were greater over time, suggesting the cumulative effects of lower quality care.... Unlike most childcare studies, there were no differences between quality of care and family educational and economic resources."]

[Request #S70323]

Return to the Table of Contents


The State of Preschool 2006: State Preschool Yearbook. By W. Steven Barnett and others. (National Institute for Early Education Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey)

["'Lack of stable funding poses an enormous problem for parents of young children and for society generally,' said NIEER Director W. Steven Barnett. 'State legislatures which wouldn't think about cutting the number of first graders or reducing the budget for kindergarten, seemingly have little compunction about slashing preschool,' Barnett said. 'Low and moderate income working parents need to know from year to year whether they can count on their state to provide quality preschool for their children or whether they'll have to find it on the open market where the cost can exceed college tuition.'... NIEER began tracking state-funded preschool programs in the 2001-2002 school year. The current Yearbook reports on the 2005-2006 school year. Each state is ranked in three categories: access (how many children are served), resources (how much is spent per child) and quality (how many of 10 benchmarks for quality standards does each state meet)."]

Full Report: 236 p.

State Data:

Interactive Data Sets:

[Request #S70324]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Teach For America Setting Sights on Pre-K." By Linda Jacobson. IN: Education Week, vol. 26, no. 23 (February 9, 2007) pp. 1, 16.

["Teach For America occasionally has had its recruits assigned to prekindergarten in the past, but last summer was the first time the organization specifically trained recruits to work in public pre-K classrooms. That move reflects both a growing demand for early-childhood teachers and a demand from TFA corps members themselves, according to Catherine Brown, the director of Teach For America’s early-childhood initiative."]

[Request #S70325]

Return to the Table of Contents



Improving the Child Welfare Workforce: Lessons Learned from Class Action Litigation. By Julie Farber and others. (Children's Rights, New York, New York) February 2007.

["Every day, child welfare workers across the country interact with abused and neglected children and their families, and have substantial impact on their lives. Improving the effectiveness of public child welfare systems depends in large part on ensuring that the child welfare workforce is well-qualified, trained, supervised and supported. Children’s Rights, in partnership with the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) conducted a study of efforts to improve the child welfare workforce in the context of class action litigation in 12 states and localities across the nation. The report... documents the progress made and barriers encountered. Based on the lessons learned in these jurisdictions, the report provides a set of recommendations to guide current and future reform efforts."]

Executive Summary: 25 p.

Full Report: 116 p.

[Request #S70326]

Return to the Table of Contents


Coordinating Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs. By Stephanie Peterson and others. Quality Care for Special Kids: Profiles of Children with Chronic Conditions and Disabilities Update No. 4 (Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Washington, DC) January 2007. 2 p.

Full Text at:

["This brief, the fourth in a series on critical issues involved in caring for children with special health care needs, notes that nearly three-quarters of parents who need professional care coordination services for their child say they do not get enough help - if they get any at all. Moreover, one-third of those who do get help are not fully satisfied with the quality of services they receive. Although many health plans coordinate care for their adult members with chronic conditions and disabilities, few do so for children. The brief provides suggested steps that plans can take to improve care coordination for these children." News from Mathematica (February 12, 2007).]

[Request #S70327]

Return to the Table of Contents

Sources of Information about Partnership and Collaborative Projects. By David C. Diehl and Carol M. Trivette. IN: MILEmarkers, vol. 1, no. 11 (October 2006) 4 p.

Full Text at:

["Partnerships and collaborations with programs and organizations that serve infants and young children who may be eligible for early intervention or preschool special education services constitute one approach to increasing the effectiveness of child find activities. This Tracking, Referral and Assessment Center for Excellence (TRACE) bibliography was developed to guide practitioners in developing partnerships and collaborative projects with primary referral sources that support referrals to early intervention or preschool special education. References and information related to collaboration with physician office-based programs, hospital-based programs, and other programs and agencies are included." Natural Resources (March 7, 2007).]

[Request #S70328]

Return to the Table of Contents


The Great Divide: When Kids Get Sick, Insurance Matters. By Families USA. Publication No. 07-102. (Families USA, Washington, DC) February 2007. 29 p.

Full Text at:

["Hospitalized children who lack health insurance are twice as likely to die from their injuries as those with insurance, a new study reports. Uninsured children also are less likely to get expensive treatment or rehabilitation and are discharged earlier, says the study by the health care advocacy group Families USA. 'The clear implication - is that when kids get sick or hurt, insurance matters,' said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA. 'As is true throughout our health care system, children without health insurance receive less and inferior care.'" USA Today (March 2, 2007).]

[Request #S70329]

Return to the Table of Contents

The State Children's Health Insurance Program: Past, Present, and Future. By Jeanne M. Lambrew, George Washington University. Prepared for The Commonwealth Fund/Alliance for Health Reform 2007 Bipartisan Congressional Health Policy Conference (The Fund, New York, New York) January 2007. 42 p.

Full Text at:

["At the end of the 2007 fiscal year, congressional authorization for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is set to expire. For SCHIP, the reauthorization process - historically a chance to review, refine, and revamp programs - will take place at a time when the uninsured rate for children is once again on the rise. ...Jeanne Lambrew, Ph.D., examines the array of policy options that Congress is likely to consider for SCHIP, a program widely hailed for assisting children whose families have too much income to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private insurance."]

[Request #S70330]

Return to the Table of Contents



Getting Organized: Unionizing Home-Based Child Care Providers. By Deborah Chalfie and others. (National Women’s Law Center, Washington, DC) February 2007. 40 p.

Full Text at:

["A recent and growing trend to unionize home-based child care providers is proving to be a promising strategy for securing increased public investment in child care and improving working conditions for providers.... In just the last two years, there has been a flurry of union organizing among child care providers who care for children in the providers’ homes. These providers are overwhelmingly women and have low earnings and few benefits, which makes them good candidates for union organizing campaigns. Getting Organized analyzes and provides detailed information about the progress of these campaigns in eleven states in which there has been the most activity."]

[Request #S70331]

Return to the Table of Contents

We Can Do Better: NACCRRA’s Ranking of State Child Care Center Standards and Oversight. By NACCRRA, the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. (The Association, Arlington, Virginia) [2007.]

["Many states are distressingly lax in their regulation and oversight of child care centers, according to a new nationwide survey which gives its lowest marks to Idaho and Louisiana and its highest grade to the far- flung system run by the U.S. military. Among the common problems in the states are infrequent inspections, deficient safety requirements, and low hiring standards - including lack of full criminal background checks - for center employees.... California Ranks 47." Early Education in the News (March 1, 2007).]

Introduction: 14 p.

Scorecards: 7 p.

Conclusion: 7 p.

State by State Profiles:

References: 1 p.

Potential Q & A on the Report: 5 p.


[Request #S70332]

Return to the Table of Contents


Lessons From Family-Strengthening Interventions: Learning From Evidence-Based Practice. By Margaret Caspe and M. Elena Lopez. (Harvard Family Research Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts) October 2006. 21 p.

Full Text at:

["Family-strengthening intervention programs in schools and other community-based organizations help increase parents' abilities to guide their children's learning and create a community of support from which parents can draw over time. The Harvard Family Research Project recently examined a sample of 13 well-evaluated family-strengthening intervention programs that provide support to parents and seek to change family behaviors and environments to encourage healthy child development. The research brief, 'Lessons From Family Strengthening Interventions: Learning From Evidence-Based Practice,' sought to determine what outcomes family strengthening programs can successfully target and affect, as well as the most effective practices and evaluation strategies." Children's Bureau Express (March 2007).]

[Request #S70333]

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.]



Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect: Parent-Provider Partnerships in Child Care. By Nancy Seibel and others. (Zero to Three, Washington, DC) 2006. 766 p. plus CD-ROM. TC

["Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect (PCAN) is a 10-unit training curriculum designed exclusively for trainers or co-trainers who support child care professionals. The hallmark of the research-based PCAN approach is to help child care providers promote positive parenting and healthy social-emotional development in children by building 'protective factors' into their programs. Research shows that protective factors, such as providing a welcoming atmosphere for parents or offering resources on early childhood development, help reduce child abuse and neglect. The training curriculum is designed to provide practical information, concepts, and skills for child care providers. In addition to its ten training modules the curriculum includes video vignettes, sample recruitment flyers, pre-training knowledge assessment forms, handouts and tips for trainers." NOTE: Preventing Child Abuse... will be available for loan.]

[Request #S70334]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Development of Astigmatism and Anisometropia in Preterm Children During the First 10 Years of Life: A Population-Based Study." By Eva K. Larsson and Gerd E. Holmstrom. IN: Archives of Ophthalmology, vol. 124, no. 11 (November 2006) pp. 1608-1614. TC

["Testing the eyes of preterm children when they reach 2.5 years of age may predict vision problems at age 10, according to a report in the... Archives of Ophthalmology.... 'Ophthalmological studies of preterm (prematurely born) children have resulted in recommendations that they need follow-up examinations, to find those in need of extra help,' the authors provide as background information in the article. 'However, such follow-up programs are expensive and must be based on accurate knowledge of the prevalences of ophthalmological disorders in preterm and full-term children.' Previous studies have found that refractive errors, or errors in the degree of light that reaches the back of the eye, are more common in preterm children (born before 35 weeks gestation) than full-term children."]

[Request #S70335]

Return to the Table of Contents

Parent Use of Touchscreen Computer Kiosks for Child Health Promotion in Community Settings. By Darcy A. Thompson and others. IN: Pediatrics, vol. 119, no. 3 (March 2007) pp. 427-434. TC

["The goals were to evaluate the use of touchscreen computer kiosks, containing only child health-promoting information, in urban, low-income, community settings and to characterize the users of these kiosks.... Three user-driven touchscreen computer kiosks were placed in low-income urban locations in Seattle, Washington, from March 2005 to October 2005. The locations included a public library, a Department of Motor Vehicles office, and a McDonald's restaurant. Users selected age-appropriate modules with prevention information and screening tools. Users entered the age of the child and were presented with age-appropriate modules. On exiting, users were asked to rate their experience and to provide basic demographic data.... Approximately one half found the kiosk easy to use (57%) and the information easy to understand (55%); 66% said there was at least some new information. Fifty-five percent planned to try some of the things they had learned, and 49% intended to talk to their child's doctor about what they had learned."

[Request #S70336]

Return to the Table of Contents


"Green Neighborhoods, Food Retail and Childhood Overweight: Differences by Population Density." By Gilbert C. Liu and others. IN: American Journal of Health Promotion, vol. 21, no. 14, Supplement (March/April 2007) pp. 317-325. TC

["Children who live in densely populated urban areas may be less likely to be overweight if they have parks and lawns in their neighborhoods, a U.S. study suggests. This is probably because children are more active if they have access to green spaces that make physical activity more enjoyable, said lead author Dr. Gilbert Liu, of the Children's Health Services Research Program at Indiana University School of Medicine. The study... included 7,334 children, ages 3 to 18, in Marion County, Ind. The researchers used body mass index to determine which children were overweight and also looked at the amount of green space and the number of food outlets (fast food restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores) around each child's home. Children who lived in neighborhoods with fewer green spaces were more likely to be overweight, the study authors said." HealthDay News (February 21, 2007).]

[Request #S70337]

Return to the Table of Contents