Subject: Studies in the News 07-37 (May 30, 2007)


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Children and Families Commission


Contents This Week

Introductory Material IMPROVED CHILD DEVELOPMENT
   Public pre-k and Hispanic children
   Planning and funding programs for birth-to-three
   Parents as Teachers program and school readiness
   Early childhood developments in the states
   Preschool curriculum decision-making
   Well-being of caregiver affects academic achievement
   Survey on early childhood education
   Child care center language and literacy interventions
IMPROVED FAMILY FUNCTIONING
   Parenting education information and resources
   Families and methamphetamine abuse
   Attitudes towards spanking
IMPROVED HEALTH
   Preventing child abuse with intensive home visiting
   Maternal and child oral health bulletin
   Mother's periodontal health and birth outcomes
   High quality child care lessens risk of later depression
   Improving oral health care for young children
IMPROVED SYSTEMS OF CARE
   Measuring quality in family child care
   Governors' policy priorities for children
   Economic costs of child poverty
   California early childhood profile
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 www.library.ca.gov/CRB/SITN/.

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; cslsirc@library.ca.gov) 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:

IMPROVED CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Is Public Pre-K Preparing Hispanic Children to Succeed in School? By Luis M. Laosa and Pat Ainsworth. Preschool Policy Brief. No. 13 (National Institute for Early Education Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey) March 2007. 18 p.

Full Text at: nieer.org/resources/policybriefs/13.pdf

["While public preschool programs are expanding across the country, there is a lag in participation by the nation's fastest growing and yet most educationally challenged group - Hispanic children. In this brief from NIEER, the authors present information about the Hispanic population in the context of preschool education and discuss issues of access, program quality, and instructional challenges as they relate to addressing the needs of Hispanic families. Many Hispanic children enter school behind their non-Hispanic counterparts and the authors contend that the gap in school readiness is unlikely to improve without an effort to increase preschool participation by Hispanic children and design programs to better accommodate their learning needs. Recommendations include making ELL status a factor considered for targeted programs, comparative analyses of targeted programs, and better reporting systems to ensure quality data for research on Hispanic children and early education policies." NIEER Online Newsletter (May 11, 2007.)]

[Request #S705134]

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Foundations: How States Can Plan and Fund Programs for Babies and Toddlers. By the Ounce of Prevention Fund. (The Fund, Chicago, Illinois) 2006. 18 p.

Full Text at: www.ounceofprevention.org/downloads/publications/Foundations.pdf

["To ensure all children under three - regardless of family income - develop in healthy and appropriate ways, certain basic conditions must be met. Children need a strong nurturing family and their families need access to high-quality early childhood development programs, family support, and health and mental health support. Delivering and funding high-quality early childhood development programs for children birth to three can be challenging, but several successful models exist that states can

[Request #S705135]

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The Parents as Teachers Program: Its Impact on School Readiness and Later School Achievement. A Research Summary. Based on an unpublished report by Judy Pfannenstiel and Edward Zigler. (Parents as Teachers National Center, Saint Louis, Missouri) April 2007. 6 p.

Full Text at: www.parentsasteachers.org/atf/cf/{00812ECA-A71B-4C2C-8FF3-8F16A5742EEA}/Executive%20Summary%20of%20Kind.%20Rea_singlepgs.pdf

["How can we increase the likelihood that children will do well in elementary school? Research shows that school readiness predicts later school achievement.... Since education begins at home and parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers, supporting and educating parents is a logical strategy. Parents who are involved in their children’s early care and education have children who are better prepared for school. The Parents as Teachers Born to Learn™ program is one key way to ensure that children enter school ready to learn. This research summary reports results from a 2006 study of Missouri children who participated in Parents as Teachers and other early childhood experiences. Researchers investigated the impact of pre-kindergarten services on 7,710 Missouri children’s readiness for school and performance on state assessments at the end of the early elementary years."]

[Request #S705136]

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Bright Futures: Early Childhood Developments in the States. [Entire issue.] Vol. 1, No. 1. (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Washington, DC) Spring 2007. 7 p.

Full Text at: www.nga.org/Files/pdf/0704BRIGHTFUTURESNEWS.PDF

["This quarterly newsletter highlights gubernatorial action and leadership for comprehensive early childhood policy and systems change in the states. The NGA Center for Best Practices assists governors seeking to implement a birth to five policy agenda that supports families, schools, and communities in their efforts to ensure all children start school ready to reach their full potential. In this issue, we highlight recent examples of gubernatorial leadership and spotlight Champion Governors in four states."]

[Request #S705137]

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Preschool Curriculum Decision-Making: Dimensions to Consider. By Ellen Frede and Debra J. Ackerman. Preschool Policy Brief. No. 12. (National Institute for Early Education Research, New Brunswick, New Jersey) March 2007. 16 p.

Full Text at: nieer.org/resources/policybriefs/12.pdf

["Policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels recognize the key role preschool education plays in children’s learning and development, but they may have less understanding of what constitutes a quality preschool program curriculum. Given the multitude of available curriculum models, the confusion regarding which ones are appropriate for 3- and 4-year-olds is understandable. However, if one of the goals of preschool is to improve children’s school success by enhancing their early skills and knowledge, programs serving preschoolers need to decide the content of what children should learn, as well as how they will best learn it. This report provides a framework for decision-makers to use in evaluating which curriculum might be most appropriate for their specific preschool program."]

[Request #S705138]

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Caregiver Well-Being Affects Academic Achievement. By the FPG Child Development Institute. FPG Snapshot. No. 43. (The Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina) April 2007. 2 p.

Full Text at: www.fpg.unc.edu/%7Esnapshots/snap43.pdf

["Research has shown repeatedly that poverty affects children’s academic achievement. But what specifically about poverty causes these harmful effects? According to a study by FPG Child Development Institute, it is the well-being of caregivers. When examined together, parental education, household income, and self perception of financial status accounted for differences in every academic area evaluated. Children from households high in such socio-economic resources entered pre-K with more well developed language and math skills and fewer behavioral

[Request #S705139]

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PNC Study of Early Childhood Education: Public Policy: Economy, Workforce, Funding. Prepared for the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (Harris Interactive Inc., Rochester, New York) May 2007. 8 p.

Full Text at: www.pnc.com/webapp/unsec/Requester?resource=/wcm/resources/file/ebc8fe068732013/PNC_Study_Findings_Public_Policy_0507.pdf

["Amid mounting concerns about the United States' ability to compete in a global economy, business executives appear to underestimate the impact of quality, early childhood education on the development of a highly skilled workforce, according to study findings released today by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.... Among the general public, meanwhile, there is agreement on the importance of early education for children. Strong support also exists among parents of all income levels for government-funded preschool. The first-ever PNC Study of Early Childhood Education is a comprehensive survey of American adults, including parents of young children along with teachers in pre-kindergarten through third grade, plus corporate executives and Congressional leaders. It was commissioned by PNC as part of its $100 million, 10-year investment in school readiness among children from birth to age 5." PRNewswire-FirstCall (May 10, 2007.)]

[Request #S705140]

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Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Findings from Project Upgrade in Miami-Dade County. By Jean I. Layzer and others. Prepared for the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. (Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts) March 2007. 69 p.

Full Text at: www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/opre/cc/upgrade_miami_dade/reports/upgrade_miami_dade/upgrade_miami_dade.pdf

["This report presents results from an experimental evaluation of the effectiveness of three different language and literacy interventions implemented in child care centers that served children from low-income families. The evaluation looked at the impact of targeted training on teacher behavior; interactions with children; aspects of the classroom environment that support children's language and literacy development (measured through direct observations); and children's language and pre-literacy skills, measured by their performance on a standardized assessment. Training in the three curricula led to changes in teacher practice. Implementation of two of the curricula showed effects on children's language and literacy outcomes."]

[Request #S705141]

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IMPROVED FAMILY FUNCTIONING

Parenting Education: A Key Topic Resource List. Child Care and Early Education Research Connections. (National Center for Children in Poverty, New York, New York) May 2007. 9 p.

Full Text at: www.researchconnections.org/discover/keytopics/KTRL-Parentingeducation.pdf

["'Research Connections' conducted a comprehensive search of its collection for resources focused on parenting education as it relates to child care and early education. This Key Topic Resource List includes an overview of what the parenting education literature addresses, as well as a listing of selected resources on the topic. Based on the search results, resources are grouped into the following categories: • Overviews and recommendations for parent education programs • Even Start/ family literacy • Head Start/Early Head Start • Healthy Steps • Effects of parent education programs on parents and children."]

[Request #S705142]

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"Seven Solutions for Fighting Meth, Healing Families." By Mary Bissell and Jennifer Miller. IN: Children's Voice, vol. 16, no. 1 (January/February 2007) 5 p.

Full Text at: www.cwla.org/voice/0701seven.htm

["Seven solutions are proposed for addressing methamphetamine abuse and keeping families together: media campaigns, expanding permanency options, interagency collaboration among law enforcement and child welfare agencies, new supports for grandfamilies, enhancing treatment options, using family drug courts, and targeting community supports in Native American communities. Recovery coaches that are being used by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services are described, as well as the Kinship Adoption Resource and Education Family Center in Tucson, Arizona." Child Welfare Information Gateway.]

[Request #S705143]

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Attitudes Towards Spanking. By the Child Trends Databank. (Child Trends, Washington, DC) [2007.] 8 p.

Full Text at: www.childtrendsdatabank.org/pdf/51_PDF.pdf

["One of the most frequently used strategies to discipline a child, especially a younger child, is spanking.... Research suggests that about 94 percent of parents of children ages three to four in the United States report having spanked their children in the previous year.... At the same time, however, use of corporal punishment is often linked to negative outcomes for children (e.g., delinquency, antisocial behavior, and low self-esteem), and may be indicative of ineffective parenting…. Research also finds that the number of problem behaviors observed in adolescence are related to the amount of spanking a child receives, with the relationship becoming stronger as children age.... Positive child outcomes can be obtained when parents refrain from spanking and other physical punishment and alternatively discipline their children through firm, rational control and nurturing communication.... Studies find that this type of disciplinary style can foster positive psychological outcomes such as high self-esteem and cooperation with others, as well as improved achievement in school...."]

[Request #S705144]

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IMPROVED HEALTH

Protecting Kids, Reducing Crime, Saving Money: Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect in Washington By Supporting Intensive Home Visiting. By William Christeson and others. (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Washington, Seattle, Washington) 2007. 24 p.

Full Text at: www.fightcrime.org/reports/wacanreport.pdf

["Coaching, provided voluntarily by trained professionals to at-risk young mothers can significantly reduce abuse and neglect. The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) in Elmira, N.Y. randomly offered at-risk pregnant women home visits by nurses. Starting before the birth of their first child and continuing until the child was age two, the nurses coached the young women in parenting and other skills and helped the mothers address their own problems. Rigorous research... shows that children of mothers in the program had 48 percent fewer substantiated reports of abuse or neglect. Put another way: intensive home visiting services can prevent nearly half of all cases of abuse or neglect of at-risk children.... Seven counties in Washington have embraced the benefits of home visiting with commitments to support Nurse-Family Partnership programs."]

[Request #S705145]

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Oral Health Resource Bulletin. (Entire Issue] By the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center. Vol. 17 (The Center, Washington, DC) April 2007. 28 p.

Full Text at: www.mchoralhealth.org/PDFs/ResBltnXVII.pdf

[This journal "lists recently produced materials for health professionals, educators, program administrators, and others working to improve the oral health of infants, children, adolescents, and their families in communities across the country. These materials address topics including oral health services for children with special health care needs, access to care, periodontal health and birth outcomes, early childhood caries, Head Start, and Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program."]

[Request #S705146]

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Research to Policy and Practice Forum: Periodontal Health and Birth Outcomes - Summary of a Meeting of Maternal, Child, and Oral Health Experts. By Amy Brown and Beth Zimmerman, Health Systems Research, Inc. (National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, Washington, DC) 2007. 34 p.

Full Text at: www.mchoralhealth.org/PDFs/PeriodontalSummary.pdf

[This report "explores the oral health requirements of pregnant women as a promising strategy for improving maternal and infant health. The report summarizes presentations of commissioned background papers and other topics, as well as workgroup discussions from a forum convened by the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA's) Maternal and Child Health Bureau, held on December 11-12, 2006, in Washington, DC.... The report... includes an overview and purpose; a summary of presentations; and a discussion of future directions for policy, programming, and research." MCH Alert (May 11, 2007.)]

[Request #S705147]

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"Depressive Symptoms in Young Adults: The Influences of the Early Home Environment and Early Educational Child Care." By Andrea E. McLaughlin and others. IN: Child Development, vol. 78, no. 3 (May/June 2007) pp. 746-756.

Full Text at: www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01030.x

["Young adults from low-income families who were in full-time early educational child care from infancy to age 5 report fewer symptoms of depression than their peers who were not in this type of care.... 'The early intervention, which was largely child centered, does not appear to have changed home environments,' according to Frances A. Campbell, senior scientist at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and one of the authors of the study. 'Rather it buffered, or protected, the treated children from the adverse effects of less optimal early home environments on depressive symptoms. Evidence indicating that good early childhood experiences can make a positive difference in the mental health of individuals born into poverty underscores the importance of investing in high quality early childhood experiences for poor children.'" EurekAlert! (May 17, 2007.)

[Request #S705148]

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Improving Oral Health Care for Young Children. By Shelly Gehshan and Matt Wyatt. (National Academy for State Health Policy, Washington, DC) April 2007. 42 p.

Full Text at: www.nashp.org/Files/Improving_Oral_Health.pdf

[This report "focuses on financing and work force challenges, describes promising models of care, and discusses options for policymakers seeking to improve access to oral health care for young children. The report... addresses several topics, including the need for oral health care for young children; Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment Medicaid dental services; community water fluoridation and other public health measures; examples of promising models for care; and policy options at the federal, state, community, and organization levels for improving oral health for young children. A state-by-state table of dental benefits in non-Medicaid State Children's Health Insurance Programs is included as an appendix." MCH Alert (May 18, 2007).]

[Request #S705149]

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IMPROVED SYSTEMS OF CARE

Measuring Quality in Family, Friend, and Neighbor Child Care: Conceptual and Practical Issues. By Erin J. Maher, University of Washington. Research-to-Policy Connections. No. 6 (Child Care and Early Education Research Connections, New York, New York) April 2007. 12 p.

Full Text at: www.childcareresearch.org/SendPdf?resourceId=12033

["This brief explores considerations and challenges in measuring quality in family, friend, and neighbor child care, especially: -Parent choice and definitions of quality *Concerns with commonly used measures of quality originally designed for other settings -New quality measurement advances for family, friend, and neighbor care -Testing measures for cultural appropriateness and competency.]

[Request #S705150]

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Promises to America’s Children: 2007 Governors’ State of the State Addresses. By Voices for America's Children. (Voices for America's Children, Washington, DC) 2007. 74 p.

Full Text at: www.voices.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Childrens_Policy/State_of_the_State/2007StateOfTheState.pdf

["What are your state's top priorities when it comes to health care, education, work supports, child welfare and other areas that matter to families, and communities? Find out in Voices' new report, which examines governors' 2007 State of the State speeches and budget addresses." CFK Weekly (May 23, 2007.)]

[Request #S705151]

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The Economic Costs of Poverty in the United States: Subsequent Effects of Children Growing Up Poor. By Harry J. Holzer and others. Prepared for the Task Force on Poverty at the Center for American Progress. Institute for Research on Poverty. Discussion Paper No. 1327-07. (IRP Publications, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin) April 2007. 32 p.

Full Text at: www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/dps/pdfs/dp132707.pdf

["For those few holdouts who may need convincing, here's an economic argument for reducing poverty. In this Institute for Research on Poverty discussion paper, Harry Holzer and his co-authors argue that growing up poor influences earnings, health, and propensity to commit crimes in adulthood - and ultimately costs the U.S. economy about $500 billion per year." CFK Weekly (May 16, 2007.)]

[Request #S705152]

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California Early Childhood Profile. By the National Center for Children in Poverty. (The Center, New York, New York) May 1, 2007. 6 p.

["State policies that promote health, education, and strong families can help the early development and school readiness of America's youngest citizens. This profile highlights California's policy choices alongside other contextual data related to the well-being of young children."]

California Early Childhood Profile:
http://www.researchconnections.org/SendPdf?resourceId=12205

Other State Profiles:
http://nccp.org/profiles/

[Request #S705153]

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There are no studies in the current issue