Early childhood education resources

Below are resources for early childhood professionals and those serving the early childhood community.

Four Skills Your Child Needs to Know Before Kindergarten  There are a few milestones that should be reached before they toddle through the door, says Alise McGregor, founder of Little Newtons, an early education center with locations in Minnesota and Illinois. (Emissourian)

The Surprising Thing the ‘Marshmallow Test’ Reveals About Kids in an Instant-Gratification World
Higher preschool enrollment and changes in parenting styles, including the rise of the empowered child, also might contribute to generational improvements in kids’ ability to delay gratification.

Report: Community Colleges Play Important Role in Preparing Early Educators  Offering programs that better fit early educators’ schedules, allowing flexibility in completing practicum requirements, and integrating remedial education with credit-bearing coursework are a few of the ways community colleges are helping early educators gain greater access to postsecondary education opportunities, according to a new report from Bellwether Education Partners. (Education Dive)

Community Systems Development Partnership Illinois Action for Children is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education to provide a system of statewide supports for early childhood community systems development! This will include training, technical assistance, and coaching to community collaborations that are focused on enrollment of high-need children ages 0-5 into high-quality early learning programs.

Back-and-forth exchanges boost children’s brain response to language  Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a studydetailing how a conversation between an adult and a child alters a child’s brain. Study finds engaging young children in conversation is more important for brain development than “dumping words” on them.

Babies can spot language, even when it’s not spoken  The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) publication Science featured new research from the University of California supporting infant understanding of human language, even when they can’t speak it themselves. Overall, the research presents a consideration for a critical development window in language learning for children.

Early Ed Essentials: Testing New Surveys to Inform Program Improvement The UChicago Consortium and the Ounce of Prevention Fund  partnered to develop and test teacher and parent surveys designed to measure organizational conditions in early childhood education (ECE) programs. A new six-page snapshot highlights key findings from the recent validation study, which found the surveys to be reliable and valid. Full details about the validation can be found in the technical report.

Expanding Preschool Access for Children of Immigrants focuses on four geographically diverse school districts that have unusually high rates of PreK enrollment among low-income immigrant families. The authors identify findings that relate to the critical leadership roles that school districts and elementary schools play in ensuring that there are negligible or nonexistent gaps in PreK enrollment among children of immigrants and children of US-born parents.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)  First Five Years Fund published its latest addition to its ESSA toolkit of resources, “Early Learning in State ESSA Plans: Implementation Snapshot” that provides an early look at where states are leveraging ESSA to develop new or bolster ongoing early childhood education efforts.

Groundbreaking Report on Financing ECE  The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine convened a committee of experts to study how to fund ECE that is accessible, affordable for families and of high quality. In its report, “Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education,”  the committee concludes that “transforming the financing structure for ECE to meet the needs of all children and families will require greater coordination among financing mechanisms, as well as significant mobilization of financing and other resources across the public and private sectors.” The report is a follow up to the vision outlined in the 2015 report “Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8.”

Study Identifies Practices That Increase Immigrant Children’s Enrollment in Preschool  Translated materials, interpreters, and staff members who speak parents’ language were important factors in helping families enroll their children. Some sites also supplemented state PreK funding with federal and local sources to reach more children. (Education Dive)

Framework in Action: Administrator Effectiveness – addresses the important roles and responsibilities of elementary principals, Early Care and Education directors/managers (from PreK, Head Start, and child care), and other district-level or program-level administrators. Much attention, both positive and negative, has been paid to administrators’ effectiveness in supporting young children’s learning and in building alignment between the traditionally disparate systems of birth-to-five and K-12.

IL – Long-term Gains: Pre-K Programs Lead to Furthered Education Later in Life  Largest study to date of publicly funded early education program shows a major, sustained educational boost. (Scientific American)