Recent Highlights from Our Collection

Below are highlights from our most recent acquisitions. Research Connections scans its newest acquisitions, focusing on those from key organizations and journals, to identify resources to feature here.

What research designs work best to identify public preschool program elements meeting the specific needs of children at risk?

Public preschool in a more diverse America: Implications for next-generation evaluation research
Phillips, Deborah A., 08/01/2017
(Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan Working Paper Series No. 2-17). Ann Arbor: Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan. Retrieved from

The increasing diversity of young children enrolled in state pre-K and Head Start programs has prompted examination of varying impacts for identified subgroups of young children. We argue that questions of subgroup impacts and the processes that may account for them should be prioritized in future evaluations of these programs. Three subgroups at high risk of poor school performance provide the focus for our discussion: low-income children exposed to significant adversity, dual language learners, and children with special needs. We further draw upon new hypotheses regarding the kinds of processes most likely to support both short- and longer-term public preschool impacts as they apply to these subgroups. We conclude with a set of research recommendations aimed at identifying features of these programs that may render them especially effective in the context of today's increasingly diverse classrooms of young children. (author abstract)

How do state quality rating and improvement systems deal with licensing violations?

Licensing violations and QRIS ratings
Early Learning Challenge Technical Assistance Program, 03/01/2017
Washington, DC: Early Learning Challenge Technical Assistance Program. Retrieved from

This resource was prepared for a Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) State in response to a request for information about how States handle Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) ratings when a licensed child care program has had serious license violations. This information will be helpful to other States as they prepare guidance for monitoring staff; revise the next generation of their QRIS; make decisions about which programs are eligible for child care subsidy reimbursement; and continue their collaboration with other early learning and development systems in their State. To address this request, ELC TA partnered with the BUILD Initiative, which sent the following questions to State administrators: If a child care program is rated under the QRIS and then has a licensing violation, does that impact the QRIS rating for that program? Is there some sort of guidance as to whether they maintain their rating or is it suspended as a result of the licensing violation? According to the QRIS Compendium, 38 States have a fully functioning QRIS. In addition, Florida has multiple QRIS operating at the county level. Seventeen of these States and one Florida county responded to this query. (author abstract)

Is residential mobility at kindergarten transition associated with behavior problems for foster children?

Residential mobility predicts behavioral problems for children living in non-parental care during the transition to kindergarten
Schmitt, Sara A., 06/01/2017

The present study examines the extent to which residential mobility during the transition to kindergarten (cumulative moves during prekindergarten and kindergarten) is related to externalizing and internalizing behavior problems for children from low-income families who are living in non-parental care. A second, exploratory aim of this study was to investigate whether family service receipt moderated these relations. Data were obtained from the Head Start Impact Study. The sample included 300 children (53% male) who were eligible for Head Start. Residential mobility was conceptualized as three dichotomous variables: never moved, moved 1-2 times, and moved 3 or more times during the prekindergarten and kindergarten years. Predictor and outcome data were collected in the spring of prekindergarten and kindergarten. Moving three or more times was significantly related to more externalizing and internalizing behavior problems in kindergarten, controlling for family and child covariates, as well as for children's behavior problems in prekindergarten. Receipt of family services moderated the association between moving three or more times and externalizing problems, but not internalizing problems. This relation was in the opposite direction than expected, however, such that children who moved frequently and received more services demonstrated more externalizing problems than their peers. Implications of study findings for supporting highly mobile children living in non-parental care and directions for future research are discussed. (author abstract)

How are mothers' depression and decisions about Head Start enrollment linked with racial disparities in services and supports?

Racial disparities in perceived social support and social service use: Associations with maternal depression and Head Start participation
Lee, Kyunghee, 11/01/2017

Using the Head Start Impact Study data, this study examined racial disparities in maternal perceptions of social support and social service receipt, and their associations with depression. Associations between Head Start participation and these variables were also studied. A total of 3,269 mothers were included (n=971 Black, 1,086 Hispanic, and 1,212 White). Compared to White mothers, Hispanic mothers indicated perceiving less assistance from social supports. Black and Hispanic mothers were less likely to use social services and reported lower levels of depression than White mothers. Head Start mothers perceived more helpfulness from social supports than non-Head Start mothers. Head Start, however, was not associated with social service use or maternal depression. Results suggest Head Start participation may be related to greater ability to reap benefits from relationships with friends and family among low-income mothers. (author abstract)

How does foster parent book reading relate to social-emotional development of Head Start children?

Parental book reading and social-emotional outcomes for Head Start children in foster care
Lee, Kyunghee, 01/01/2016

This study examines the associations between parental book reading and social-emotional outcomes for Head Start children in foster care. Despite no main Head Start impact on parental book reading, subgroup effects were found. Foster parents in Head Start provided more book reading for children with disabilities but less for children with low preacademic scores. Head Start enhanced social-emotional outcomes for children in foster care. The positive impacts of Head Start on children's social-emotional outcomes were greater when parents read books frequently. Head Start should include more foster families and provided parenting skills to enhance social-emotional outcomes for children in foster care. (author abstract)

Which sociodemographic factors influence the school readiness of children from low-income families?

A structural model of early indicators of school readiness among children of poverty
Gullo, Dominic F., 01/01/2017

Factors that affect children's school readiness potential are evident even from birth. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses that certain factors related to gender, approaches to learning, age at school entry, family income, and the health status of the child at birth have an effect on low-socioeconomic status (SES) children's readiness for school. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) was used to test the hypotheses. Included in the sample were 1700 children of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds. All the children were in the lowest SES quintile of the children making up the ECLS-B cohort. The hypothesized model suggested that there were both direct and indirect influences on children's school readiness performance. Potential risk factors and implications for ameliorating negative influences were identified. (author abstract)

What does the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) show about the child care choices of low-income, immigrant families with young children?

Child care choices of low-income, immigrant families with young children: Findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education
Sandstrom, Heather, 11/01/2017
Washington, DC: Urban Institute. Retrieved from

In this brief, we explore differences in the child care settings foreign-born, US-born, LEP, and English-proficient parents select for their young children. We also explore differences in their child care preferences and perceptions and in the household characteristics that might explain their patterns. In this way, we shed light on how being an immigrant and having limited English proficiency, among other factors, might influence parents' interest in and ability to access different child care. (author abstract) For more information and resources from the NSECE, check out our NSECE page

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