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 does a field experiment reveal about the demand for teacher characteristics in the market for child care?

The demand for teacher characteristics in the market for child care: Evidence from a field experiment
Boyd-Swan, Casey, 04/01/2017
(IZA DP No. 10702). Bonn, Germany: Institute of Labor Economics. Retrieved from http://ftp.iza.org/dp10702.pdf

Many preschool-age children in the U.S. attend center-based child care programs that are of low quality. This paper examines the extent to which teacher qualifications -- widely considered important inputs to classroom quality -- are valued by providers during the hiring process. To do so, we administered a resume audit study in which job-seeker characteristics were randomly assigned to a large number of resumes that were submitted in response to real child care job postings in 14 cities. Our results indicate that center-based providers may not hire the most qualified applicants. For example, we find that although providers have a strong preference for individuals with previous work experience in early childhood education (ECE), those with more ECE experience are less likely to receive an interview than those with less experience. We also find that individuals with bachelor's degrees in ECE are no more likely to receive an interview than their counterparts at the associate's level, even in the market for lead preschool-age teachers. Furthermore, those revealing high levels of academic performance, as measured by grade point average, are generally not preferred by child care providers. Finally, it appears that some non-quality attributes do not influence hiring decisions (e.g., signaling car ownership), while others have large effects on teacher hiring (e.g., applicant race/ethnicity). Together, our findings shed light on the complex trade-offs made by center-based providers attempting to offer high-quality programs while earning sufficient revenue to stay in business. (author abstract)

How does excessive absenteeism in Head Start affect children's academic learning?

Absenteeism in Head Start and children's academic learning
Ansari, Arya, 01/01/2017

Using nationally representative data from the Family and Child Experiences Survey 2009 cohort (n = 2,842), this study examined the implications of 3- and 4-year-old's absences from Head Start for their early academic learning. The findings from this study revealed that children who missed more days of school, and especially those who were chronically absent, demonstrated fewer gains in areas of math and literacy during the preschool year. Moreover, excessive absenteeism was found to detract from the potential benefits of quality preschool education and was especially problematic for the early learning of children who entered the Head Start program with a less developed skill set. Implications for policy and practice are discussed. (author abstract)

How do special education courses prepare preschool teacher candidates to work in inclusive settings?

Preparing preschool teacher candidates for inclusion: Impact of two special education courses on their perspectives
Rakap, Salih, 04/01/2017

Successful implementation of inclusive practices depends mainly on teachers' attitudes towards children with special needs and their inclusion, and teachers' willingness to work with children with special needs in their classrooms. Experiences teacher candidates have during pre-service stage might influence their perceptions towards children with disabilities and their inclusion. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of two special education courses on (1) preschool teacher candidates' general attitudes towards inclusion, (2) their willingness to work with children with significant intellectual, physical and behavioural disabilities within inclusive classroom settings and (3) their level of comfort in interacting with children with disabilities. A four-part survey was administered to participants four times throughout the study, once before and after each course. The survey package included (1) a demographic information form, (2) the Opinions Relative to the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities Scale, (3) an adapted version of the Teachers' Willingness to Work with Children with Severe Disabilities Scale and (4) the Interaction with Children with a Disability Scale. The results showed that both special education courses positively influenced teacher candidates' attitudes, willingness and comfort levels. However, impact of the second course focused on helping teacher candidates learn and apply instructional strategies to work with children with disabilities in inclusive classrooms was much larger. Implications of the study findings in relation to future research and practice are discussed. (author abstract)

Check out Research Connections brief on preschool inclusion, key findings from research and implications for policy.

How does child care impact Louisiana's workforce productivity and the state economy?

Losing ground: How child care impacts Louisiana's workforce productivity and the state economy
Davis, Belinda, 05/01/2017
New Orleans, LA: Policy Institute for Children (Louisiana). Retrieved from http://media.wix.com/ugd/20d35d_476f91b779d74b74937ccdd9965d74e3.pdf

Although a wealth of research has focused on benefits for young children and local communities, less attention has been given to the benefits of quality ECE for employers and working parents. To date, we have been unable to locate Louisiana-based studies of how child care instability affects the state's workforce productivity. This study attempts to address this gap. This study was conducted in two phases. First, the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children worked with Louisiana State University's (LSU) Public Policy Research Lab, which conducted a statewide survey of households with children age 4 and under, asking these individuals a series of questions investigating the intersection between their workforce participation and child care issues. Second, the Policy Institute worked with an economist to estimate the economic impact of child care instability based on the results from the LSU survey conducted in phase one. (author abstract)

What are the opening and closing rates of early care and education establishments in Georgia?

Child policy partnership: Opening and closing of early care and education establishments
Pandey, Lakshmi, 07/06/2016
Atlanta, GA: Georgia State University, Fiscal Research Center. Retrieved from http://frc.gsu.edu/files/2016/07/Opening-and-Closing-of-Early-Care-Centers_-July-2016.pdf?wpdmdl=4723

The stability of early care and learning centers is important for understanding the supply of such care. If there is excessive activity in terms of openings and closings of establishments, there may be an impact on children and families as they search for new early care and education. Openings and closings may also signal inexperienced owners, difficult economic situations, costs of regulation and more. This policy brief documents the opening and closing of early care and education establishments using Georgia Department of Labor Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW ES202) data. These data report quarterly wages paid to employees by establishments. Addresses are included for the establishments. These data are well suited to measure rates of openings and closings for specific industries, including early care and education. (author abstract)

What are the differences in elementary and middle school chronic absenteeism rates between students who participated in Alabama's First Class Pre-K and those who did not?

Chronic absenteeism: Differences between First Class Pre-K students and non-First Class Pre-K students
Alabama. Department of Early Childhood Education, 12/01/2016
(First Class Pre-K Issue Brief 1). Montgomery, AL: Alabama, Department of Early Childhood Education. Retrieved from http://children.alabama.gov/uploadedFiles/File/First_Class_PreK_Absenteeism.pdf

Absenteeism has serious implications for a child's academic performance and outcomes. On average, students who are absent have been shown to have lower test scores; lower likelihood of being on track in high school, impacting their career and college readiness; lower likelihood of graduating from high school; and lower course grades, derailing their ability for college completion. The purpose of this issue brief is to examine differences in chronic absenteeism rates between students who received First Class Pre-K and those who did not, among low income students as indicated by receipt of free or reduced price lunch. (author abstract)

Check out Research Connections Resource List on attendance rates and child outcomes.

How can states adapt child care market price surveys to support state quality initiatives?

Adapting child care market price surveys to support state quality initiatives
Branscome, Kenley, 01/01/2016
Fairfax, VA: ICF International. Retrieved from https://www.icf.com/perspectives/white-papers/2015/adapting-child-care-market-price-surveys-to-support-state-quality-initiatives

Rate setting in early childhood education--and particularly in child care--is evolving as part of efforts to assure quality. This brief explores how states can adapt their child care market price surveys to meet new federal requirements and align them to better support efforts to improve the access that children have to high-quality early learning programs. It provides state administrators and other key stakeholders with an overview of the federally mandated survey and alternative methodologies, highlights current state practices and their limitations, and makes recommendations for strengthening current practices to better support broader state policy priorities in rate setting. (author abstract)

What are the key findings from the 2016 State Preschool Yearbook?

The state of preschool 2016: State preschool yearbook
Barnett, W. Steven, 01/01/2017
New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research. Retrieved from http://nieer.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/YB2016_StateofPreschool2.pdf

This annual report examines access to, quality standards in, and resources devoted to state-funded preschool programs for 3- and 4-year-old children during the 2015-2016 school year. It is based on a survey of administrators of state-funded preschool programs. The report includes profiles for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and United States territories. Key findings include a continued increase in enrollment and an increase in state funding for preschool programs by more than $564 million. A new set of quality standards benchmarks is introduced in this yearbook, with six programs meeting all of the current and two programs meeting all of the new benchmarks.

To see a complete list of new research, please view Archived New Research.