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Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors parenting program: Summary report of program implementation and impacts
Moore, Kristin A., June, 2014
(Publication No. 2014-24). Bethesda, MD: Child Trends.

The Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors program works with Latino parents of young children to promote practices that foster children's learning and development, parent leadership, and advocacy. Abriendo Puertas is one of the largest programs in the United States working with Latino parents of pre-school aged children. Since it began in 2007, the program has served over 30,000 low-income parents/families in over 400 family-serving organizations and schools in 34 states around the country. Parents participating in the Abriendo Puertas program attend 10 educational and discussion sessions. Child Trends recently completed a rigorous evaluation of this program--the first random-assignment evaluation of a culturally-relevant parenting program serving Latino children in the United States. The findings reveal how, with relatively few resources, an evidenced-informed and well-managed effort can make a difference in key parenting behaviors associated with academic success. The findings of the Child Trends evaluation contribute to our knowledge base of best practices in the field, while paving the road for the Abriendo Puertas program to continue to improve its services and focus its efforts and resources in areas where they are most likely to be successful. The study found that the Abriendo Puertas program has a number of impacts, especially related to educational support in the home. It also highlights aspects of the program that may be more effective if modified, such as those that address more challenging behavioral changes including diet modification and increased parent advocacy with school and other authority figures. (author abstract)

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Abriendo Puertas: Opening doors to opportunity: A national evaluation of second-generation trainers
Bridges, Margaret, September, 2012
Berkeley: University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Human Development.

Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors (AP/OD) is a comprehensive, 10-session parenting skills and advocacy program developed by and for low-income Latino parents with children ages 0 to 5. Drawing from the real-life experiences of Latino parents and local data about their schools and communities, sessions are filled with interactive activities that aim to develop parents' self-understanding as powerful agents of change to improve the lives of their children. This unique curriculum builds on participants' cultural strengths to transform the achievement gap into an opportunity to improve and enrich the lives of their children and families. Since its inception in 2007, Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors has reached more than 22,000 families in 31 states and Puerto Rico. The program's unique, three-day Training-of-Trainers Institutes teach community educators, trainers, and leaders how to bring the 10-session AP/OD parenting program to their communities nationwide, and how to train others to do the same. Institute graduates conduct Institutes of their own, framing AP/OD's curriculum within local community realities, strengths and challenges, exponentially increasing the number of trainers across the country. To date, more than 40 training institutes have been conducted. Given AP/OD's recent national expansion, the evaluation outlined in this brief aims to provide evidence of the program's efficacy in addressing the needs of the large and growing Latino community when brought to scale. This brief presents findings from the evaluation of the programs conducted by second-generation trainers (those instructed via Training-of-Trainers Institutes), examining how--if at all--increases in parenting knowledge, skills, and confidence are associated with participation in the program. (author abstract)

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African American fathers' contributions to children's early academic achievement: Evidence from two-parent families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort
Baker, Claire E., January, 2014
Early Education and Development, 25(1), 19-35

This study utilized a large sample (N=750) of 2-parent families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort to examine the contributions of African American fathers' home literacy involvement, play activities, and caregiving at 24 months to children's reading and math achievement in preschool. After family characteristics and child characteristics were controlled for, both mother and father characteristics predicted child achievement. Mother age predicted math achievement but not reading. Furthermore, even after mother predictors were entered into the hierarchical regressions, fathers' education and home literacy involvement also significantly predicted achievement. African American fathers who engaged in more frequent shared book reading, telling stories, singing songs, and provided more children's books in their homes at 24 months had children with better reading and math scores in preschool. Practice or Policy: These findings support growing evidence that fathers contribute to child development. Implications for research on early academic achievement in ethnically diverse samples are discussed. (author abstract)

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Are we experts?: Perspectives of Korean teachers on their careers in infant and toddler care
Park, Soyeon, March, 2014
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 39(1), 56-64

The present study investigates how Korean infant/toddler teachers define their role in centre-based childcare settings and how their attitudes and perspectives influence their professional identities and relationships with parents. The study utilised the interpretive science paradigm and individual interviews for data collection, and the qualitative data analysis method explored the experiences of 19 infant/ toddler teachers. Participants defined their role as 'teacher as mother' and placed more emphasis on nurturing than educating despite their acknowledgement of the importance of the educational aspects of centre-based care. The consensus among infant/toddler teachers that it is best for mothers to care for children at home derives from 1) teachers' consideration of infants/toddlers' developmental characteristics, and 2) the limitations of centre-based programs to fulfill the developmental needs of infants and toddlers. This perspective affects their sense of professionalism and job satisfaction and can lower the quality of overall infant and toddler care. (author abstract)

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Assessing child care providers' knowledge and attitudes regarding support of breastfeeding in a region with low breastfeeding prevalence
Lucas, Ashley, November, 2013
Journal of Human Lactation, 29(4), 556-563

Working mothers who place their infants into out-of-home child care face many challenges to sustaining breastfeeding. Child care providers, who are in frequent close contact with young families, may be potential resources for promoting breastfeeding. Objectives: This study focused on identifying child care providers' attitudes toward and knowledge about breastfeeding as well as providers' perceptions about strategies to increase breastfeeding rates among mothers of infants in child care centers. Methods: Seventy-five providers from 11 child care centers in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, area were surveyed using paper and pencil questionnaires. Self-reported demographics, attitudes, knowledge, and perceptions about breastfeeding were collected. Results: Responses demonstrated a generally positive attitude toward breastfeeding among child care providers but a knowledge deficit in terms of the health impacts and proper handling of breast milk. A minority of providers reported that their center's staff currently receives breastfeeding education, but most providers believed that measures to promote the use of breast milk in their center should target parents rather than the center staff. Conclusion: Child care providers need resources about the benefits of human milk, proper handling of expressed milk, and ways to make centers more breastfeeding friendly. Many providers feel ineffective in supporting breastfeeding and are unaware of the role they may play in mothers' infant feeding decisions. Though child care providers do not appear to believe they can influence parents' decisions about breastfeeding, educating and empowering them could play an important role in increasing breastfeeding rates. (author abstract)

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Association of child care providers breastfeeding support with breastfeeding duration at 6 months
Batan, Marilyn, May, 2013
Maternal and Child Health Journal, 17(4), 708-713

Many lactating mothers participate in the workforce and have their infants cared for outside of their home, yet little is known about their child care providers' (CCPs') support of breastfeeding. This study examines the association between CCPs' breastfeeding support as reported by mothers at 3 months and mother's breastfeeding at 6 months. Infant Feeding Practices Study II, a longitudinal study, followed mothers of infants via mail questionnaires almost monthly from late pregnancy throughout the first year. This study consisted of 183 mothers who breastfed and had their infant in child care at 3 months and answered 5 questions regarding CCPs' supports. Total number of CCPs' support was a summary of responses to individual items and categorized into 3 levels (0-2, 3-4, or 5 total supports). Multiple logistic regressions examined how each breastfeeding support and total number were associated with breastfeeding at 6 months. Breastfeeding at 6 months was significantly associated with CCP support to feed expressed breast milk (AOR = 4.55; 95 % CI= 1.09, 18.95) and allow mothers to breastfeed at the child care place before or after work (AOR = 6.23; 95 % CI = 1.33, 29.16). Compared to mothers who reported fewer than 3 total supports, mothers who reported 5 supports were 3 times as likely to be breastfeeding at 6 months (AOR = 3.00, 95 % CI = 1.11, 8.13). Our findings suggest that CCPs' breastfeeding support at 3 months, particularly feeding expressed breast milk and allowing mothers to breastfeed before or after work, may help mothers maintain breastfeeding at 6 months. (author abstract)

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Building blocks for school success: Findings from a 5-year longitudinal study
Harder + Company Community Research, February, 2013
Stockton, CA: First 5 San Joaquin.

A five-year longitudinal study of the parental involvement, school readiness skills, and elementary school outcomes of children participating in publicly-funded school readiness and preschool programs in San Joaquin County, California, based on child assessments, parent and teacher surveys, and administrative data for two cohorts of children

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Building blocks for school success: Findings from a 5-year longitudinal study: Executive summary
Harder + Company Community Research, February, 2013
Stockton, CA: First 5 San Joaquin.

A summary of a five-year longitudinal study of the parental involvement, school readiness skills, and elementary school outcomes of children participating in publicly-funded school readiness and preschool programs in San Joaquin County, California, based on child assessments, parent and teacher surveys, and administrative data for two cohorts of children

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Building capacity for parent involvement through school-based preschool services
Patel, Sejal, July, 2013
Early Child Development and Care, 183(7), 981-1004

This study investigated whether experience with school-based preschool services would build parents' capacity for school involvement. The research design compared parent involvement in kindergarten across school sites differing in the availability of preschool services, including sites with (1) multiple, integrated school-based preschool services, including seamless child care, family support programmes, and kindergarten (MS); (2) a single preschool family support programme; and (3) no preschool services. Parent surveys were employed with 206 parents of four-year-old and five-year-old children to investigate whether the site types differed in terms of several dimensions of parents' involvement: (1) feelings of efficacy in helping their children succeed in learning, (2) perceptions of their responsibilities in communicating with the teacher, and (3) perceptions of whether their children's school works with them. Parents in the MS sites reported feeling more efficacious, more welcomed by, and more responsibility to link with the school. (author abstract)

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Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care project: Promote family engagement
Johnson-Staub, Christine, November, 2013
Washington, DC: Center for Law and Social Policy.

An overview of research on the role of family engagement with child care providers in supporting the development of infants and toddlers

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Children are ready to learn, but are we?: The role of adult relations in school readiness
Abo-Zena, Mona M., September, 2012
Zero to Three, 33(1), 28-36

Contrary to the concept of school readiness as achieving a particular set of attributes considered essential for educational success, this article is grounded in the assumption that all children are ready to learn, but what they are expected to learn varies widely from one cultural setting and historic period to another. The authors challenge the notion of readiness as a finite characterization of children's learning potentials. Alternately, they conceptualize readiness as a reflection of the quality of the relationships between families and early childhood professionals. The authors discuss the various concepts of optimal child development and effective parenting; the pragmatic and social justice imperative of information exchange between families and early childhood professionals; and the potential of constructing communities of adult learners within contexts of early childhood services in lieu of traditionally separate parent education and professional development experiences. (author abstract)

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Child Trends' evaluation of the Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors program: Executive summary and discussion brief
Moore, Kristin A., June, 2014
(Publication No. 2014-26). Bethesda, MD: Child Trends.

The Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors program works with Latino parents of young children to promote practices that foster children's learning and development, parent leadership, and advocacy. Abriendo Puertas is one of the largest programs in the United States working with Latino parents of pre-school aged children. Since it began in 2007, the program has served over 30,000 low-income parents/families in over 400 family-serving organizations and schools in 34 states around the country. Parents participating in the Abriendo Puertas program attend 10 educational and discussion sessions. Child Trends recently completed a rigorous evaluation of this program--the first random-assignment evaluation of a culturally-relevant parenting program serving Latino children in the United States. The findings reveal how, with relatively few resources, an evidenced-informed and well-managed effort can make a difference in key parenting behaviors associated with academic success. The findings of the Child Trends evaluation contribute to our knowledge base of best practices in the field, while paving the road for the Abriendo Puertas program to continue to improve its services and focus its efforts and resources in areas where they are most likely to be successful. The study found that the Abriendo Puertas program has a number of impacts, especially related to educational support in the home. It also highlights aspects of the program that may be more effective if modified, such as those that address more challenging behavioral changes including diet modification and increased parent advocacy with school and other authority figures. This brief provides an overview of the evaluation study and draws on focus group data to provide context for the findings in the discussion sections. (author abstract)

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The contribution of school-family cooperation on effective classroom management in early childhood education
Savas, Ahmet Cezmi , Fall 2012
Kuram ve Uygulamada Edytym Bylymlery, 12(4), 3099-3110

This study aims to determine the level of the contribution of school-family cooperation on effective classroom management in early childhood education, and what should be desired contribution according to views of parents and teachers. The data was collected qualitatively through semi-structured interview forms in downtown Gaziantep during the during the spring semester of 2011/2012 academic year. The participants of this study are; 28 preschool teachers, and 23 parents of the students of the selected 5 schools with convenience sampling method. Descriptive analysis and content analyses were performed for analyzing the interview results. As the findings of this study showed; most of the teachers think that the parents give them support in all the questioned dimensions except when coping with students' misbehaviors. However, some of the teachers and parents think that there are still problematic areas in the school-family cooperation and various improvements should be made for developing this cooperation. (author abstract)

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Creating potential for common ground and communication between early childhood program staff and parents about young children's eating
Johnson, Susan L., November-December 2013
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 45(6), 558-570

Objectives: To explore child care staff and parent perspectives and communications about children's eating in child care. Design: Focus groups (FGs) conducted with child care staff and parents. Setting: Four Western states in the United States. Participants: Thirty-nine child care staff in 7 FGs and 25 parents in 6 FGs. Phenomenon of Interest: Thoughts and concerns about children's eating and opportunities to improve communication between staff and parents. Analysis: Content analysis (FG coding inter-rater reliability: staff = 0.74; parents = 0.81) and identification of meta-themes. Results: Three meta-themes were identified: (1) recognition of positive influences of the child care setting in children's development of healthy eating; (2) concerns about children's eating in child care and at home; and (3) strategies to improve communications and transactions related to children's eating. (author abstract)

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Defining family engagement among Latino Head Start parents: A mixed-methods measurement development study
McWayne, Christine M., Q3 2013
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28(3), 593-607

Given the increasing numbers of Latino children and, specifically, of dual-language learning Latino children, entering the U.S. educational system, culturally contextualized models are needed to understand how parents construct their involvement roles and support their children's educational experiences. Current measures of parenting and family engagement have been developed primarily with European American families and, thus, might not capture engagement behaviors unique to other ethnic groups. Lacking culture-appropriate measurement limits our ability to construct programs that adequately incorporate protective factors to promote children's successful development. The present mixed-methods investigation employed an emic approach to understand family engagement conceptualizations for a pan-Latino population. One hundred thirteen parents from 14 Head Start programs in a large, northeastern city participated in the first study, in which domains of family engagement were identified and specific items were co-constructed to capture family engagement behaviors. Then, 650 caregivers participated in a second study examining the construct validity of the resulting 65-item measure across two language versions: Parental Engagement of Families from Latino Backgrounds (PEFL-English) and Participacion Educativa de Familias Latinas (PEFL-Spanish). Four theoretically meaningful dimensions of family engagement among Latino Head Start families were identified empirically. The measure was then validated with teacher report of family involvement and parent report of satisfaction with their experiences in Head Start. (author abstract)

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Developing early years professionalism: Evaluation of the Early Learning Initiative's professional development programme in community childcare centres in the Dublin Docklands
Share, Michelle, January, 2011
Dublin, Ireland: National College of Ireland.

An implementation evaluation of a professional development program for child care center staff in Dublin, Ireland, to support parental involvement in their children's learning, based on data collected through participatory action research with multiple stakeholders

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Documenting the transition experiences of children, families and staff through the relocation and integration of two Australian early childhood services
McFarland-Piazza, Laura, December, 2013
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(4), 72-80

This exploratory study examines the transition experiences of children, families, and staff at two early childhood services in regional Australia, as they merge into an integrated early childhood service. A qualitative methodology was used and data were collected from open-ended surveys distributed to early childhood staff (5) and families (13) three months after the transition. Families indicated that early preparation, via social stories and orientation activities, helped facilitate smooth transitions for their children and themselves. Early childhood staff indicated challenges with a new location and a lack of infrastructure to support integration. Directors expressed positive attitudes about the integration process, but indicated that the lack of leadership and policy to guide the integration process was an impediment. Results point to the need for stronger support of early childhood staff during transition, and the importance of strong leadership, infrastructure and policy to facilitate integration of early childhood services. (author abstract)

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Do the effects of Head Start vary by parental preacademic stimulation?
Miller, Elizabeth B., July, 2014
Child Development, 85(4), 1385-1400

Data from the Head Start Impact Study (N = 3,185, age = 3-4 years) were used to determine whether 1 year of Head Start differentially benefited children from homes with high, middle, and low levels of parental preacademic stimulation on three academic outcome domains-early math, early literacy, and receptive vocabulary. Results from residualized growth models showed positive impacts of random assignment to Head Start on all three outcomes, and positive associations between parental preacademic stimulation and academic performance. Two moderated effects were also found. Head start boosted early math skills the most for children receiving low parental preacademic stimulation. Effects of Head Start on early literacy skills were largest for children receiving moderate levels of parental preacademic stimulation. Implications for Head Start are discussed. (author abstract)

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Early childhood program participation, from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012: First look
Mamedova, Saida, August, 2013
(NCES 2013-029). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

A study of early care and education arrangements of children from birth through age 5, families' child care expenses, and parents' involvement in children's early learning, based on data from the nationally representative National Household Education Survey 2012

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The effectiveness of family involvement in early childhood programmes: Perceptions of kindergarten principals and teachers
Ihmeideh, Fathi, 2014
Early Child Development and Care, (), 1-17

Family involvement can no longer be considered a luxury but is rather a main component of early childhood programmes. The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of family involvement in early childhood programmes in Jordan. In total, 84 kindergarten principals and 276 teachers participated in the study. To achieve the study objectives, the researchers designed a self-report questionnaire consisting of 28 items that addressed five domains: planning, implementation, evaluation, children's extracurricular activities, and communication with kindergarten. The results indicate that although principals and teachers perceived family involvement in children's extracurricular activities and communication with kindergarten domains as effective, they found family involvement in planning, implementation, and evaluation domains ineffective. The results also revealed significant differences between principals and teachers regarding the effectiveness of family involvement. Moreover, significant differences were found in principals' and teachers' perceptions due to region, type of kindergarten, training programmes, and area of certification. On the basis of this study, suggestions for improving the practice of family involvement in Jordanian kindergartens and for further research were discussed. (author abstract)

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Embedding mathematical dialogue in parent-child shared book reading: A preliminary investigation
Hojnoski, Robin L., May, 2014
Early Education and Development, 25(4), 469-492

Shared book reading provides a meaningful context for rich conversations to occur between a child and an adult and offers opportunities for children to be exposed to a range of vocabulary and concepts that often extend beyond their everyday experiences. Few studies have examined parent-child shared book reading as a context for embedding mathematical discussion. The purpose of this study was to examine systematically the effect of training parents to focus on mathematical concepts and vocabulary during shared book reading. Specific research questions were as follows: (a) Did parents increase their use of math talk during shared storybook reading following training? (b) Did parents generalize intervention strategies? And (c) did children increase their use of math talk during shared storybook reading? Results from a yoked multiple-baseline design with 6 dyads indicated variability across the dyads with 2 general patterns. Math talk increased following training for 3 of the dyads, whereas verbal mathematical behavior did not show consistent change for the other 3 dyads. (author abstract)

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Encouraging positive parenting in early childhood: Lessons from a community change initiative
Walker, Karen E., May, 2013
Bethesda, MD: Child Trends.

An evaluation of Children's Futures, an early childhood initiative to improve the health, well-being, and school readiness of infants and toddlers in Trenton, New Jersey, that examines efforts to improve parenting practices through parent-child development centers, based on administrative data, surveys of parents, and interviews with and observations of center staff

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Evaluation of Illinois Action for Children's Community Connections Caregiver Clusters program: Executive summary
Bromer, Juliet, September, 2013
Chicago: Herr Research Center.

This report details findings from an evaluation of the Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) Community Connections Caregiver Clusters (CCCC) program pilot that was conducted at two public elementary schools with Head Start classrooms in Chicago's North Lawndale community during the 2012-2013 school year. The purpose of the CCCC program was to enhance social networks and access to community resources and to increase involvement in early childhood programming among low-income parents and caregivers of young children. The focus on social capital building and school and community engagement among parents and caregivers was a strategy for improving school readiness outcomes for children given the strong evidence base for the positive relationship between parental well-being, parental involvement, and positive child outcomes. (author abstract)

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Evaluation of Illinois Action for Children's Community Connections Caregiver Clusters program: Final report
Bromer, Juliet, September, 2013
Chicago: Herr Research Center.

This report details findings from an evaluation of the Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) Community Connections Caregiver Clusters (CCCC) program pilot that was conducted at two public elementary schools with Head Start classrooms in Chicago's North Lawndale community during the 2012-2013 school year. The purpose of the CCCC program was to enhance social networks and access to community resources and to increase involvement in early childhood programming among low-income parents and caregivers of young children. The focus on social capital building and school and community engagement among parents and caregivers was a strategy for improving school readiness outcomes for children given the strong evidence base for the positive relationship between parental well-being, parental involvement, and positive child outcomes. (author abstract)

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Examining preschool teachers' attitudes, comfort, action orientation and preparation to work with children reared by gay and lesbian parents
Hedge, Archana, July, 2014
Early Child Development and Care, 184(7), 963-976

The present study assessed preschool teachers' attitudes towards homosexuality, their comfort levels in working with same sex parents and their children, their action orientation and preparedness to work on this topic. Twenty teachers from public schools and 20 from private child care settings in North Carolina, USA, participated in the study. Two standardised surveys were used to gather data. Overall, teachers seemed to hold a positive attitude towards homosexuality. However, European American teachers were more positive in their attitudes than their African American counterparts. Further, most teachers' comfort in working with gay and lesbian parents and their disposition towards being action oriented were only significant at the attitudinal level. Teachers' comfort and action orientation were not significantly correlated with each other. Additionally, older teachers (in terms of age and years of experience) attributed college preparation to be an important factor in their preparation of this topic. Teachers did not differ significantly on any of the measures related to their work settings. Discussed are the various factors that might have contributed to these findings. The implications of these findings for the field of early childhood education and suggestions for future research are also highlighted. (author abstract)

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Research Connections is supported by grant #90YE0104 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the National Center for Children in Poverty and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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