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1.

Age group, location or pedagogue: Factors affecting parental choice of kindergartens in Hungary
Teszenyi, Eleonora, 2015
Early Child Development and Care, , 1-17

Hungary has experienced significant political, economic, demographic and social changes since the end of Soviet domination in the 1990s. The gradual move towards liberal democracy has been accompanied by growing emphasis on individualism, choice and diversity. Universal kindergarten provision for five to six-year-olds is a long established feature of the Hungarian education system, but little is known about parental choice [Torok, B. (2004). A gyermekuketovodaztatoszulokkorebenvegzettorszagosfelmereseredmenyei [The result of the national survey among parents whose children attend kindergartens]. Orszagosovodai project. Szulovizsgalatialproject. Budapest: FelsooktatasiKutato]. A case study (Yin, 2009) of factors influencing parental choice and satisfaction was undertaken in one Hungarian town. This was based on a survey of 251 parents of children attending both mixed-age and same-age groups across 12 kindergartens. Parents suggested that the most important influences were geographical location and the individual pedagogue(s). Given that traditionally each pedagogue follows 'their' cohort from kindergarten entry to primary school, their influence appears heightened. Although generally satisfied with their chosen arrangement, parents from same-age groups expressed significantly more confidence and satisfaction, particularly in relation to cognitive development and preparation for school. Parents appear less convinced about the trend towards mixed-age groups and questions are raised about sufficiency of evidence of their benefits in a Hungarian context and the driving factors behind change. (author abstract)

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2.

Child Care Development Block Grant Act of 2014: Highlighting the new opportunities for family engagement
McCready, Michelle, 30 July, 2015
Arlington, VA: Child Care Aware of America

This webinar explores family and community engagement opportunities under the Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014. A representative from the National Black Child Development Institute discusses their Parent Empowerment Program, a curriculum that provides parents with support, knowledge, and skills in the areas of child development, parenting practices, and healthy relationship building. The Head Start/Early Head Start parent, family, and community engagement framework is examined. Barriers to effective family engagement are discussed, as well as strategies for program promotion. Additional resources/tools for parents and providers, including Vroom and the Talk, Read, Sing program, are exhibited.

Multimedia

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3.

Child Care Development Block Grant Act of 2014: Highlighting the new opportunities for family engagement [PowerPoint]
McCready, Michelle, 30 July, 2015
Arlington, VA: Child Care Aware of America

This PowerPoint presentation accompanies a webinar that explores family and community engagement opportunities under the reauthorized Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014. A representative from the National Black Child Development Institute discusses their Parent Empowerment Program, a curriculum that provides parents with support, knowledge, and skills in the areas of child development, parenting practices, and healthy relationship building. The Head Start/Early Head Start parent, family, and community engagement framework is examined. Barriers to effective family engagement are discussed, as well as strategies for program promotion. Additional resources/tools for parents and providers, including Vroom and the Talk, Read, Sing program, are exhibited.

Other

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4.

Child Care Factors that Influence Parental Engagement: Understanding Longitudinal Pathways to Children's School Readiness
Barnett, Melissa A., 2015
University of Arizona

Early Care and Education (ECE) settings play an important role in child development for many children of preschool age. The powerful positive impacts of ECE programs on young children's development may be strengthened when programs work with parents. Parent engagement in early learning activities has been positively linked to children's school readiness and social-emotional well-being (Hindman & Morrison, 2011; Powell et al., 2010). The specific mechanisms by which ECE programs influence parent engagement, however, and how this engagement improves children's development, remain unclear. The goal of this project is to examine how ECE program factors are linked to parent engagement in child care, and in turn how this engagement leads to school readiness and child well-being being among children enrolled in center-based care in preschool.

Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects

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5.

A cocaring framework for infants and toddlers: Applying a model of coparenting to parent-teacher relationships
Lang, Sarah N., Q1 2016
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 34(1), 40-52

Connections between home and childcare are vital for coordinating high quality care and education, especially for very young children. However, we know little about the key dimensions of parent-teacher, or cocaring relationships, in early childhood education, especially in subsidized care settings. Through individual, semi-structured qualitative interviews, this study examined 10 parent-teacher relationships where parents were receiving subsidized, center-based childcare for their infant or toddler. Using iterative, inductive analysis and deductive analysis based on Feinberg's (2003) definitions of key coparenting dimensions--a critical guiding theoretical framework for also understanding parent-teacher coordination and interaction--three main themes emerged: the importance of good, open communication between parents and educators, challenges when undermining versus support was used in their interactions, and tensions when parents and educators disagreed versus agreed on practices such as feeding or toilet training. This study found evidence for positive cocaring interactions, especially positive communication that related with effective care coordination. The cocaring conceptualization offers a practical frame-work to support strong parent-teacher relationships and a theoretical tool to facilitate future research on parent-teacher relationships in early childhood education. (author abstract)

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6.

Communicating with Head Start parents about their child's weight status
Hoffman, Jessica A., 2015
NHSA Dialog, 18(2), 31-42

Head Start provides children with healthy, nutritious meals, physical activity opportunities, and health screenings, all of which are critical components of combatting early childhood obesity. Communicating health screening information about a child's weight status to parents is one way to engage families in childhood obesity prevention efforts. The purpose of this article is to describe a multi-phase, iterative, and collaborative process that was used to develop and evaluate strategies for communicating with Head Start parents about their child's Body Mass Index. This article aims to inform other Head Start programs about acceptable, effective approaches that can be used to deliver height and weight screening results to families. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

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7.

Costs of and satisfaction with child care arrangements for parents of children with emotional or behavioral disorders
Barnard-Brak, Lucy, December, 2015
Journal of Family Issues, 36(14), 1887-1903

Child care arrangements, costs, and satisfaction among parents of children with emotional or behavioral disorders were examined as compared with parents of children with other disabilities. The current study used a large, nationally representative, and community-based sample of approximately 3,000 parents of children with disabilities aged 3 to 5 years. Results indicate that parents of children with emotional or behavioral disorders did not appear to have significantly different types of child care arrangements or levels of satisfaction with these arrangements as compared with parents of children with other disabilities. Parents of children with emotional or behavioral disorders did appear to spend significantly more on child care as compared with parents of children with other disabilities. Parents of children with emotional and behavioral disorders spent $570 a year as compared with children with other disabilities. The overarching implication for policy would appear to be that special child care subsidies or more publicly fund child care services for parents of children with emotional or behavioral disorders should be provided. (author abstract)

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8.

Decreasing the SES math achievement gap: Initial math proficiency and home learning environments
Galindo, Claudia, October, 2015
Contemporary Educational Psychology, 43, 25-38

Many children in the U.S., particularly those from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds, do not develop sufficient math skills to be competitive in today's technological world. We utilized a mediation/moderation framework and the ECLS-K dataset to investigate factors that can decrease the SES-related math achievement gap in kindergarten. Starting kindergarten proficient in math and experiencing a supportive home learning environment significantly decreased SES achievement differences. Proficiency in math at the start of kindergarten accounted for the greatest decrease in the SES-math achievement gap. Findings support the importance of comprehensive and multi-contextual approaches targeted to families and schools for improving children's exposure to math-relevant experiences. (author abstract)

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9.

The development and initial assessment of Reach Out and Read Plus Mathematics for use in primary care paediatrics
Jones, V. Faye, April, 2015
Early Child Development and Care, 185(5), 694-708

Objective: Children from low-income families are often not well-prepared for kindergarten entry, especially in mathematical skills. Caregivers may lack the knowledge and confidence to teach early mathematical skills. The purpose of this study was to develop a parent-child activities-based mathematics learning programme and test its acceptability and initial efficacy. Method: The evidence-based Reach Out and Read (ROR) programme was adapted to incorporate mathematics content. ROR plus Mathematics (ROR+M) was developed and introduced during well-child visits. Descriptive and repeated-measures analysis of variance analyses were used to evaluate pre- and three weekly post-intervention assessments. Results: Parents self-reported acceptability and initial efficacy of the ROR+M programme was demonstrated. No change was reported in non-mathematical reading behaviour. Discussion: ROR+M was developed and implemented in a primary care paediatric setting serving primarily low-income families. Acceptability and initial efficacy was demonstrated. Randomised clinical trials are needed before widespread implementation. (author abstract)

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10.

A dyadic analysis of Head Start parents' depressive symptoms and parent involvement: Sense of mastery as a mediator
Meng, Christine, 2016
Early Child Development and Care, , 1-14

This study used the actor-partner interdependence mediation model to examine the association among parents' depressive symptoms, sense of mastery, and parent involvement. To address the research goal, this study conducted secondary analysis using the cross-sectional data collected from the 2000 cohort of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey. Both mothers and fathers with children enrolled in Head Start programmes completed the phone interviews and questionnaires. Results showed that sense of mastery significantly mediated the association between parents' depressive symptoms and Head Start involvement for both parents. Specifically, mothers' increased depressive symptoms were related to lower sense of mastery, which in turn was related to fathers' increased involvement at Head Start. Implications of this study and future research are discussed. (author abstract)

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11.

Early childhood administrators' attitudes and experiences in working with gay- and lesbian-parented families
Church, Julie, 2016
Early Child Development and Care, , 1-17

This study examined the attitudes, preparation, and comfort of early childhood administrators in working with gay and lesbian (GL) parented families and the use of GL inclusive practices within centers. Data were gathered from 203 participants in the state of North Carolina using an online survey. Overall, administrators held a positive attitude towards GLs. Specifically, administrators with higher levels of education held a more positive attitude towards lesbians than gay men. Attitudes also correlated highly with administrator's comfort in working with GL parented families and use of inclusive practices within their center; however, it did not correlate with preparation or training in the field. Participants who identified themselves as very religious had lower scores on all measures used within the study, compared to administrators who were somewhat religious or not religious. Finally, most of the inclusive strategies implemented within centers were perfunctory, which required minimal change and effort by administrators. (author abstract)

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12.

Early full-time day care, mother-child attachment, and quality of the home environment in Chile: Preliminary findings
Carcamo, Rodrigo A., May, 2016
Early Education and Development, 27(4), 457-477

Two longitudinal studies are reported examining the effects of full-time day care in Mapuche and non-Mapuche families in Chile. First, the Magellan-Leiden Childcare Study (MLCS) used a sample of 95 mothers with children younger than 1 year old (n = 36 in day care). Second, we partially cross-validated our results in a large and representative sample of 10,723 mothers and their children from the Chilean Encuesta Longitudinal de la Primera Infancia (Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey). In both studies, the quality of care for children provided at home was measured with the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment. In the MLCS study, additional indicators of the mother-child relationship were measured. Day care was not negatively associated with the mother-child relationship and maternal sensitivity, compared to maternal care, or with the quality of the home environment. Positive changes in attachment security were found in Mapuche children who attended day care centers. Practice or Policy: We were able to confirm that type of care was not differentially associated with quality of the home environment. (author abstract)

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13.

E-book and printed book reading in different contexts as emergent literacy facilitator
Korat, Ofra, May, 2016
Early Education and Development, 27(4), 532-550

We present 3 studies that focused on preschoolers' electronic book (e-book) reading in different contexts aimed at supporting children's early literacy. In Study 1 we researched the impact of children's age and number of independent readings on phonological awareness and word reading. We found that all age groups benefited from e-book reading, and 5 readings benefited most skills better than 3. In Study 2 we investigated (a) parents' behavior during joint e-book reading with their children compared to joint printed book reading and (b) parental mediation in joint reading of a considerate e-book compared to joint reading of an inconsiderate e-book. The joint printed book reading yielded more expanding talk than the joint e-book reading, and reading the considerate e-book yielded higher expanding talk than reading the inconsiderate e-book. In Study 3 we compared adult support in joint e-book reading to joint printed book reading and compared both readings to children's independent e-book reading. Reading the e-book with adult support assisted children in progressing in phonological awareness and word reading compared to other group reading. Practice or Policy: Well-designed e-books may serve as good tools to support children's early literacy, and when parents or educators read them with children, children's progress is enhanced. We recommend that these findings be taken into account by e-book designers, policymakers, teachers, and parents. (author abstract)

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14.

Effectiveness of the Lunch is in the Bag program on communication between the parent, child and child-care provider around fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods: A group-randomized controlled trial
Sharma, Shreela, December, 2015
Preventive Medicine, 81, 1-8

Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of the parent- and early care education (ECE) center-based Lunch is in the Bag program on communication between parent, child, and their ECE center providers around fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods (FVWG). Method. A total of n = 30 ECE center; 577 parent-child dyads participated in this group-randomized controlled trial conducted from 2011 to 2013 in Texas (n = 15 ECE center, 327 dyads intervention group; n=15 ECE center, 250 dyads comparison group). Parent-child and parent-ECE center provider communication was measured using a parent-reported survey administered at baseline and end of the five-week intervention period. Multilevel linear regression analysis was used to compare the pre-to-post intervention changes in the parent-child and parent-ECE center provider communication scales. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Results. At baseline, parent-child and parent-ECE center provider communication scores were low. There was a significant increase post-intervention in the parent-ECE center provider communication around vegetables (Adjusted [beta] = 0.78, 95%CI: 0.13, 1.43, p = 0.002), and around fruit (Adjusted [beta] = 0.62, 95%CI: 0.04, 0.20, p = 0.04) among the parents in the intervention group as compared to those in the comparison group. There were no significant intervention effects on parent-child communication. Conclusion. Lunch is in the Bag had significant positive effects on improving communication between the parents and ECE center providers around FVWG. (author abstract)

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15.

Efficacy of the Lunch is in the Bag intervention to increase parents' packing of healthy bag lunches for young children: A cluster-randomized trial in early care and education centers
Roberts-Gray, Cindy, 08 January, 2016
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 13, 1-19

Background: Lunches that parents pack for their young children to eat at school or the Early Care and Education (ECE) center fall short of recommended standards. Lunch is in the Bag is a multi-level behavioral nutrition intervention to increase parents' packing of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains in their children's lunches. Designed for implementation in ECE centers, the five-week long intervention is followed three months later with a one-week booster. Methods: Efficacy of Lunch is in the Bag was tested in cluster randomized trial. Participants were 633 families from 30 ECE centers (15 intervention, 15 control) across Austin, San Antonio, and Houston, Texas, USA. Primary outcomes were servings of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains observed in the children's parent-packed bag lunches. Servings of refined grains, meats/beans/eggs/nuts, dairy, chips, and sweets also were observed. Data were collected at baseline, post-intervention (6-week follow-up), pre-booster (22-weeks follow-up), and post-booster (28-week follow-up). Time-by-treatment interactions were analyzed separately for each of the food groups using multi-level models to compare changes from baseline. Analyses were adjusted for relevant demographic variables and clustering within centers and parents. Results: The intervention effected increases from baseline to 6-week follow-up in vegetables (0.17 servings, SE = 0.04, P < 0.001) and whole grains (0.30 servings, SE = 0.13, P = 0.018). The increase in whole grains was maintained through the 28-week follow-up (0.34 servings, SE = 0.13, P = 0.009). Fruit averaged more than 1.40 servings with no differences between groups or across time. The intervention prevented increase in sweets (-0.43 servings, SE = 0.11, P < .001, at the 22-week follow-up). Parents persisted, however, in packing small amounts of vegetables (averages of 0.41 to 0.52 servings) and large amounts of sweets and chips (averages of 1.75 to 1.99 servings). Conclusions: The need for and positive effects of the Lunch is in the Bag intervention at ECE centers where parents send bag lunch for their preschool-aged children was confirmed. An important direction for future research is discovery of more options for leveraging the partnership of ECE centers and families to help young children learn to eat and enjoy vegetables and other healthy foods in preference to less healthy choices such as chips and sweets. (author abstract)

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16.

Empowering young children in poverty by improving their home literacy environments
Evans, Walter, April-June 2016
Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 30(2), 211-225

An innovative DVD of classic nursery rhymes and stories empowered at-risk kindergarten children to control in the home when and how much they listen, promoting better listening, reading, and overall literacy comprehension skills. Coupled with modest teacher training, and limited use in the classroom, the DVD generated dramatic vocabulary growth in nine months and remarkably higher reading scores three years later. Funded by a Georgia Improving Teacher Quality grant, the study was conducted in 33 kindergarten classrooms in 31 Title I schools, each of which normally produced significantly below average test scores in reading. The study documents 459 kindergarten students' mean improvement from the 27th to the 47th percentile on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III). The 303 students who remained in the system as 3rd graders and took Georgia's statewide Criterion Referenced Competency Test in reading failed to meet standards less than half as often (7.6% vs. 16.13%) as their system peers, and scored in the highest range 35% more often (39.6% vs. 27.02%). Forty thousand DVDs have since been distributed and the DVD's ten hours of audio, text, and pictures are now freely available online at hearatale.org. (author abstract)

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17.

Engaging Early Head Start parents in a collaborative inquiry: The co-construction of Little Talks
Manz, Patricia Holliday, 2016
Early Child Development and Care, , 1-24

The purpose of this study was to develop a book sharing intervention to support the language development of infants and toddlers from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Low-income parents were engaged in a collaborative inquiry to develop 'Little Talks'. Parents were assigned to three small groups that independently participated in intervention iterations. Iterations were sequenced so that qualitative data collected during the preceding iteration were analysed to inform modifications to refine the subsequent intervention. Book sharing interventions were administered through eight home visits by members of the research team. Starting with Dialogic Reading, qualitative data highlighted needs to produce an intervention that met a range of parental preferences and that was flexible in meeting parents' readiness to acquire new strategies. Little Talks emerged as an intervention that fostered multiple approaches to book sharing by forming and delivering book sharing strategies according to parents' preferences and needs. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

18.

Engaging families in the assessment process and use of data: An early childhood example
Keizer, Janice, 12 August, 2014
Washington, DC: Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands

This webinar provides an overview of the Research Program Partnership at the University of Kansas and its work at Educare of Kansas City. Presenters share strategies for using child data as a tool to inform daily practice, to promote family engagement, and to plan within programs and agencies.

Multimedia

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19.

Engaging families in the assessment process and use of data: An early childhood example [PowerPoint]
Keizer, Janice, 12 August, 2014
Washington, DC: Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands

This PowerPoint presentation accompanies a webinar that provides an overview of the Research Program Partnership at the University of Kansas and its work at Educare of Kansas City. Presenters share strategies for using child data as a tool to inform daily practice, to promote family engagement, and to plan within programs and agencies.

Other

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20.

Engaging Head Start families in childhood obesity prevention: School-home communication about children's height and weight screenings
Hoffman, Jessica A., 2015
NHSA Dialog, 18(2), 92-97

Head Start provides children with healthy, nutritious meals, physical activity opportunities, and health screenings, all of which are important components of combatting early childhood obesity. Communicating health screening information about a child's weight status to parents is one way to engage families in childhood obesity prevention efforts. This article describes a process that was used to develop and evaluate strategies for communicating with Head Start parents about their child's Body Mass Index. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

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21.

Engaging parents in early childhood education: Perspectives of childcare providers
Barnes, Jenna K., June, 2016
Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 44(4), 360-374

Successful engagement of parents in early childhood education has significant implications for a growing child's well-being and success. This qualitative study analyzes the perspectives of 14 North Carolina childcare providers on how providers communicate with parents, how communication is received by parents, and barriers to successful parent engagement. Results indicated that childcare providers used diverse, parent-centered, and technology-based communication strategies to connect with families. While successful communication was common, so were barriers to reaching many families. These barriers suggest the need for programs, training, and resources to help both parents and providers connect. (author abstract)

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22.

Engaging providers and clients: Using behavioral economics to increase on-time child care subsidy renewals
Mayer, Alexander K., November, 2015
(OPRE Report 2015 73). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This report presents findings from a study designed in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) to increase the number of clients who renew their child care subsidy by their renewal deadline. The BIAS team and DHS designed three interventions to try to increase on-time renewals: one for DHS child care subsidy clients, one for child care providers who serve DHS clients, and one that combines the client and provider interventions. (author abstract)

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23.

Engaging providers and clients: Using behavioral economics to increase on-time child care subsidy renewals
Mayer, Alexander K., November, 2015
(OPRE Report 2015 73). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This report presents findings from a study designed in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) to increase the number of clients who renew their child care subsidy on time. Only about one-third of an estimated 39,000 child care subsidy cases that are eligible for renewal each year in Oklahoma are renewed by the state's deadline. If a client fails to renew on time, DHS ceases payments to providers on behalf of the client. Providers can then require their clients to pay the amount of the subsidy in addition to any copayments. If clients do not pay the full cost of child care, providers may temporarily withhold services or clients may lose their place in the child care facility. On-time renewals, therefore, ensure consistent child care for families, stable payment for providers, and a reduced administrative burden for DHS. The BIAS team diagnosed factors that might inhibit on-time renewal and designed three interventions for improvement: (1) a "provider intervention," which gave child care providers more information about their clients' renewal deadlines and prompted them to send reminders and help clients with renewal; (2) a "client intervention," which used early and clear communication to clarify the renewal process and continued follow-up communication; and (3) a "combined intervention," which included both the client and provider interventions. (author abstract)

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24.

Engaging providers and clients: Using behavioral economics to increase on-time child care subsidy renewals [Executive summary]
Mayer, Alexander K., November, 2015
(OPRE Report 2015 73). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This report presents findings from a study designed in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) to increase the number of clients who renew their child care subsidy by their renewal deadline. The BIAS team and DHS designed three interventions to try to increase on-time renewals: one for DHS child care subsidy clients, one for child care providers who serve DHS clients, and one that combines the client and provider interventions. (author abstract)

Executive Summary

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25.

Enjoyment of learning and learning effort in primary school: The significance of child individual characteristics and stimulation at home and at preschool
Richter, David, January, 2016
Early Child Development and Care, 186(1), 96-116

Our study examines the effects of the quality of the learning environments at home and in preschool on affective-motivational aspects of learning in school (i.e. the enjoyment of learning und learning effort of students in the second grade of primary school) using data from the longitudinal study 'Educational Processes, Competence Development, and Selection Decisions at Preschool and Primary School Age (BiKS-3-10)'. Our research design was guided by a bio-ecological theoretical perspective (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 1998), which focuses on the interrelation between the individual and his or her various environments as the 'engines of development' (p. 996). How these interactions affect children's development depends on characteristics of the individual child, the environmental context, and the time period in which these interactions occur. (author abstract)

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26.

Examining how adding a booster to a behavioral nutrition intervention prompts parents to pack more vegetables and whole gains in their preschool children's sack lunches
Sweitzer, Sara J., January, 2016
Behavioral Medicine, 42(1), 9-17

Data from a five-week intervention to increase parents' packing of vegetables and whole grains in their preschool children's sack lunches showed that, although changes occurred, habit strength was weak. To determine the effects of adding a one-week booster three months post-intervention, children's (N = 59 intervention and 48 control) lunches were observed at baseline (week 0), post-intervention (week 6), pre-booster (week 20), and post-booster (week 26). Servings of vegetables and whole grains were evaluated in repeated measures models and results inspected relative to patterns projected from different explanatory models of behavior change processes. Observed changes aligned with projections from the simple associative model of behavior change. Attention in future studies should focus on behavioral intervention elements that leverage stimulus-response associations to increase gratification parents receive from providing their children with healthy lunches. (author abstract)

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27.

Experiences of parents and professionals in well-established continuity of care infant toddler programs
McMullen, Mary Benson, February, 2016
Early Education and Development, 27(2), 190-220

A qualitative descriptive study was conducted to look at the nature of continuity of care by examining the perspectives of those who lived it in 2 programs in which it was a well-established practice. The 35 participants included infant toddler caregivers, parents, preschool teachers, and administrators. Findings are organized around 8 features of continuity of care revealed in the study: increased knowledge (increased understanding of child development and individual children), stable relationships (decreased disruption associated with frequent transitions), a family-type atmosphere (trust, warmth, and affection promoted), primary caregiving (changing nature of roles over time), family-centeredness (mutual empowerment of parents and caregivers), effective caregiver partnerships (caregiving relationships among caregivers), the transition to preschool (higher levels of ability in social and self-help skills among children), and recommendations for improvement. Practice or Policy: We discuss implications for practitioners, teacher educators and policymakers, including further consideration of parental/caregiver empowerment, the maintenance of continuity across members of caregiving teams, and keeping children ages birth to 5 together in 1 setting. Also, findings suggest differences in the nature of primary caregiving in continuous versus discontinuous care settings. Finally, we conclude that continuity is beneficial, but complex, and more likely to succeed in programs already committed to engagement in strong, relationship-based practice. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

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28.

Factors associated with increased reading frequency in children exposed to Reach Out and Read
Rikin, Sharon, November-December 2015
Academic Pediatrics, 15(6), 651-657

Objective: A 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Literacy Promotion recommends providers endorse daily caregiver-child reading during health supervision visits. Reach Out and Read (ROR) is a widely used model of office-based early literacy promotion. We hypothesized that exposure to ROR and other variables such as reading as part of a bedtime routine positively correlate with caregiver-child reading frequency. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study based on a convenience sample of caregivers at 8 ROR-Milwaukee sites, which serve predominantly low-income populations in Milwaukee. On the basis of results of previously validated questionnaires, odds ratios were calculated to determine which variables are significantly associated with caregivers' reading to children 0 to 2 (rarely), 3 to 6 (often), and 7 (daily) days per week. Random forest analysis was performed to examine relative importance of variables in predicting caregivers' reading frequency. Results: A total of 256 caregivers were eligible for analysis; those who reported receiving [greater than or equal to]4 books from pediatricians read to children more days per week compared to those receiving fewer books (5.07 vs 3.61, P < .001) and were more likely to read daily (odds ratio 3.07, 95% confidence interval 1.80-5.23). Caregivers' interest in reading, number of children's books in the home, reading as part of a bedtime routine, and number of books received from pediatricians were among the most important variables in distinguishing rarely, often, and daily reading caregivers. Conclusions: Exposure to ROR-Milwaukee's intervention is associated with increased reading frequency. Identified variables such as reading as a bedtime routine and number of children's books in the home should be targets for future literacy-promoting interventions. (author abstract)

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29.

Family literacy programmes and young children's language and literacy development: Paying attention to families' home language
Anderson, Jim, 2016
Early Child Development and Care, (), 1-11

In this article, we review the literature on the impact of family literacy programmes on young children's language and literacy learning. After defining family literacy, we present a brief historical overview of family literacy programmes, including persistent questions regarding their effectiveness with respect to young children's language and literacy learning and their propensity to promote the dominant language (e.g. English) while ignoring the benefits of bilingualism and of families' home language maintenance. Meta-analyses reveal that family literacy programmes have a positive effect on young children's language and learning development and studies of bilingual family literacy programmes indicate that they are effective in significantly increasing children's early literacy knowledge in the dominant or mainstream language and in promoting home language maintenance. This finding lends empirical support for bilingual family literacy programmes and the concept of additive bilingualism. We conclude by suggesting implications for practice and for future research. (author abstract)

Literature Review

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30.

Family routines and positive parenting practices help to support kindergarten readiness
Pivnick, Lilla, 22 October, 2014
(Research Brief 2014-03). Memphis, TN: Urban Child Institute.

Last fall, we asked parents of incoming kindergarteners to tell us about their family routines. Parents were asked how often they engaged in different types of routines with their pre-schoolers, like getting ready in the morning, getting ready for bedtime, or at mealtimes. Parents were also asked about a range of other positive parenting practices, like reading with their children, singing the alphabet, and playing counting and sorting games. Parents' responses were then compared to their children's kindergarten readiness scores. Each fall, incoming kindergarteners in Shelby County are given a measure of reading readiness called the Istation Early Reading assessment, which helps the district see if a student is performing at grade level, moderately below grade level, or severely below grade level. For this study, we compared the Istation Early Reading scores of 354 new kindergarteners with information on family routines collected from their parents. (author abstract)

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31.

For practitioners: Quality connections in early care and education: Measuring relationships between families and providers or teachers
Torres, Alicia, 10 September, 2014
Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This webinar provides information for practitioners using the Family and Provider/Teacher Relationship Quality (FPTRQ) measures. It presents an overview of the project and explores the development and description of the measures, along with their psychometric properties. Instructions for access, administration, and scoring of the measures are included.

Multimedia

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32.

For researchers: Quality connections in early care and education: Measuring relationships between families and providers or teachers
Torres, Alicia, 10 September, 2014
Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This webinar provides information to researchers considering the use of the Family and Provider/Teacher Relationship Quality (FPTRQ) measures in their work. It presents an overview of the project and explores the development and description of the measures, along with their psychometric properties. Instructions for access, administration, and scoring of the measures are included.

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33.

For state and local administrators: Quality connections in early care and education: Measuring relationships between families and providers or teachers
Torres, Alicia, 08 September, 2014
Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This webinar focuses on providing information to state and local administrators using the Family and Provider/Teacher Relationship Quality (FPTRQ) measures. It presents an overview of the project and explores the development and description of the measures, along with their psychometric properties. Instructions for access, administration, and scoring of the measures are included.

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34.

Fostering the foundations of self-determination in early childhood: A process for enhancing child outcomes across home and school
Erwin, Elizabeth J., July, 2016
Early Childhood Education Journal, 44(4), 325-333

Early childhood practitioners can play a vital role in the development of early self-determination in partnership with families. Self-determination has been generally considered to be about personal agency or control that can also relate to the quality of one's life. Young children with disabilities start to develop a range of critical skills such as engagement and self-regulation that will be needed throughout their lives. These are the early foundational skills that lead to later self-determination. This paper describes a simple four-step process and key features of foundations of self-determination in early childhood, a collaborative process focusing on home-school partnerships. The unique alliance between each dyad (i.e., family member and early childhood practitioner) support child outcomes across naturally occurring routines at home and school. Each family and practitioner dyad uses attainable short-term goals embedded in home and school routines, intentional adult cues, and environmental modifications to promote foundational skills of self-determination in young children with disabilities. (author abstract)

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35.

Gesturing about number sense
Lee, Joanne, October, 2015
Journal of Early Childhood Research, 13(3), 263-279

Gestures such as finger counting, pointing, and touching have been found to facilitate mathematical development in preschool and school-aged children. However, little is known about the types of mathematically related gestures used by parent-toddler dyads to facilitate early mathematics learning during the first 3 years of life. A total of 24 children (12 boys and 12 girls) between 18 and 25 months of age and their parents participated in a recorded 30-minute play session at home. After the play session, each child completed a task to ascertain his or her counting ability from one to five. Parents initiated significantly more instances of mathematically related gestures than did the children. In contrast, children responded with more gestures to mathematically related talk than did their parents. The most frequent types of gestures produced are collecting/grouping of items in an array, counting objects while enumerating, tapping/touching, holding up, and pointing at an item. A total of 13 children demonstrated some understanding of the five counting principles except the cardinality principle proposed by Gelman and Gallistel. Our findings suggest that parents use specific types of mathematically related gestures during play with their toddlers. (author abstract)

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36.

Home literacy beliefs and practices among low-income Latino families
Davis, Heather S., 2015
Early Child Development and Care, , 1-21

The aim of this study was to explore within-group patterns of variability in the home literacy environments (HLEs) of low-income Latino families using latent profile analysis. Participants were (N = 193) families of Latino preschoolers enrolled in a larger study. In the fall of 2012, mothers filled out a family literacy practices inventory, a literacy beliefs inventory, and a socio-demographic questionnaire. Results revealed three psychometrically distinct HLE profiles. Profile 1 (37%), labelled Low Beliefs, Low Practices (LBLP), was characterized by very low incomes, low caregiver education, reading infrequently to children, primarily speaking Spanish and reported lowest literacy beliefs and practices. Profile 2 (16%), labelled Moderate Beliefs, Moderate Practices (MBMP), was also low income, had few books in the home, read in both English and Spanish to their children, and held moderately facilitative literacy beliefs and practices. Profile 3 (47%), labelled High Beliefs, High Practices (HBHP), reported the highest literacy beliefs and practices, highest percentage English-speaking, read more often to children, and had more books in the home. These findings highlight considerable variability in terms of literacy beliefs and practices among Latino families. The profiles have practical relevance in terms of children's readiness at school entry and working with their families. (author abstract)

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37.

The home-literacy environment of young children with disabilities
Justice, Laura M., Q4 2016
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 37(4), 131-139

Some studies have reported that young children with disabilities have qualitatively distinct home-literacy environments and interests than young children without disabilities. Such differences may contribute to differences in the early-literacy skills of children with and without disabilities. This study was designed to measure three distinct features of the home-literacy environment for children with and without disabilities (frequency of storybook reading, literacy teaching during book reading, children's print interest; hereafter frequency, teaching, and interest) and determine the extent to which these may vary for the two groups of children. Parents of 692 preschool-aged children (57% with disabilities), all enrolled in inclusive early children special education classrooms, completed a comprehensive assessment of the home-literacy environment in fall of the academic year. Children's teachers completed an assessment for each child on their early-literacy skills. The home-literacy environments of children with and without disabilities was distinguishable only for children's interest; frequency and teaching were comparable. Importantly, children's interest was positively associated, concurrently, with early-literacy skills. This study helps to pinpoint which aspect of the home-literacy environment distinguishes between children with and without disabilities. Findings also suggest the potential importance of identifying avenues to improve the print interest of young children with disabilities. (author abstract)

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38.

Home visit quality variations in two Early Head Start programs in relation to parenting and child vocabulary outcomes
Roggman, Lori A., May/June 2016
Infant Mental Health Journal, 37(3), 193-207

Home-visiting programs aiming to improve early child development have demonstrated positive outcomes, but processes within home visits to individual families are rarely documented. We examined family-level variations in the home-visiting process (N = 71) from extant video recordings of home visits in two Early Head Start programs, using an observational measure of research-based quality indicators of home-visiting practices and family engagement, the Home Visit Rating Scales (HOVRS). HOVRS scores, showing good interrater agreement and internal consistency, were significantly associated with parent- and staff-reported positive characteristics of home visiting as well as with parenting and child language outcomes tested at program exit. When home-visiting processes were higher quality during the program, home visit content was more focused on child development, families were more involved in the overall program, and most important, scores on measures of the parenting environment and children's vocabulary were higher at the end of the program. Results showed that home visit quality was indirectly associated with child language outcomes through parenting outcomes. Observation ratings of home visit quality could be useful for guiding program improvement, supporting professional development, and increasing our understanding of the links between home-visiting processes and outcomes. (author abstract)

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39.

Immigrant and refugee mothers' experiences of the transition into childcare: A case study
De Gioia, Katey, October, 2015
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 23(5), 662-672

With increasing numbers of families arriving in Australia for humanitarian reasons or through migration, childcare centres may often be the first point of contact with dominant cultural practices for these families. This period of transition into childcare can be a fraught with anxiety. This article reports on findings from a case study conducted in a childcare centre in South Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. A small group of mothers and educators participated in interviews to discuss their experiences during transition into the centre. Findings show supports and challenges faced by immigrant and refugee families during this transition time and identify processes educators can employ to ease this transition. (author abstract)

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40.

Improving prekindergarten attendance: School-level strategies for messaging, engaging parents, and responding to absences in four DC public schools
Katz, Michael, June, 2016
Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

Over the past decade, there has been an increased focus on attendance and reducing absenteeism in schools. Driven in part by continued research on the negative impact of absenteeism on school performance, future attendance, truancy, and dropout rates, local, state, and federal education agencies have begun to take action. While much of this work has targeted the elementary years, researchers and districts alike have started to focus on curbing absenteeism before the start of kindergarten. Data suggest that early grade levels see some of the worst absenteeism rates, and early attendance issues are associated with future absenteeism and negative academic outcomes (Balfanz and Byrnes 2013; Connolly and Olson 2012; Ehrlich et al. 2014). Early grade levels can also set a family's expectations for attendance and the family-school relationship, and intervening early can help establish better attendance patterns that persist throughout children's academic careers. Though many school districts begin their efforts in kindergarten, some forward-thinking districts, like District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), have begun to track and address chronic absenteeism in prekindergarten. This report is part of a multiphase project of the Urban Institute, working with the Early Childhood Education Division (ECED) of DCPS, examining absenteeism in their prekindergarten program and strategies to address it (Katz, Adams, and Johnson 2015; Dubay and Holla 2015). This collaboration with ECED includes the input and support of the family services team, who provide wraparound services for families with children in the universal prekindergarten program. (author abstract)

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41.

Improving prekindergarten attendance: School-level strategies for messaging, engaging parents, and responding to absences in four DC public schools [Executive summary]
Katz, Michael, June, 2016
Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

Over the past decade, there has been an increased focus on attendance and reducing absenteeism in schools. Driven in part by continued research on the negative impact of absenteeism on school performance, future attendance, truancy, and dropout rates, local, state, and federal education agencies have begun to take action. While much of this work has targeted the elementary years, researchers and districts alike have started to focus on curbing absenteeism before the start of kindergarten. Data suggest that early grade levels see some of the worst absenteeism rates, and early attendance issues are associated with future absenteeism and negative academic outcomes (Balfanz and Byrnes 2013; Connolly and Olson 2012; Ehrlich et al. 2014). Early grade levels can also set a family's expectations for attendance and the family-school relationship, and intervening early can help establish better attendance patterns that persist throughout children's academic careers. Though many school districts begin their efforts in kindergarten, some forward-thinking districts, like District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), have begun to track and address chronic absenteeism in prekindergarten. This report is part of a multiphase project of the Urban Institute, working with the Early Childhood Education Division (ECED) of DCPS, examining absenteeism in their prekindergarten program and strategies to address it (Katz, Adams, and Johnson 2015; Dubay and Holla 2015). This collaboration with ECED includes the input and support of the family services team, who provide wraparound services for families with children in the universal prekindergarten program. (author abstract)

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42.

Inclusive, democratic family-professional partnerships: (Re)conceptualizing culture and language in teacher preparation
Beneke, Margaret R., February, 2016
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 35(4), 234-244

Family-professional partnerships are vital to the provision of appropriate and effective special education services for young children. Despite the recognized need, teacher educators in early childhood and early childhood special education have faced challenges in preparing their students to partner with families from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In this article, we assert that for pre-service early childhood/early childhood special education teachers to prepare for cross-cultural family-professional partnerships, teacher educators can take a democratic, inclusive perspective and address conceptualizations of culture and language. To this end, we first explain meanings of inclusive education and democratic partnerships. We then focus on conceptualizations of culture and language in developing cross-cultural partnerships. Finally, we provide recommendations to prepare pre-service teachers to form more democratic and inclusive cross-cultural partnerships with families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. (author abstract)

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43.

Independent contributions of mothers' and fathers' language and literacy practices: Associations with children's kindergarten skills across linguistically diverse households
Sims, Jacqueline, May, 2016
Early Education and Development, 27(4), 495-512

Home language and literacy inputs have been consistently linked with enhanced language and literacy skills among children. Most studies have focused on maternal inputs among monolingual populations. Though the proportion of American children growing up in primarily non-English-speaking homes is growing and the role of fathers in early development is increasingly emphasized, less is known about these associations in primarily non-English-speaking households or how mothers and fathers independently contribute to children's skills. Using a subsample of data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (N = 5,450), this study assessed the frequency of maternal and paternal inputs during early childhood and their prospective connections with children's English language and literacy skills at age 5 across White, Mexican, and Chinese children from linguistically diverse households. Analyses revealed significant differences in inputs by ethnic/language group membership and significant associations between both maternal and paternal inputs and children's skills. These associations did not differ across ethnic/language group membership. Practice or Policy: These results point to the importance of promoting rich home language and literacy environments across diverse households regardless of the language in which they take place or the parent from which they derive. (author abstact)

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44.

The influence of child care on maternal health and mother-child interaction
Kroll, Alexandra, 14 December, 2013
(SOEPpapers 615). Berlin, Germany: Deutsches Institut fur Wirtschaftsforschung (German Institute for Economic Research).

In Germany, formal child care coverage rates have increased markedly over the past few decades. The expansion in coverage is particularly pronounced for under 3 year-olds. The present paper is concerned with how mothers' mental and physical health is affected by whether they place their child in formal day care or not. Furthermore, the effects of formal child care usage on mother-child interaction are examined. The analysis is based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel for the years 2006 to 2010. This data is analysed by means of regression analyses, using local aggregate formal child care usage rates as an instrument for individual formal child care usage. The results indicate that mothers are in a worse physical condition if their children attend formal care, whereas no such effect is found with regard to mothers' mental health. Overall, there is evidence that mothers placing their children in formal care interact with them more frequently. (author abstract)

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45.

The influence of simulations on family engagement -- prospective early childhood educators' perceptions
Prieto, Jesus Paz-Albo , 2016
Early Child Development and Care, , 1-7

Nurturing experiences in preparation for prospective early childhood educators' work with families during their training are critical for establishing empowering relationships. This article details a qualitative case study of 77 prospective early childhood educators engaged with the Parent, Family and Community Engagement Simulation. An electronic questionnaire exploring their beliefs regarding the use of the simulation was conducted at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain). The results demonstrate the simulation can be a very effective classroom technique to provide students with the necessary competencies to engage with families effectively and promote school readiness. These results also suggest that the simulation provided important insights into how successful partnership occurs and how to strengthen relationships, helping students to reflect on the importance of family involvement. (author abstract)

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46.

Jump-starting early childhood education at home: Early learning, parent motivation, and public policy
Maloney, Erin A., November, 2015
Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(6), 727-732

By the time children begin formal schooling, their experiences at home have already contributed to large variations in their math and language development, and once school begins, academic achievement continues to depend strongly on influences outside of school. It is thus essential that educational reform strategies involve primary caregivers. Specifically, programs and policies should promote and support aspects of caregiver-child interaction that have been empirically demonstrated to boost early learning and should seek to impede "motivational sinkholes" that threaten to undermine caregivers' desires to engage their children effectively. This article draws on cognitive and behavioral science to detail simple, low-cost, and effective tools caregivers can employ to prepare their children for educational success and then describes conditions that can protect and facilitate caregivers' motivation to use those tools. Policy recommendations throughout focus on using existing infrastructure to more deeply engage caregivers in effective early childhood education at home. (author abstract)

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47.

Learning with PBS Kids: A study of family engagement and early mathematics achievement
McCarthy, Betsy, November, 2015
San Francisco: WestEd.

The study described in this report tested an intervention involving a family engagement model designed to promote mathematics learning in preschool children. The intervention model includes a school-based curriculum whereby families attend weekly parent support meetings for nine weeks and use PBS KIDS transmedia suites of digital games, videos, and hands-on activities, all related to early mathematics. Each transmedia suite in the intervention uses an engaging narrative throughout all components. The suites feature many preschool children's favorite media characters such as Curious George, Peg+Cat, and The Cat in the Hat. The intervention model was developed over the past three years, and earlier versions were tested in two previous studies (McCarthy, Li, & Tiu, 2012; McCarthy, Li, Atienza, Sexton, & Tiu, 2013). The latest study builds on these past two studies by developing a scalable model that can be implemented in different preschool locations and by assessing the feasibility of having local preschool staff facilitate its weekly parent meetings. (author abstract)

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48.

Learning with PBS Kids: A study of family engagement and early mathematics achievement: Executive summary
McCarthy, Betsy, November, 2015
San Francisco: WestEd.

During the summer of 2014, WestEd conducted a study of family engagement and early mathematics learning as part of the Ready To Learn (RTL) initiative with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The study was designed to test the effectiveness of a school-based family engagement model in increasing preschoolers' knowledge and skills in mathematics, and in increasing parents' awareness of and ability to support their children's mathematics learning in the home environment. Additionally, the study focused on the feasibility of having teachers from participating schools facilitate parent meetings related to the intervention. The study also examined the relationship of socioeconomic status to learning outcomes and explored how key aspects of the model affect family engagement and learning. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the CPB-PBS RTL Initiative has a goal of promoting early learning and school readiness among children ages 2 through 8, with a particular interest in reaching children from low-income families. The Initiative supports the development and delivery of high-quality, age-appropriate, educational content designed to increase the early literacy and mathematics competencies of young children. The family engagement model was developed over the past three years, and earlier versions were tested in two previous studies (McCarthy, Li, & Tiu, 2012; McCarthy, Li, Atienza, Sexton, & Tiu, 2013). The latest study builds on these past two studies by developing a scalable model that can be implemented in different preschool locations and by assessing the feasibility of having local preschool staff facilitate its weekly parent meetings. (author abstract)

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49.

Learning with PBS Kids: A study of family engagement and early mathematics achievement: Highlights of the findings
McCarthy, Betsy, November, 2015
San Francisco: WestEd.

In 2014, WestEd conducted a study of family engagement and early mathematics learning as part of the Ready To Learn (RTL) Initiative with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The study was designed to test the effectiveness of a school-based family engagement model in increasing preschoolers' knowledge and skills in mathematics, and in increasing parents' awareness of and ability to support their children's mathematics learning in the home environment. Additionally, the study focused on the feasibility of having teachers from participating schools facilitate parent meetings related to the intervention. The study also examined the relationship of socioeconomic status to learning outcomes and explored how key aspects of the model affect family engagement and learning. (author abstract)

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50.

Maternal math talk in the home and math skills in preschool children
Susperreguy, Maria Ines, August, 2016
Early Education and Development, 27(6), 841-857

The current study analyzed the relation between the amount of mathematical input that preschool children hear (i.e., math talk) from their mothers in their homes and their early math ability a year later. Forty mother-child dyads recorded their naturalistic exchanges in their homes using an enhanced audio-recording device (the Language ENvironment Analysis System). Results from a sample of naturalistic interactions during mealtimes indicated that all mothers involved their children in a variety of math exchanges, although there were differences in the amount of math input that children received. Moreover, being exposed to more instances of math talk was positively related to children's early mathematical ability a year after the recordings, even after we controlled for maternal education, self-regulation, and recorded minutes. Practice or Policy: These findings improve the understanding of how mothers use math with their preschool children in naturalistic contexts, providing some insight for parents into how to foster children's math skills through verbal input in their normal routines. Moreover, these findings inform kindergarten teachers and practitioners about the math input that children receive at home, which may encourage them to adapt their practice by considering the home environment. (author abstract)

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