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

Kindergarten Transitions: Why Some Districts are Putting New Emphasis on Easing the Transition to Kindergarten Even in states like Colorado, where kindergarten isn’t mandatory and state funding for full-day kindergarten lags, momentum is growing around transition efforts. Denver-both the city and school district-and Boulder Valley schools are also tackling the challenge. (Chalkbeat, June 22).

Early Learning and ESSA: The First Five Years Fund (FFYF) released “What Early Learning in ESSA Can Look like for States and Districts” that details new opportunities to develop and expand access to quality early childhood education through ESSA.

Feedback on ESSA: Nearly 50 early childhood advocacy organizations signed a joint letter in response to the United States Department of Education’s Request for Feedback on Guidance for ESSA and early childhood education.

Making Each Day Better for Children: What is it really like to spend all day with young children? Find out what one teacher faces when you watch this video about a Day in the Life of a Pre-school Teacher.

Implementing Early Literacy Interventions. The self-study guide is a tool for district and school leaders who wish to improve the implementation of early literacy interventions and reduce the number of students failing to meet grade-level literacy expectations by the time they enter grade 3. It includes a template for data collection and guiding questions for discussion.

Expanding Access to Preschool: The American Institutes for Research (AIR) published “Ten Questions Local Policymakers Should Ask About Expanding Access to Preschool.”

Development and Implementation of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems in Midwest Region States. This report describes common and unique approaches that seven Midwestern states have adopted in developing and implementing their quality rating and improvement systems (QRISs). The study examined the ways that Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grants have shifted the QRIS landscape and how states have been influenced by the grant process in developing their QRISs, incorporating observations into their QRISs, using alternate pathways to ratings, and incentivizing providers to participate in QRISs. Findings suggest that the process of applying for a Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant helped advance the development of a QRIS system, even in states that were not awarded funding.

Supporting the Development of Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Programs. A major challenge facing early childhood education and the k–12 education system in the United States is the fact that as the population changes, the particular needs of children change with it. One of the largest demographic shifts in the last decade is the increase in the number of children who speak English as their second language. The majority of these children are born in the United States and thus from a very young age are acquiring both the language of their family as well as the language of the larger community. These very young children are dual language learners (DLLs). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education jointly released a Policy Statement on Supporting the Development of Children who are Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Programs.

Assessing the Implementation and Cost of High Quality Early Care and Education: A Review of the Literature. This report summarizes findings of a literature review and research syntheses in three areas — implementation science, early care and education quality, and costs. The goal of this effort was to create a draft conceptual framework to guide development of measures for the implementation and costs of early care and education in center-based settings that serve children from birth to age 5.

High-Quality Early Learning Settings Depend on a High-Quality Workforce. The national median annual wage for preschool teachers is $28,570, 55% of wages earned by kindergarten teachers ($51,640) and 52% of elementary school teachers ($54,890). While education and training requirements have increased for early education teachers, workforce pay has not…A new report has been released for a more in-depth look at wage parity for early childhood education workforce (Source: U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).

Improving Quality in California’s Early Childhood Education System: New Research and Implications for Policy. The Learning Policy Institute released its brief, The Building Blocks of High-Quality Early Childhood Education Programs. LPI’s principal research manager Marjorie Wechsler presented the findings in this report, which identifies 10 important elements, or building blocks, of high-quality early childhood education programs as indicated by research and professional standards. It was co-authored by Marjorie Wechsler, Hanna Melnick, Anna Maier and Joseph Bishop.