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

Pre-to-3: New Mapping Tool Provides a Data Snapshot of Youngest Students  School district leaders may think they have a pretty good handle on the characteristics of the pre-K students in their classrooms, but what do they knew about the children who are not enrolled in pre-K, or in any type of early-childhood program? A new interactive site from the Urban Institute allows district leaders and principals to have a more accurate view of their future kindergartners. (Education Dive)

State Early Childhood Data Systems Ounce of Prevention Fund published “An Unofficial Guide to the Why and How of State Early Childhood Data Systems,” as part of its Ounce Policy Conversations series. The unofficial guide is meant to help early childhood policy leaders ensure that their state builds and leverages a unified early childhood data system.

Impact of Pre-K in Georgia  FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill recently released a report from the third year of its longitudinal study of the impacts of the Georgia pre-K program that highlighted significant growth by children during their pre-K year across different dimensions of education, such as language and literacy skills, math skills, and behavioral skills. The report was commissioned by the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning.

Children First Act  Congress Representatives Joe Crowley and Lois Frankel reintroduced the Children First Act (H.R. 3643) which would expand mandatory funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to families with children under age 4 living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Read the full legislation.

Home Life Predicting Academic Success  New York University’s Early Head Start Research Evaluation Project finds that children’s home environments at an early age can predict academic skills by fifth grade. Other findings suggested that children’s pre-kindergarten skills and 5th-grade learning environments mediated longitudinal associations.

Access to Early Education Varies by Region  Access to early childhood education is a key factor in students’ long-term academic persistence and success. Research shows that low-income students hear 30 million fewer words than their wealthier peers by age 3, and students with access to high-quality early education and kindergarten programs are better equipped to succeed in elementary school.

Outcomes and Metrics: Measuring the Impact of Early Childhood Systems.  The primary objective of the grant was to achieve “proof of concept” – that is, to demonstrate that participating communities could create standardized and detailed operational definitions of each common indicator, and then collect and report those data. Participants also hoped to make further progress on defining measures of system performance, and to provide an assessment of feasibility, lessons learned and next steps for ongoing work.

Creating Tools to Successfully Engage Communities and Families in Early Childhood Programs and Systems.  The primary goal of the project was to develop practical tools for programs and systems to recognize, encourage, and increase opportunities to empower families to advocate for equitable, family-friendly early childhood services to ensure that all children and families have what they need to thrive.

Urban Institute released an interactive data tool “10 Characteristics of Preschool-Age Childern: A State and Local Data Tool to Inform Policy and Action.” 

The Center for American Progress published “Mapping America’s Child Care Deserts”  that finds “approximately half of Americans across 22 states live in areas with an undersupply of child care options.”

Supporting Children by Improving Family Outcomes  All programs that serve young children and their families can improve outcomes for children by making a difference for their families. This video describes the importance of supporting families, collecting data on family outcomes, and using the data to improve the program. Using the family data collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education’s Part C/Early Intervention Program as an example, this video highlights how three families who received early intervention benefited from support to their family.

Who Benefits from Head Start? Kids Who Attend — And Their Kids, Too  A new study of Head Start, the large federally funded pre-kindergarten initiative that started in the 1960s, found that the children of kids who participated were substantially more likely to graduate high school and attend college, and less likely to commit crime and become a teen parent. (Chalkbeat)