Early childhood resources
Children who are exposed to traumatic life events are at significant risk for developing serious and long-lasting problems across multiple areas of development. However, children are far more likely to exhibit resilience to childhood trauma when child-serving programs, institutions, and service systems understand the impact of childhood trauma, share common ways to talk and think about trauma, and thoroughly integrate effective practices and policies to address it—an approach often referred to as trauma-informed care (TIC). TIC is not the sole responsibility or purview of mental health professionals. While evidence-based trauma treatment can play a significant role in the healing process for children who need it, there are many other ways to implement TIC. In fact, every program and service system that touches the lives of children can play an important role.
Saint Patrick’s is a small, pre-K–8 Catholic school in Yorktown Heights, New York. Last year, we received a grant to revamp our computer lab into what we call a STREAM lab, which stands for science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and math. The grant allowed Saint Patrick’s to invest in 30 new MacBook Airs to supplement our existing iPads and Chromebooks. Before they spent a cent, though, Saint Patrick’s made certain to connect every purchase with their two important goals: improving each individual child’s academic and career prospects, and improving their students’ scores on state assessments, which are critical to whether they’re succeeding or failing as a school.
This video first and foremost exists to tell the stories of families who have experienced adversity and how they continue to grow and heal in an environment that recognizes the need for the whole person to be addressed if true healing is to occur. Operation Breakthrough houses the largest Head Start program in Missouri, serving more than 300 children each day in its center. The model it is pursuing is one that emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach and includes a unique partnership with the local children’s hospital, which staffs an on-site clinic for the children enrolled in the program.
In the 2017–2018 school year, Illinois began statewide implementation of the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) in an effort to gather more data on student readiness at the beginning of Kindergarten. This tool, the first of its kind in Illinois, provides a glimpse into the developmental readiness for entering Kindergarten students in a wide variety of demographic groups. It allows schools to track student progress and enable teachers to develop interventions to address individual learning needs well before formal statewide assessments begin in third grade. KIDS’ results have implications for families, schools, early childhood programs, and policymakers. KIDS is a comprehensive observation tool that places students on a developmental
scale according to their demonstrated abilities.
In Cocke County, Tennessee, Kathy Holt is meeting with parents, daycare providers and others to spread the word about what children need to know to be ready for kindergarten. The former educator is among a group of leaders in three Appalachian communities chosen to try a new approach to improving the lives of rural children. A national partnership comprised of Save the Children, StriveTogether, Partners for Education at Berea College in Kentucky and the Annie E. Casey Foundation announced Tuesday plans to invest $1.2 million over the next three years into Cocke County and Whitley and Perry counties in Kentucky. The money will go toward helping the communities meet the goals they’ve set for themselves, said Nick Carrington, Save the Children’s director of collective impact. The organizations plan to expand the initiative into more rural communities around the country next year.
In the first study of its kind, MRI brain scans of 3- to 5-year-olds found those who used screens more than an hour a day had lower measures of development in the brain’s white matter, where language and literacy take root. “White matter is the wiring of the brain called myelin, which makes the connections in the brain faster. The more stimulation these pathways get, the more the body says, ‘Let’s reinforce these connections and build more,’” said Dr. John Hutton, a pediatrician and lead author of the study. He’s also a clinical researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and directs the Reading & Literacy Discovery Center there. It’s alarming since the first five years of life are when the brain grows most and relies on human interaction, not screens, to optimize that. “The bigger factor for younger kids is it gets in the way of interacting with adults. They learn language and emotional connection from humans. Screens tend to get in the way,” he said.
Reducing the effects of significant adversity on young children’s healthy development is critical to the progress and prosperity of any society. Yet not all children experience lasting harm as a result of adverse early experiences. Some may demonstrate “resilience,” or an adaptive response to serious hardship. A better understanding of why some children do well despite early adversity is important because it can help us design policies and programs that help more children reach their full potential. These three videos provide an overview of why resilience matters, how it develops, and how to strengthen it in children. The science of resilience can help us understand why some children do well despite serious adversity. Resilience is a combination of protective factors that enable people to adapt in the face of serious hardship, and is essential to ensuring that children who experience adversity can still become healthy, productive citizens.
Panelists will share their experiences as a Pyramid Equity Program (PEP) site, discussing what worked, challenges and overall success in implementing the Pyramid Model, with a specific focus on addressing equity. They will share their experiences using equity tools such as the Behavior Incident Reporting System (BIRS) and the Pyramid Model Coaching Equity Guide.
Over the past year, the National P-3 Center has been settling into its new home at the University of Colorado Denver. During this time, we refreshed our organizational design and strategic goals, gave our website a whole new look (and added lots of content about P-3), grew our team, secured $1.3 million in new funding, updated our Framework to infuse equity throughout, and prepared several new publications to share in the upcoming months.