Early Math Learning Kit #2 for Families: More Ideas for Playing with Math at Home

This new set of resources is focused around bringing math into playtime. Whether children are sitting down with something to build or need to wiggle and get out some energy, playtime offers many opportunities for families to explore key early math concepts together. The resources are geared toward children in preschool and the early grades, but children of all ages will enjoy learning from them. Feel free to print, download, and share the resources free of charge with the families you support. The entire kit is also available in Spanish.

Prenatal-to-3 State Policy Roadmap 2020

Health, maternal care, family life, economic security, and early care and learning—the first three years shape the future of every child’s life. The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs translates research on the best public investments into state policy actions that produce results for young children and
society. Our team of researchers and nonpartisan policy experts works with policymakers, practitioners, and advocates to navigate the evidence of what works, set priorities, act with confidence, and analyze results for continuous improvement.

Coronavirus Infection Rate Among Children Surges as Schools Reopen

The number of children infected with the coronavirus rose dramatically between April and September, according to new research by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, and by more than 14% in the last two weeks alone – a surge that coincides with schools reopening across the country. “These rising numbers concern us greatly, as the children’s cases reflect the increasing virus spread in our communities,” Sally Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a statement. “While children generally don’t get as sick with the coronavirus as adults, they are not immune and there is much to learn about how easily they can transmit it to others.”

Early Math Counts Arms Early Childhood Professionals with Free Virtual Math Literacy Resources

In 2012, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Education launched the Math at Home (now Early Math Counts) website with a grant from the CME Group Foundation to give family child care providers and other early childhood educators in Illinois the knowledge and skills they need to boost children’s mastery of early math. In 2016, the CME Group Foundation provided additional funding to support the development of Early Math Counts — a free, online professional development program for family child care providers and other early childhood educators across the nation.

Another pandemic shift: In many school districts, 1 in 10 kindergartners didn’t show up

In Broward County, Florida, school officials noticed something worrying this month. Schools were back in session, virtually. But a few weeks in, one group of students was missing in large numbers: kindergartners. At Deerfield Beach Elementary, where 81 percent of students come from low-income families, there are 52 fewer kindergarten students than there were last fall. Twenty miles south, Harbordale Elementary, where 40 percent of students are from low-income families, was down 38. Some declines were projected, due to factors like lower birth rates. But this was something different. All told, the district’s traditional public schools are serving 2,000 fewer kindergarten students — a decline of around 14 percent.

Designing Effective K-3 Literacy Policies and Navigating the Pandemic

By now, it is no surprise that early literacy skills are fundamental to educational success. However, teaching literacy is complicated; as such, states have been grappling with low literacy achievement for decades. The National Assessment of Educational Progress has reported relatively stagnant proficiency scores for fourth graders and even a decline from 2017 to 2019. Gaps in proficiency exceed 20% or more for several racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups, indicating that these students are not receiving the supports needed to become successful readers. Learning loss because of the COVID-19 pandemic has likely exacerbated these gaps.

50-State Comparison: State K-3 Policies

Following a high-quality early care and pre-K experience, the kindergarten-through-third-grade years set the foundation upon which future learning builds; and strengthening this continuum creates opportunities for later success. Key components of a quality experience in K-3 include school readiness and transitions, kindergarten requirements, educator quality, prevention, intervention and assessments, and social and emotional learning and mental health. Education Commission of the States researched the policies and regulations that guide these key components in all 50 states to provide this comprehensive resource.

Building a Better K-3 Literacy System

This Policy Brief provides an overview of state strategies to promote literacy in kindergarten through third grade. It also includes current state examples that incorporate research-based approaches and policy takeaways for consideration.

Text Messages to Parents Can Reduce Chronic School Absences in Elementary School

Chronic absenteeism from school is a widespread challenge in education that is associated with far-reaching consequences for students of all ages, including lower test scores and higher incidences of dropping out. Schools and districts across the U.S. are looking for effective programs that can improve attendance and increase a student’s chances of success. A new federally funded report from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) suggests that texting parents may be an effective way to reduce chronic absence in elementary school. The study tested a messaging strategy that started with basic messages, and then “adapted” to provide additional intensified messaging for families whose children had more absences.

Impact of COVID-19 on Early Learning and Care in California

The early learning and care system in California provides one of the state’s most critical services: supporting children’s early learning and development while enabling parents to work. But the COVID-19 crisis has taken a toll on this system, and early learning providers need more support. In order to understand the ways in which programs have adapted, the services they provide, and the challenges they face during COVID-19, AIR and Early Edge California collected data from early learning programs throughout the state of California.