July 23, 2010
Trends and Reports
In the Community
Trends and Reports
A new study shows that 49 percent of babies born to poor families will be poor for half their childhood in contrast with four percent of babies born to families that are not poor. The study published by the Urban Institute on June 30, 2010 links poverty status at birth to persistent poverty and adult outcomes. Fallout from persistent childhood poverty is evident during young adulthood, say Caroline Ratcliffe and Signe-Mary McKernan, authors of "Childhood Poverty Persistence: Facts and Consequences," the first study connecting poverty status at birth, poverty persistence, and adult outcomes. Those poor at birth are more likely to be poor between ages 25 and 30, drop out of high school, have a teen nonmarital birth, and have patchy employment records than those not poor at birth.
These poverty outcomes were significantly worse for black children than white children. The study concludes that targeting resources to children and their families in poverty could improve children’s future outcomes, stating, "The fact that many families are able to lift themselves out of poverty in some years suggests that programs and policies that support work (e.g., child care subsidies, transportation assistance, expanded paid leave policies) may help parents, and therefore their children, improve their economic standing and stability."
To view the report, please visit the website of the Urban Institute.
Cartoon Characters Influence Children’s Eating Habits
Children preferred foods branded with cartoon characters over the same food without the character. This is according to a study published in Pediatrics on June 21, 2010. The study, conducted by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, examined the influence of cartoon characters branded on food packaging and its effect on children’s taste preferences. Forty children between the ages of four and six were given the same three foods packaged with and without a popular cartoon character and allowed to choose which tasted better. The majority of children selected the branded snacks, especially among low-nutrition foods. Accordingly, the Yale researchers recommend limiting the branding of such foods with cartoon characters.
To view the complete report, please visit the website of Pediatrics.
Strengthening the Researcher-Practitioner Relationship: Supporting Best Practice in the Infant-Family Field
According to a recent study released by ZERO TO THREE, researchers and practitioners both have important roles to play in the study and understanding of early childhood development. However, the cultures of the different professional fields can lead to a gap in what we know and what we do to promote healthy child development. In the article, Strengthening the Researcher-Practitioner Relationship: Supporting Best Practice in the Infant-Family Field by Mary Alunkal Khetani and Jayanthi M. Kasiraj, the evidence-based practice movement in the early childhood field provides an opportunity to bridge that gap by creating strong partnerships between researchers and practitioners that value the unique contributions of each. The authors describe these contributions to stimulate dialogue between researchers and practitioners about how to collaborate effectively and offer the best chance for truly effective services for young children and their families.
To view the entire article, please visit the ZERO TO THREE website (pdf).
On July 6, Governor Rendell signed into law the $28.05 billion state budget for 2010-2011. Overall, based on this budget, OCDEL will serve the expected numbers of children in Child Care Works, Keystone STARS, Early Intervention, Nurse-Family Partnership and Parent-Child Home Program, but will serve fewer children in PA Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program than projected in the Governor’s proposed budget, although OCDEL will make every effort to limit the impact on direct services to children and families.
However, the budget process is not over. This budget depends upon Pennsylvania receiving $850 million in additional federal funding from an extension of the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP). If this federal funding does not materialize, early education programs may receive deeper cuts this year.
Learn more and find out what you can do:
The Department of Public Welfare issues weekly messages highlighting ways in which its programs and services are protecting our most vulnerable citizens and helping them become more independent and have a high quality of life.
Precertification Orientation Training Attendance for FY 2009-2010
The child care facility regulations require persons seeking to operate child care facilities to attend a full-day orientation training prior to receiving a certificate of compliance or registration. From July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010, nearly 3,000 individuals participated in orientation training sessions offered by OCDEL Bureau of Certification Services Regional Offices. A total of 1,695 persons attended orientation training for persons seeking to operate child care centers and group child care homes; and 1,234 persons attended orientation training for prospective family child care home operators.
Persons who want to attend orientation training should contact their regional offices.
In the Community
Bradford County Children's Center begins expansion
Ground was broken on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at the Wyalusing Valley Children's Center Inc. for the construction of a 6,000-square-foot addition to the facility. According to owner Robyn Keeney, the addition will house two new toddler classrooms at the facility. The additional space provided by the expansion project will allow the center to expand its daily attendance of children from 90 to 112, Keeney said. The expansion is expected to be completed and in operation by the end of August, Keeney said.
The Wyalusing Valley Children's Center was established in 2003, at the site of what previously was Williams Auto, Keeney explained. Located along U.S. Route 6 in Wyalusing, the center holds a Keystone STAR 3 ratingand provides child care services to children ages six weeks through 12 years. Keeney said she started the Wyalusing Valley Children's Center to meet the need to provide quality child care services in the area. The center also participates in the PA Pre-K Counts program, a preschool program for children ages three and four years old at no cost to the families who qualify. Child Care Works subsidy is accepted at the Children's Center, which helps eligible families pay for child care. In addition, the expanded section will also include a doctor's office associated with Community Health Associates LLC.
By C.J. Marshall, Daily Review, July 15, 2010
Partnering for Successful Transition in Luzerne County
The partnerships between United Way Success By 6, Luzerne County Head Start, and Wilkes-Barre Area School District are working towards an opportunity to interact and develop a shared understanding of transition activities.
Wilkes-Barre Area School District has the largest cohort of children from Luzerne County Head Start transitioning into kindergarten. In the Reach and Risk Assessment Report, Wilkes-Barre is at High Risk/ High Need. The move from home, or an early education setting, to kindergarten is one of the most important moves a child will make. While it is an occasion for new opportunities and challenges, it is often a time of stress when the child and family are encountering new people and unfamiliar places. Success By 6 and the Luzerne County Head Start Transition Team is working with Dodson Elementary staff on this project with the goal to help ease the transition to kindergarten.
The partners implemented a Meet & Greet night for 70 Head Start families, and on May 18, 2010, participating children had the opportunity to meet their future teachers, view the classrooms, eat in the cafeteria, play in the playgrounds and tour the school. This helped the children and their families become familiar with this new setting that will become such a big part of their lives.
The positive feedback from the school district was tremendous. Dr. Jeffrey Namey, Wilkes Barre Area Superintendent participated in the event along with Betsy Witczak, Wilkes Barre School Districts Early Childhood Education Coordinator. The families who attended found it to be very informative and helpful during registration.
For additional information about transition to kindergarten in Luzurne County, please contact Louise Menendez, Director of Success By 6/CEG at 570-829-6711 x225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding preschool programs now will pay dividends later
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis conducted an economic analysis and found that early childhood education provides an outstanding return on investment. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke states, "Although education and acquisition of skills is a lifelong process, starting early in life is crucial. Recent research has documented the high returns that early childhood programs can pay in terms of subsequent educational attainment and lower rates of social problems." The study found children who received quality early childhood education had higher high school graduation rates and lower prison and welfare dependency rates than children who did not attend these programs.
According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, what happens in a child's first five years is critical. The human brain is 90 percent developed by age 5. Quality early learning experiences promote healthy brain development so children can build the foundation for language, math and social skills from the start. It is much more effective to provide quality early education than to try and fix problems later.
Pennsylvania's early education programs combine research-based standards and accountability to produce terrific outcomes for our young children. In Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, for example, nearly every child (98 percent) ended the 2009-2010 school year with age-appropriate or emerging age-appropriate skills. By the end of the school year, approximately four times as many children were proficient in language and literacy and mathematical thinking than upon entry. More than 500 children in Lehigh and Northampton counties participated in Pre-K Counts last year.
When a state or community invests in early childhood education, there are immediate benefits: The programs produce economic stimulus by hiring and purchasing goods and services locally, and parents of those young children enter the workforce, have reduced absenteeism and job turnover.
But the real benefits to communities are long-term and hard to beat. High-quality early education, delivered by trained professionals who understand child development, puts children on the road to success. Making sure children get off to the right start is the right thing to do — and it pays back. The Federal Reserve determined there was a 16 percent public rate of return on every dollar spent on the preschool program. Additionally, communities that invest in early childhood education benefit by paying less for remedial education, welfare and prison costs as those preschoolers grow up.
The Manufacturing Institute, based in Washington, D.C., is concerned that only 5 percent of public education dollars go to early childhood education. The institute recommends we fix education problems like we would manufacturing problems — at the earliest source — by reaching children before kindergarten. Only about 36 percent of children under age 5 in Lehigh County and 32 percent in Northampton have access to publicly funded, quality early-education programs even though they are at moderate-high risk of failing in school, based on the state Office of Child Development and Early Learning's Program Reach and Risk Report.
As a member of the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission, I urge our state and Lehigh Valley community to educate young children. This is an investment in our future. To improve our long-term economic situation, we need to provide early childhood education to low-income young children. Each child represents unique potential — a wealth of original ideas and potential contributions. Early childhood education has a proven track record of helping young children grow up as strong contributors. Join me in making young children our priority. Let's give them a strong start. Let's create a colorful future.
Michelle Powers, a Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment commissioner, is an executive vice president with Crayola
Providers working in child care and early learning programs want the best possible outcomes for the children and families they serve. Research indicates that qualified staff is a key component in developing a quality care and early learning environment and meeting STARS standards
However, there can be legal, wage and hour and tax implications for your program and your staff. Program owners and administrators need to be knowledgeable on legal, personnel policy and tax issues that may arise when meeting regulatory training requirements and professional development goals for quality improvement.
This Forum is designed to provide the information you need so you can enhance employees' professional development, and assess program policies while developing strategies to reduce risks.
Participants will gain up to date information on wage and hour issues; Understand the difference between exempt and non-exempt staff and payroll implications; Learn what constitutes time worked in a variety of situations; Explore the options for overtime vs. comp time; and See how staff work schedules factor into the equation
During this session, providers will gain an awareness of inclusion, attitudes towards inclusion, accommodation, and language that supports including children with varying abilities. Hands-on activities are used in this event including those related to simple strategies to adapt materials and practices to meet children's needs.
For additional information, please contact Francyne Wharton at email@example.com or 610-637-8693.
Getting Ready: A Fresh Look At Some Favorite Spaces In Your Classroom - August 7, Harrisburg
In this series of three 2 hour workshop blocks, teachers can spend some time reflecting on their classroom setting. Spend time taking a look at some favorite areas and activities in the classrooms: blocks, literacy, and science/math. Leave with great resources and ideas to up the learning potential in each of these spaces and cast some new light on our classroom environments!
For additional information, please contact Debbie Riek, WITF, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-910-2806.
Hear Me Sign is designed to teach adults the basics of American Sign Language (ASL). The main goal is to ensure the adults have mastered the signs so they can introduce them to children in various settings and in meaningful ways. ASL can be used with children birth and up to facilitate communication at an earlier age than possible with speech alone. ASL can be incorporated everyday to engage children in learning, enhance literacy skills, and to provide a multisensory approach to literacy. Signs are developmentally appropriate and relevant to children's experiences. Participants will learn at least 75 signs, up to 6 songs and will be engaged in an interactive lesson. Participants will use signs repeatedly to reach mastery while learning and participating in meaningful and appropriate uses of signs. Participants will literally take what they learn and transfer it into the child care center. No prior knowledge of ASL is necessary.
For additional information, please contact Amy Burns, Hear Me Sign, at email@example.com or 484-716-4520.
Early Developmental Disorders Resulting From Child Abuse: Therapeutic Techniques for Intervention and Prevention - August 13, Loretto
This seminar describes cutting edge brain research, brain development and the neuropsychological unfolding of early developmental disorders. Protocols for identification, assessment and treatment will be described in detail. Participants will learn how brain impairment results in related symptom clusters with matching strategies and interventions. This seminar is designed to provide an understanding of each disorder, the relationship to brain development, methods for differential diagnosis and specific practical ways to support brain growth.
Building A Village - August 17, Harrisburg
We have all heard it said that "it takes a village to raise a child". Families raising young children in communities all across our country may be re-phrasing that into a question, "If it takes a village to raise a child, how do we raise a village?" In developments where no one knows the names of their neighbors, communities where there is nowhere for children to play outside or families shuttle their children to activity after activity, and areas where both parents work, how do we create a neighborhood to support children's growth development? Join families and early child educators to discuss the diminishing role of neighborhood play and the need to connect children to their community. Come create a plan to build a village!
The FISH! Philosophy provides set of simple, practical tools to help you create the work culture you've been looking for. It's a way to build stronger relationships that equip participants to face challenges more effectively. Develop more connected teams, better communication, extraordinary service and higher retention.
Facing the Challenge: Helping Teachers Better Work with Children with Challenging Behaviors Train-the-Trainer Session - September 27-29, 2010, Villanova, PA
Facing the Challenge: Helping Teachers Better Work with Children with Challenging Behaviors is an intensive, interactive 2.5 day train-the-trainer session delving more deeply into the understanding of, prevention of, and planned responses to challenging behaviors in preschool children. Facilitated by Nefertiti Bruce, a national trainer for the Devereux Early Childhood Initiative, and Barbara Kaiser, an internationally known speaker, author, and trainer, this training session will highlight the Devereux Early Childhood Initiative DVD resources, Facing the Challenge and Classroom Moments, as well as the best-selling book by Barbara Kaiser and Judy Sklar-Rasminsky, Challenging Behavior in Young Children.
Participants of this session will learn how to deliver modules on working with challenging behaviors in young children. Complete trainer notes, PowerPoint slides, video clips to insert directly into presentations, and additional handouts will be given for future delivery of these sessions. All materials will be contained on both a CD, and in print format in a training binder with over 300 pages, accompanied by a customized messenger bag to hold all training goodies.
In addition to learning how to deliver the modules, participants will also explore training issues surrounding delivery of training on this often-sensitive topic. Additional information will be highlighted in the DVDs and book, and a variety of additional activities and handouts will be offered that will help trainers further develop their resources and sessions offered on the topic.
This session is a MUST for professional who have wanted to enhance their sessions on the difficult and important topic of working with children with challenging behaviors.
For more information or to register, please the website for Facing the Challenge. Questions? Please contact Debi Mahler, Professional Development Coordinator, at (610) 574-6141 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Programs - The NEA Foundation, Washington, DC
The NEA Foundation has an opening for a Director of Programs to support their mission of advancing student achievement. They invest in public education with the aim of preparing each of America's children to learn and thrive in a rapidly changing world. Specifically, the Director of Programs will work to further organizational priorities such as closing the achievement gaps, improving learning, enhancing professional development and increasing classroom innovation.
Top line organization details:
The ideal candidate currently is developing and implementing comparable educational programs for schools.
For details about this position, including the application procedure, please see the NEA Foundation, Director of Programs, Opportunity Overview (pdf).
Hill Street Children's Center in Walnutport, PA has an opening for Center Director. Non-profit childcare, 135 children, infant--school aged. Minimum of AAS in ECE, BA in a related field (including at least 18 ECE credits) preferred, Director's credential or plan to obtain is a must. Minimum of 2 years of managing experience, preferably as an Assistant Director or Director. All current DPW clearances needed. Experience with Keystone STARS is a plus.
Salary determined based upon experience and educational qualifications. Contact Shannon at 610-767-4102 ext. 1 for additional information, including how to apply.
Penn State Harrisburg/Capital Area Early Childhood Training Institute in Harrisburg has an open position for STARS Technical Assistance Consultant/Sr. Administrative Data Analyst. Primary duties and responsibilities include: Provide onsite technical assistance support to Keystone STARS Early Learning Programs in the South Central region. Job Duties: Travel to seven counties, onsite data collection through assessments of early childhood program services, develop and execute an action plan through staff training and provide one-on-one technical assistance. Specialized knowledge of NAEYC standards, the Environment Rating Scales, the PA Early Learning Standards, and the PA Keystone STARS Quality Improvement Program is preferred. Min. Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood or Elem. Education is required. Master’s degree in related field is preferred.
Electronically submit a cover letter and resume to PSU Jobs website or fax to 814-865-3750. Review of applications will begin July 21, 2010 and continue until the job is filled. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce.
Earn Your Degree: Child Development & Family Studies from Indiana University
Earn a Child Development & Family Studies Degree at IUP's Monroeville site beginning August 30, 2010. Take advantage of this unique program for Child Care Teachers/Providers.
For more information and to register for classes contact by August 15, 2010: Dr. Fredalene B. Bowers, Coordinator, Child & Family Studies Program, IUP. Phone 724 357-4046 or 724 357-2336 or email email@example.com.
This program provides support to create quality, lasting, one-on-one relationships that provide young children of prisoners with caring adult role models for future success. Priority will be given to intervention efforts on the part of caring adult mentors that interact with mentees on a regular and consistent basis to provide support, encouragement, and advice. More information is available at the website for the Department of Health.
Deadline: September 10, 2010
The 2011 Family Literacy Grants are aimed at developing or expanding programs that support literacy for children and their primary care givers. The proposal must be for an literacy program that has been running for at least two years and includes at least one of the following aspects: literacy for adults, parent education, pre-literacy or literacy instruction for children pre-K through grade three, and inter-generational literacy. A total of $650,000 is available for grants averaging $65,000 each. Eligible organizations include nonprofits and public organizations and must have been in operation for at least two years prior the application. More information is available at the website for the Barbara Bush Foundation.
Take Precautions: Heat Can Kill Children in Cars
On sunny days the interior of vehicles heats up rapidly and get very hot. This happens even on relatively mild or cool days. On days when the outdoor temperature is just 72°F, the internal vehicle temperature can reach 117°F in an hour. Most of the temperature rise (80%) occurs in the first 30 minutes. On days when outdoor temperatures exceed 86°F, the temperature in a vehicle can quickly reach 134 to 154°F. These temperatures put children at significant risk. Cracking open windows does not effectively decrease either the rate of heat rise or the maximum temperature reached. In fact, sunlight coming through open car windows makes the car work like an oven.
It is easy to accidentally leave sleeping children in a vehicle. Anyone who puts a child in a vehicle needs to know about this big risk. Parents and staff must be sure that each child put into a vehicle is removed promptly at the destination. A child’s body has more surface area than an adult’s body, so children heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults. It only takes minutes for a child to become dangerously overheated. Every year, more than 30 children die because they are alone in a car. Don’t let a child you know die or suffer injury from being overheated in a car. (This information is from a flyer prepared by the PA Traffic Injury Prevention Project of the PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. For a copy of the flyer, contact PA-TIPP at 1-800-CARBELT or 484-446-3036.)
Grow It, Try It, Like It!
Grow It, Try It, Like It! Preschool Fun with Fruits and Vegetables is a garden-themed nutrition education kit for child care center staff that introduces children to: three fruits - peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupe, and three vegetables - spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash. The kit includes seven booklets featuring three fruits and vegetables with fun activities through the imaginary garden at Tasty Acres Farm can be used to introduce any fruit or vegetable! It also has a CD-ROM with Supplemental Information and a DVD with Cool Puppy Pup's Picnic and Lunch Parties. Each set of lessons in the six fruit or vegetable booklets contain: hands-on activities, planting activities, and nutrition education activities that introduce MyPyramid for Preschoolers. Use the kit to promote learning at home with fun parent/child activities and family-sized recipes that give tips for cooking with children. One copy per Child Care Center is available upon request through Team Nutrition.
The Two-Bite Club
This educational storybook was developed to introduce MyPyramid for Preschoolers to young children. Parents or caregivers read the book to children and encourage them to try foods from each food group by eating just two bites, just like the characters in the story. The back of the book contains a MyPyramid for Preschoolers coloring page, a blank certificate for the Two Bite Club, fun activity pages for kids, and Tips for Growing Healthy Eaters. Available to child care centers, day care homes, and Kindergartens upon request, with a limit of 6 copies through Team Nutrition.
New CONNECT Video on Early Childhood Transition
CONNECT: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge has released an 8-minute video entitled Foundations of Transition for Young Children, which focuses on what teachers and families need to know to help young children transition smoothly from one early childhood program or service to another, the legal requirements to support transition and the characteristics of effective transition practices. This 8-minute video is available at the CONNECT website.
Millions of Books Get Digitized for the Disabled
For those who are blind, dyslexic or have diseases like multiple sclerosis and have difficulty turning book pages, reading the latest best seller just got easier. Brewster Kahle, a digital librarian and founder of a virtual library called the Internet Archive, has launched a worldwide campaign to double the number of books available for print-disabled people. The Internet Archive began scanning books in 2004 and now has more than 1 million available in DAISY format, or Digital Accessible Information System, a means of creating "talking" books that can be downloaded to a handheld device.
For more information, please visit the website of Open Library.
Final Versions of CELL Parent Practice Guides Released
The Center for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) has released final versions of the CELL Parent Practice Guides for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers. These guides include practices that help parents engage their children in everyday early literacy learning activities. They have been rewritten to be used by parents who read at a 5th to 6th grade level or higher. The final versions are now available online. CELL papers on the social validity and readability of the Parent Practice Guides are also available online at the website of Early Literacy Learning. The Center for Early Literacy Learning is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Research to Practice Division and is a major initiative of the Center for Evidence-Based Practices at the Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute.
Cultural and Linguistic Competence Family Organization Assessment Tool
The National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University's Center for Child and Human Development has developed a new tool for assessing organizational cultural and linguistic competence, designed specifically for family organizations concerned with children with behavioral-emotional disorders, special health care needs, and disabilities. The Cultural and Linguistic Competence Family Organization Assessment Instrument (2010) can be downloaded in PDF format.
U.S. Department of Education Launches New Early Learning Web Page
The U.S. Department of Education has added a new page to its website to help keep readers updated on early learning issues. The department recently launched the Early Learning Initiative web page, where readers can find out about funding opportunities, programs, resources and publications, events, and view webinars and read up on policy issues.
Supporting Bilingual Families
Multilingual Living is a blog about raising bilingual children, with texts submitted by readers. There are many useful ideas and recommendations of textbooks, reading materials and more. For example, there is an idea by one of the readers about making up stories while listening to music in the car. The story can be in any language! To read more, go to the website of Multilingual Living.
The Spanglish Baby is a website about raising bilingual children in Spanish and English. It is full of useful information. For example, a recent post by Monica Olivera Hazelton shared ways she is passing on her Latino heritage to her children, teaching them Spanish, and the method she is using to pass is to incorporate bilingual and bicultural children’s literature into their routine. She describes her preferences and how she uses the materials. To learn more, visit the website of Spanglish Baby.
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