Early Childhood

Socioeconomic Gaps in Early Childhood Experiences, 1998 to 2010

Using two nationally-representative datasets, this study compares early life experiences of kindergarteners in 1998 and 2010. We find that over this period, many forms of parental investments increased substantially including educational resources in the home and children’s involvement in enriching activities. Although these increases occurred among both low and high-income children, in many cases they were largest among the lowest-income children. Implications for early socioeconomic achievement gaps are discussed.

Implementing the Foundations of Learning Project: Considerations for Preschool Intervention Research

While studies have documented the importance of strong implementation in intervention studies (e.g., see Durlak & Dupre, 2008), more information is needed about how to ensure strong fidelity and quality of program implementation when delivering interventions under “real world conditions” and on a large scale. In this article, key lessons in implementing a demonstration and evaluation project known as the Foundations of Learning (FOL) demonstration are presented.

An Integrative View of School Functioning: Transactions Between Self-Regulation, School Engagement, and Teacher–Child Relationship Quality

This study investigates the dynamic interplay between teacher–child relationship quality and children's behaviors across kindergarten and first grade to predict academic competence in first grade. Using a sample of 338 ethnically diverse 5-year-old children, nested path analytic models were conducted to examine bidirectional pathways between children's behaviors and teacher–child relationship quality.

The Role of Physiological Reactivity in Understanding Resilience Processes in Children’s Development

Stress and adversity affect children in different ways. Some children exhibit negative outcomes when exposed to difficult environments, while others overcome challenges. For decades, researchers have studied this variability of developmental outcomes in hopes to identify processes that enable some children to demonstrate resilience or positive adaptation in the face of adversity. Most recently, researchers have turned to examining resilience processes across multiple levels of analysis, from children’s neurobiological sensitivity to the effects of neighbourhoods they are raised in.

One Step at a Time: The Effects of an Early Literacy Text Messaging Program for Parents of Preschoolers

Substantial systematic differences exist in children’s home learning experiences. The few existing parenting programs that have shown promise often are not widely accessible, either due to the demands they place on parents’ time and effort or cost. In this study, we evaluate the effects of READY4K!, a text messaging program for parents of preschoolers designed to help them support their children’s literacy development.

Early Childhood Memory and Attention as Predictors of Academic Growth Trajectories

Longitudinal data from the children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) were used to assess how well measures of short-term and working memory and attention in early childhood predicted longitudinal growth trajectories in mathematics and reading comprehension. Analyses also examined whether changes in memory and attention were more strongly predictive of changes in academic skills in early childhood than in later childhood.

Patterns of literacy among U.S. students

How well do U.S. students read? In this article, Sean Reardon, Rachel Valentino, and Kenneth Shores rely on studies using data from national and international literacy assessments to answer this question. In part, the answer depends on the specific literacy skills assessed. The authors show that almost all U.S. students can "read" by third grade, if reading is defined as proficiency in basic procedural word-reading skills.