Benefits of Early Home Visiting Seen in School
Healthy Families New York has released a study comparing children who received home visits and those who did not. The program provides home visits for at risk expectant parents and new mothers. These visits provide parents with information about child development and stress reduction and occur until the child enters kindergarten or Head Start. First graders who were provided these services were half as likely to repeat a grade and had much stronger behaviors that promote learning such as playing cooperatively than children who had not received these services. More information about the study can be found here.
Link Between Low Birth Weight and Air Pollution
Pregnant women who are exposed to the type of pollution created by coal power plants and vehicles are much more likely to give birth to low weight babies than mothers who live in areas with better air quality. The researchers studied births at 14 different sites in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Children born weighing less than 5.5 pounds are at higher risk for developmental delays and infection. The researchers believe that policy makers need to do more to control air pollution in order to protect public health. More information can be found in this article.
New policies and programs being proposed:
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has proposed to create a new Office of Early Education by combining five different state agencies and providing additional funding for the new agency. Unifying services for young children under one department will make it easier to coordinate services for children and their families. The new agency will have authority and oversight for a variety of programs that provide early childhood services including family daycare, preschool and daycare programs. Read more about this news here.
Maine’s Education Commissioner, Stephen Bowen, announced the creation of the State Agency Interdepartmental Early Learning Team. The purpose of the team will be to provide governance between the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. The focus will be on ways to better serve children from birth to age five. More information can be read here.
The Office of Head Start is trying out a pilot program that will create a seamless birth to five program in which applicants can submit one grant to serve both Early Head Start and Head Start eligible children and families. The pilot areas are Baltimore, Detroit, Sunflower County Mississippi, the District of Columbia and Jersey City New Jersey. Read more in this press release.
This News Roundup has been compiled and co-authored by Karen Burch, MA.