Amid Rising Inequality, One School Gap Is Narrowing

Recent studies and government reports continue to highlight what many Americans know by their wallets: Rising income differences, debt and stagnant real wages are among the biggest problems besetting the nation.

That economic inequality is reflected in America’s schools, right? Absolutely.

But a study just out shows that the gap in school readiness between rich and poor children entering kindergarten closed significantly — by 10 to 16 percent — from 1998 to 2010. Some ethnic/racial achievement gaps declined as well. Reed the full story below.

The First 1000 Days: Nourishing America’s Future

Research has revealed that 25% of children in the United States, between one and two years of age, do not receive the recommended amount of daily iron, a brain-building nutrient, and 10% of children up to two years old already show signs of being overweight or obese. Recently, “1000 Days”, a leading nonprofit advocacy organization who focuses on improving nutrition for young children in the United States and around the world, released a report that details the foundational role that nutrition plays for young children, how young children and families are faring, and what action might be taken to improve nutritional health in the United States, particularly for children birth to two.
As detailed in this report, helping young children have access to healthy nutrition is essential to helping them develop cognitively, emotionally and physically. Though much of the report focuses on families, it does acknowledge that child care providers have an opportunity to impact children’s nutrition through educating families and exposing young children to healthy options.  To access the report and learn more about the role of nutrition in the lives of infants/toddlers visit :
The First 1,000 Days: Nourishing America’s Future

Tips for Tots – Classroom Environment

Looking for evidence-based strategies for supporting very young children to learn and grow? You may want to check out the Tips for Tots series. Each one-page document features a theme (e.g., Support with Transitions), information about what to expect and why, and strategies for supporting the emotional health and success of infants and toddlers.

Educator Resources

A New DLL Electronic Toolkit for Programs, Early Educators, Child Care Providers, and Families:  released by HHS’ Office of Head Start, includes free resources on supporting the learning and development- including dual language development – of DLLs at home, in early learning settings, and in the community.

The Policy Statement on Supporting the Development of Children Who Are Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Programs.

USDOE Fact Sheet: Supporting Dual Language Learners in Early Learning Settings.


Essential Instructional Practices in Early Literacy

The purpose of this document is to increase Michigan’s capacity to improve children’s literacy by identifying a small set of research supported literacy instructional practices that could be a focus of professional development throughout the state. The focus of the document is on classroom practices, rather than on school- or systems-level practices (which will be addressed in a future document). The document focuses on prekindergarten, as literacy knowledge and skills developed in the preschool years predict later literacy achievement.1 Prekindergarten education has the potential to improve “reading-by-third-grade” outcomes. Early childhood programs can also help to address disparities in literacy achievement. Research suggests that each of the ten practices in this document can have a positive impact on literacy development. We believe that the use of these practices in every classroom every day could make a measurable positive difference in the State’s literacy achievement. They should be viewed, as in practice guides in medicine, as presenting a minimum ‘standard of care’ for Michigan’s children.

Read full report:

Research on Back Sleeping and SIDS

The single most effective action that parents and caregivers can take to lower a baby’s risk of SIDS is to place the baby to sleep on his or her back for naps and at night.

Compared with back sleeping, stomach sleeping carries between 1.7 and 12.9 times the risk of SIDS.1 The mechanisms by which stomach sleeping might lead to SIDS are not entirely known.

Read more at:

Early Childhood Conference – Planting the Seeds for the Future 2016

The Early Childhood Conference provides quality local supports to support raising and caring for healthy children. This conference is intended for Montcalm County Parents (Biological, Foster, Adoptive, Grandparents) and Early Childhood Service Providers serving families with children ages 0-5 years of age (childcare providers, preschool teachers, home visitors, infant mental health professionals, health care professionals, social services professionals, school personnel and therapists). Registration is now open, workshops fill up quickly, so if you are interested in attending please send in your registration form soon.

Early Childhood Conference – Planting the Seeds For the Future Registration Materials 2016