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IN THIS ISSUE February 2021
Research Connections Updates
Monthly Spotlight
Other Featured Resources
This edition of Research Connections News & Resources highlights the following research and related resources: materials from the recent National Research Conference on Early Childhood; a 50-state scan of early care and education (ECE) workforce policies; how preschool impacts mathematical ability at kindergarten entry; how teacher exhaustion impacts classroom interactions; a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) review of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mitigation strategies; recommendations for improvement of quality rating and improvement systems (QRISs); and long-term impacts of Early Head Start (EHS).
We also feature updates related to the National Survey of Early Care and Education 2019 Restricted Use Datasets and funding opportunities for dissertation research.
Research Connections Updates

National Research Conference on Early Childhood (NRCEC) 2020 Session Recordings

Visit the NRCEC website to access recordings of all sessions from the Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) National Research Conference on Early Childhood (NRCEC 2020). Make sure to check out NRCEC’s interactive virtual posters! The NRCEC 2020 poster gallery will be available to view until March 31, 2021. 
Monthly Spotlight
50-State Early Educator Policy and Practice Research
This report from the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE), the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), and Bellwether Education Partners provides a 50-state scan of the policies, practices, and conditions concerning supports for the ECE workforce. The authors share key findings about ECE qualifications, work environment, compensation, and political momentum for ECE priorities. Two additional reports, Early Educator Preparation Landscape and Early Educator Preparation and Compensation Policies: Voices from 10 States, were published alongside the 50-state scan.
Other Featured Resources

The Relationship between Mathematical Literacy at Kindergarten Entry and Public Preschool Attendance, Type, and Quality

This 2019 study examined the relationship between preschool attendance, type, and quality and the mathematical literacy of nearly 46,000 kindergartners in Utah. It also looked at the effects of in-person, online, or combination programs on mathematical literacy at kindergarten entry. Online learning was associated with positive outcomes, particularly among disadvantaged and minority children. Considering the dramatic increase in online schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers and policymakers alike can use these findings to inform future research and decision making.

Preschool Teachers’ Emotional Exhaustion in Relation to Classroom Instruction and Teacher-Child Interactions

This open-access journal article looks at preschool teachers’ self-reported emotional exhaustion and the quality of their classroom instruction. Teachers who reported higher emotional exhaustion demonstrated lower-quality interactions with the children in their care, regardless of teacher education level. Policymakers may find this information useful when considering supports for preschool teachers, such as promoting emotional well-being and reducing emotional exhaustion.

Implementing Mitigation Strategies in Early Care and Education Settings for Prevention of SARS-COV-2 Transmission: Eight States, September–October 2020

CDC reviewed Head Start and Early Head Start programs’ successful implementation of CDC-recommended guidance for preventing the spread of COVID-19 during in-person learning. Use of CDC-recommended strategies (for example, screening staff and children for illness upon entry, use of masks for staff and children older than 2 years, and using outdoor space when possible) can reduce the risk of disease transmission in child care settings.

Data Use in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems: Lessons Learned from Quality Start Los Angeles

This report highlights challenges faced and lessons learned from experiences with data use in LA County’s QRIS. The recommendations provided in this report are applicable to QRIS data systems beyond LA County and may be useful to early learning system leaders across the nation.

Pathways to Prevention: Early Head Start Outcomes in the First Three Years Lead to Long-Term Reductions in Child Maltreatment

This study uses longitudinal data from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project (EHSREP). It examines the long-term impact of EHS birth–3 services in preventing maltreatment in children’s first 15 years. Results indicate that EHS program impacts on key short-term outcomes (such as reducing levels of family conflict, promoting engaged and responsive parenting, and fostering children’s healthy social-emotional and cognitive development) are associated with positive long-term outcomes (for example, lower risk for maltreatment after the end of program services). These results may be of interest to policymakers seeking to invest in programs with long-term impacts.

Now Accepting Applications to use Restricted Data from 2019 National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE)

We are excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for Level-2 (L2) restricted-use data from the 2019 NSECE! L2 data consists of identifiers of geographic units such as state, Primary Sampling Units, or providers cluster that allow users to analyze the NSECE at different geographic levels or link NSECE to other data sources. You will be able to use the 2019 NSECE L2 data in conjunction with any of the following preliminary 2019 NSECE quick-tabulation data files and documentation: Center-based; Workforce; Home-based, listed and Home-based, unlisted
Please email if you are interested in submitting an application for L2 data. Once we hear from you, we’ll provide the application along with a detailed explanation of how the process works.

New Funding Opportunities for Early Childhood Dissertation Research

The Early Care and Education Research Scholars grants support doctoral dissertation research addressing issues related to Head Start and child care. Both grant programs support work that informs policy and practice decisions and solutions, particularly for underserved/understudied populations, and utilizes the most rigorous research methodology. 
The full announcement for “Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Dissertation Grants” is available at: The full announcement for “Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Child Care Dissertation Grants” is available at:
We recommend that potential applicants also search for these Funding Opportunity Announcements on and subscribe to receive notifications and updates. These grant programs are funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If you have questions regarding these grant announcements, please email or, respectively, or call 1-877-350-5913.

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Copyright © 2020 ICF, All rights reserved.

Until March 30, 2019, Research Connections was supported under grant #90YE0104 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Research Connections is now supported by contract #HHSP233201500071I from OPRE, ACF, HHS. The contents do not necessarily represent the views of OPRE, ACF, or HHS. 

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