Why Early Childhood Suspensions Are Troubling



Texas school districts are suspending young students at alarming and disproportionate rates, according to a new report by Texans Care for Children. The report identified 64,773 in-school suspensions and 36,475 out-of-school suspensions of pre-K through second-grade students in Texas in 2015-2016. Students who are black, male, or in special education or foster care were disproportionately suspended. Taking preschoolers out of class denies them valuable learning time and spurs negative thoughts about school and how they fit in. Suspended students are more likely to have poor grades, continue misbehaving, and drop out of school, which harms lifelong mental and physical health. Latino kids especially risk not getting the social support they need for healthy development and disease ...

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What Can Make or Break a Healthy Lunch for Kids?



Capri Sun or 100% juice. Milk or flavored milk. The drink you put in your child's lunch can make or break a healthy lunch. In fact, drink choice is linked to the overall dietary quality of the food packed in lunches by parents for their preschoolers (ages 3-5), according to a new study led by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. What does this mean for Latino preschoolers and the health of their lunches? Latino Kids and Sugary Drinks Latino infants are twice as likely to be fed sugary drinks than their non-Latino peers. They are also more likely to have had a sugary drink by age 2 (74%) than their white peers (45%), according to a Salud America! research review. Ads that push sugary drinks are a problem. Latino preschoolers saw 23% ...

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Report: How Early Childcare Providers Can Help Children of Trauma



Most early childcare providers deal with children who have experienced or will experience neglect, poverty, or other traumatic events that can harm long-term health. But not all providers know how to best help these children. Fortunately, a new report from Child Trends and the National Center for Children in Poverty, is giving childcare providers guidance in dealing with children of trauma. How Early Childhood Trauma Affects Kids Trauma is a sad fact of life for many children. Whether its child abuse or witnessing domestic violence, trauma can impair a child's body and brain development. It also can hinder learning and the ability to develop healthy relationships across the lifespan. Latino kids exposed to many traumatic events are at higher risk for obesity, asthma, heart ...

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State Child Care Facts Sheets



States are not keeping up with shifting demographics to meet family's child care needs. Every year since 2006, Child Care Aware® of America has published a set of state fact sheets to illustrate how states measure up on areas of quality, affordability, and access to child care. Across all 50 states, the cost of center-based infant care averaged more than 40% of the median income for single mothers, far higher than the 7% threshold established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to Child Care Aware® of America. In 2015, 42% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family. Latina mothers are more likely than white mothers to be the breadwinners, but they make lower ...

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7 Big Childcare Changes that Are Making Kids Healthier


school food

Childcare centers are serving healthier food and pushing more physical activity than they did five years ago. But it's less clear that these changes are promoting health equity for Latinos and other minority children, according to a new report. The report, Early Care and Education Policies and Programs to Support Healthy Eating and Physical Activity: Best Practices and Changes Over Time, reviews policy and system changes in food service, physical activity, and screen time in early care and education (ECE) settings from 2011 to 2016. ECE settings include childcare centers, day care homes, Head Start programs, and preschools. The report was led by Healthy Eating Research. "The early childhood years are critical to the prevention of obesity," according to the report. "The role of ...

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20 State Profiles on Drinking Water Access and Quality in Schools & Child Care Centers



Access to free drinking water is not a given in schools and child care centers, although it is a key strategy to build lifelong healthy habits in children. Safe and appealing drinking water is particularly important to increase water consumption among Latino kids, who face more obstacles to being healthy, thus face higher rates of obesity and chronic disease. At the state policy level, drinking water availability in child care centers is governed by child care center licensing regulations, and drinking water availability in public schools is primarily governed by school nutrition policies, state plumbing codes, and school facilities standards. A recent study looked at state-wide policies in 20 states for drinking water quality and access in public schools and licensed child-care ...

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Nation’s Largest ‘Zoo School’ to Open in San Antonio



Imagine you're 4 years old. How would you feel going to preschool with crocodiles, elephants, and butterflies? What about learning letters while on nature walks? That childhood fantasy is reality for kids at the Will Smith Zoo School in San Antonio (68% Latino). The Zoo School, which opened in 2004 and became licensed in 2014 at the San Antonio Zoo, will expand its capacity from about 50 to more than 200 students in 2018 and become the largest nature-based preschool in the nation, SA Current reports. Zoo officials believe that learning can be as much of a serious hands-on experience as it is messy fun. "Children will spend time in nature exploring and discovering the wonders of nature," according to the Zoo School Parent Handbook. "Basic preschool concepts will be ...

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The Wild Story of How Residents Petitioned for Free Pre-K in Florida



Florida (24% Latino) is home to the nation's largest free preschool program. How did they get it? The long and winding story started 70 years ago and called for epic action—like enabling people to tax themselves for the sake of children, and local residents bypassing state legislators and petitioning for a public vote for universal Pre-K as a Florida Constitutional amendment. By the end, Florida had a model that other states can follow to get free Pre-K in their state. The Need for Greater Access to Preschool Latino and all children who attend high-quality early childhood programs are better prepared for kindergarten and overall school success than children who do not attend such programs. However, Latino kids and families across the country face many barriers to access ...

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Latino Childhood Development Research: Strategy—Early Care


early care preschool program with diverse kids

This is part of the Salud America! The State of Latino Early Childhood Development: A Research Review » The Benefits of ECE Programs for Kids Children who participate in high-quality early care and education (ECE) programs experience a range of immediate and long-term cognitive and health benefits, with the greatest impact seen in low-income populations.98 Although extensive literature is available on the long-term effects of Head Start and other early childhood development programs on black and white children, the effects of these programs on Latino populations have mostly been ignored.125 Additionally, nearly 40 years ago, it was recognized that cultural differences exist among the different Spanish-speaking people and that different subgroups should be analyzed separately. ...

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