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Coaching model aims to enhance services for Nebraska infants, toddlers

Lisa Knoche, CYFS co-director, is leading a project to explore ways to enhance coaching of state early intervention personnel who work with infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

In the United States, almost 400,000 infants and toddlers who are not developing typically receive services through the federal Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities.

Because these children and their families rely on early intervention services for optimal developmental outcomes, evidence-based solutions are crucial. Full Article

SMILE project aided by COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant

The Self-regulation and Motivation In Learning Environments (SMILE) project, whose funding was supplemented by an ORED COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, examines children as they transition from second to third grade — and how their self-regulation, motivation and interactions with teachers, parents and peers impact their classroom behavior.

In early 2020, Jenna Finch, assistant professor of psychology, began a pilot project to identify which non-academic factors help predict a successful transition from second grade to third grade.

Third grade presents significant new challenges for students, including the onset of standardized testing, increased behavioral expectations for them to work independently and the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Full Article

Nebraska, South Dakota researchers explore solutions to domestic violence among rural Native Americans

Nebraska and South Dakota researchers are collaborating to address unique challenges faced by rural Native American survivors of domestic violence.

Decades of research reveals that domestic violence in the United States is endemic and leads to harmful outcomes for survivors and their families.

But far less is known about what rural Native American survivors of domestic violence need to ensure recovery and healing from their experiences. Full Article

Exploring ways to help those who help others in the wake of natural disasters

Nebraska Extension and community volunteers combine flood relief efforts in spring 2019, after floods ravaged much of the state. (Photo by Jason Wessendorf, Verdigre Eagle)

In March 2019, 81 of Nebraska’s 93 counties were declared states of emergency due to significant flooding and blizzards. Nebraska Extension provided vital assistance to communities during the state’s disaster response and recovery, and continues to offer a lifeline for many struggling to cope. Full Article

CYFS releases 2019-20 Annual Report

View the 2019-20 CYFS Annual Report: Interactive or PDF

In a year unlike any other, CYFS and its diverse partners in research, practice and policy have continued work to impact lives through research that advances learning and development.

The CYFS annual report for the 2020 fiscal year, which ran from July 2019 to June 2020, is now available — highlighting efforts to address social, behavioral and educational challenges facing society, both amid and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Full Article

‘The Story of SEEDs’ shared in Oct. 19 webinar

About 200 practitioners, advocates, students and policymakers attended an Oct. 19 webinar, “The Story of SEEDs,” which outlined the history, success and challenges of the Support, Education, Empowerment and Directions (SEEDs) program.

The virtual event discussed the trauma-informed, gender-responsive, sober living home program for women with histories of substance abuse and domestic and/or sexual violence. Discussion topics included costs associated with running SEEDs, program implementation barriers, lessons learned and next steps for continued sustainability. Full Article

Research explores ways to bolster early childhood numeracy skills

Keting Chen, human sciences doctoral student in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, is exploring how home and childcare environments affect preschool-aged children’s numeracy skills — the ability to understand and work with numbers.

For some young children, learning the basics of 1-2-3 can be easy as A-B-C.

But because early numeracy skills often receive less attention than early literacy skills, children who lag in number comprehension may fall behind academically in kindergarten and beyond. Full Article

Study aims to address time crunch among early childhood educators

Early childhood teachers’ non-contact time — time away from students in the classroom — enables them to address other work demands, such as building instruction plans, assessing children’s development and communicating with families.

Much attention is paid to the work early childhood teachers do in the classroom. But their tasks away from their students are just as essential to children’s learning and development.

Unlike their K-12 counterparts, early childhood teachers lack dedicated time to address work demands beyond the direct care of children. Without formalized supports, out-of-classroom time may be scarified or interrupted as unexpected issues arise throughout the day. Full Article