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Research finds complex links between income, child care

Conventional wisdom says that people get what they pay for – but a new study suggests that money goes only so far when it comes to finding quality child care.

The study, led by CYFS Faculty Affiliates Julia Torquati and Helen Raikes, examined whether family income, education level and other factors predicted the actual and parent-perceived quality of 359 Midwestern child care programs. Full Article

CYFS releases 2010-2011 Annual Report

The Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools (CYFS) has released its annual report for the 2010 fiscal year, which ran from July 2010 through June 2011.

Titled “Realizing Potential, Reaching Beyond,” the report features snapshots of the center’s achievements in conducting applied research, translating that research to the field, and collaborating with partners to advance the CYFS mission. Full Article

Knoche unveils preliminary results of project evaluation

Coaches typically develop game plans designed to achieve success on the field, court, diamond or ice. CYFS Research Associate Professor Lisa Knoche is helping to ensure that Nebraska adds “classroom” and “home” to that list.

Knoche, CYFS Consultant Sue Bainter and several graduate student affiliates offered a glimpse into their year-long evaluation of the Early Childhood Coaching Project during a Sept. 29 meeting in Lincoln, Neb. The project – developed by the Nebraska Department of Education’s Early Childhood Training Center – prepares early childhood professionals who work with teachers and families to enhance young children’s development. Full Article

CYFS helps jump-start after-school club

They may lack a driver’s license and ride the bus to school, but students at Lincoln’s Culler Middle School are using other forms of transportation to reach destinations further down the road.

With the support of the Nebraska Center for Research on CYFS, the Nebraska Transportation Center and the Mid-America Transportation Center, Culler recently concluded the first year of an after-school engineering club that illustrated how math and science make modern transportation possible. Dubbed Roads, Rails and Race Cars, the weekly club offered interactive activities that helped Culler students grasp the diverse applications of the algebra, geometry and physics they learned in class. Full Article

Swearer participates in White House conference on bullying

Susan Swearer, associate professor of educational psychology and CYFS faculty affiliate, participated in the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention held March 10.

Swearer was one of four national bullying experts who joined President and First Lady Obama, along with members of the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to discuss the causes, consequences and prevention of bullying. Teachers, parents and students from across the United States were also on hand to lend their perspectives. Full Article

Plata-Potter focusing on Latinos’ early literacy

Sandra Plata-Potter wants to help first-generation Latino parents give their preschoolers a head start on literacy – and the resources to keep pace with their peers.

The CYFS doctoral student affiliate is collaborating with Faculty Affiliates Lisa Knoche and Helen Raikes to determine whether Latino parents’ engagement in a Head Start project encourages them to become more involved in literacy-related activities with their children. The researchers are also examining whether these home-based activities bolster children’s “emergent literacy” – the knowledge and skills that serve as foundations for reading and writing. Full Article