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2022 Summit on Research in Early Childhood helps connect research, practice, policy

Participants gather during the 2022 CYFS Summit on Research in Early Childhood at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center on April 13. View photo gallery.

Creating connections among early childhood research, practice and policy — and how each can enhance the lives of young children and their families — provided the central theme of the 2022 CYFS Summit on Research in Early Childhood.

Nearly 200 attendees, including researchers from across the University of Nebraska system, practitioners, administrators, community partners and policymakers, gathered April 13 at Nebraska Innovation Campus for the daylong, sixth biennial summit, which highlighted the latest research to advance early childhood education and development, and implications for practice and policy. Full Article

TAPP brings new tool to students, parents and teachers in Brazil

From left, Renata T.M. Gomes, CYFS graduate research assistant and doctoral candidate, and Natalie Williams, associate professor and graduate chair in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, discuss TAPP during a meeting at the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation in Brazil. Gomes is leading a project to introduce TAPP to students in Brazil. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

As students in Brazil slowly return to in-person learning following the COVID-19 pandemic, some are being introduced to a program designed to foster parent-teacher partnerships to help boost children’s academic and social and emotional success.

Renata T.M. Gomes, CYFS graduate research assistant and doctoral candidate, is leading the effort to bring Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP) to Brazil. Full Article

CYFS releases 2020-21 annual report

View the 2020-21 CYFS annual report: Interactive | PDF

Despite the unusual circumstances of the past year and a half, the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools has remained focused on impacting lives through research that advances learning and development.

With diverse partners in research, practice and policy, CYFS has continued work to address the social, behavioral and educational needs of communities in Nebraska and beyond — both amid and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Full Article

Research digesting why children, vegetables don’t always mix

Saima Hasnin, doctoral candidate in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, is leading research to better understand family child care home providers’ preparation and serving of vegetables, and their influence on children’s vegetable consumption. Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

Early childhood obesity is a major U.S. public health problem, afflicting children from low-income and minority families in rural areas disproportionately with an increased risk for long-term health disparities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Full Article

Research: Family adversity lowers children’s social-emotional skills

Research suggests preschool children with increased exposure to family adversity exhibit lower social-emotional skills than their peers.

Strong social-emotional skills have been found to impact children’s development and later success.

Research also shows children exposed to adverse experiences — maternal depression, poverty, parental substance use, physical abuse and neglect — are at risk for having lower social-emotional functioning compared to their peers. Full Article

Boosting children’s resilience in the face of socioeconomic risk

Hannah Kerby, doctoral candidate in school psychology, is exploring how children’s social-emotional skills are influenced by their residential neighborhoods. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Children who possess strong social-emotional skills in elementary school tend to experience academic and personal success. Children lacking those skills, however, often experience adverse outcomes — both short- and long-term.

To improve outcomes for children, it is crucial to understand factors associated with positive social-emotional development. 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. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

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. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

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