InBrief: The Science of Neglect


Extensive biological and developmental research shows significant neglect—the ongoing disruption or significant absence of caregiver responsiveness—can cause more harm to a young child’s development than overt physical abuse, including subsequent cognitive delays, impairments in executive functioning, and disruptions of the body’s stress response. This edition of the InBrief series explains why significant deprivation is so harmful in the earliest years of life and why effective interventions are likely to pay significant dividends in better long-term outcomes in learning, health, and parenting of the next generation.

This 6-minute video provides an overview of The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain, a Working Paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

Source: Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

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Number and Characteristics of Early Care and Education ECE Teachers and Caregivers: Initial Findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education NSECE


What did the early childhood teaching and caregiving workforce look like in 2012? This research brief describes the Early Care and Education ECE workforce data developed in the National Survey of Early Care and Education NSECE. The survey focuses on individuals providing direct care and education for children birth through five years and not yet in kindergarten. Findings are based on over 10,000 questionnaires completed in 2012 by a sample of individuals representing about one million center-based classroom staff, as well as about 830,000 paid and about 2,300,000 unpaid individuals regularly providing home-based ECE to children other than their own.

Source: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families

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TACSEI Teachers and Service Providers Community

Welcome to the TACSEI Teachers and Service Providers Community. Here you will find information and select resources that have been compiled specifically with the needs of teachers, caregivers and service providers in mind. Just as a community changes and grows over time, so will this page as new interactive elements and resources are created and added.

Source: Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention

Available at: – Home Water Hazards for Young Children

Each year many young children drown in swimming pools, other bodies of water, and standing water around the home:

  • Bathtubs, even with baby bathtub “supporting ring” devices
  • Buckets and pails, especially 5-gallon buckets and diaper pails
  • Ice chests with melted ice
  • Toilets
  • Hot tubs, spas, and whirlpools
  • Irrigation ditches, post holes, and wells
  • Fish ponds, fountains

Children must be watched by an adult at all times when in or near water. Children may drown in an inch or 2 of water. Stay within an arm’s length of your child.

Source: Healthy Children

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Partners in Care: Supporting Fussy Babies in Child Care


Infant child care teachers play a unique and vital role for fami- lies. Child care teachers may be the first person other than family whom parents trust to care for their infant. Infant teachers may also be the parents’ primary support during the baby’s first year, especially during the stressful transition time of returning to work and bringing their infant to care.

Parents who have had a rough start with their new baby bring a heightened need for the support, sensitivity, and competence of the infant teacher and the infant classroom. Parents of fussy babies— babies who cry easily or a lot and are hard to settle—are among those families who may need extra support from their infant child care center.

We have learned from our work with parents of fussy babies that they often experience great emotional stress, physical exhaustion, and a loss of confidence in themselves as good parents. Because they have struggled to take care of their baby, they worry that other caregivers will also struggle, lose patience, or not like their baby. As parents get ready to return to work, they may also be grieving over having to leave their young infant in care, as well as be wor- ried that their baby will come to love the teacher more than them.

These parents need you—their baby’s teacher and the caregiving team—to help them through the transition from home to group care. At the same time, infant teachers know that when a fussy
baby comes into childcare, teachers will also need extra support. Infant program directors play an important role in seeing that everybody’s needs are met.

Partners in Care: Supporting Fussy Babies in Child Care was developed to support infant child care teachers and infant program directors in their special role with fussy babies and their families. The quotes that you will see were taken from focus groups with infant teachers and parents who shared their experiences about life with a fussy baby.

Fussy babies present a unique challenge in group care. Some have frantic cries that can’t be soothed. Others are always on the edge of crying and want to be constantly held. Also, because they are hard to settle, fussy babies often have difficulties around sleeping, feeding, and daily routines

This resource contains important information on crying, sleep and routines that will help you settle infants into child care. On the back pages you will find tools that you can use with parents to begin communicating about their baby and their expectations for his or her care. Throughout this resource, you will find ways to strengthen your partnership with parents in this most important job of becoming partners in care for their baby.

Source: The Erikson Institute, Fussy Baby Network

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Early Child Care and Education: HHS and Education Are Taking Steps to Improve Workforce Data and Enhance Worker Quality


The paid early child care and education (ECCE) workforce was made up of approximately 1.8 million workers in a range of positions, most of whom had relatively low levels of education and income, according to Census’s 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) data. For example, nearly half of all child care workers had a high school degree or less as did 20 percent of preschool teachers. Average yearly income ranged from $11,500 for a child care worker working in a child’s home to $18,000 for a preschool teacher. Experts and government officials that we spoke with said, in general, better educated and trained ECCE workers are more effective than those with less education and training. They also noted the need for more comprehensive workforce data—such as on workers with specialized ECCE training. While existing ECCE workforce data provide valuable insight into worker characteristics, critical data gaps exist. For example, these data omit key segments of ECCE workers, such as some caregivers who provide child care in their own homes, and also do not separately identify preschool teachers working in elementary schools. HHS and Education have taken steps to improve ECCE workforce data, such as providing guidance and funding to states to encourage the collection of state-level data and working with federal agencies to improve workforce data collected nationally.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

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Caring Connections Podcast Series – Head Start

Welcome to the Office of Head Start (OHS) podcasts, developed by the EHS NRC. They are designed to offer you important tidbits of information that focus on topics relevant to your work with infants, toddlers, and their families. The podcasts can be accessed on your computer, smartphone, or other mobile device. Most podcasts have both video and audio; some are offered in only video format. They run between 8-14 minutes, just enough time to learn something new during planning time, on a break, or while driving between home visits.

Source: Early Childhood Knowledge and Learning Center

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Bonding With Grandparents

If you’ve ever turned to your parents or your partner’s parents for help and support with child-rearing, you know how wonderful grandparents can be. Although physical distance and parenting differences can come between grandparents, their children, and their grandchildren, encouraging a close relationship can benefit everyone involved.

Source: KidsHealth

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ZERO TO THREE: Early Childhood Mental Health

Babies and young children thrive when they are cared for by adults that are “crazy about them!” (Bronfenbrenner, 1976 1). Responsive relationships with consistent primary caregivers help build positive attachments that support healthy social-emotional development. These relationships form the foundation of mental health for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.


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