CLASP: Policy Solutions That Work for Low-Income People

October 26, 2016

According to new research from the Yale Child Study Center, many early childhood programs demonstrate implicit bias in assessing children’s behavioral challenges and making decisions about suspension and expulsion.

The study asked early childhood teachers and administrators to watch two videos—one featuring a Black boy and girl, the other a White boy and girl—and identify challenging behavior. It found that teachers spent a disproportionate amount of time watching the Black boy. When explicitly asked which student required the most attention, 42 percent of participants said the Black boy, 34 percent the White boy, 13 percent the White girl, and 10 percent the Black girl.

The study tracks closely with recent data from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office for Civil Rights. According to ED’s 2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), Black children comprise just 19 percent of those enrolled in public school pre-kindergarten but 47 percent of preschool children who receive one or more suspensions. Black boys are also more likely to be expelled than their peers. In addition to implicit bias, these children experience higher stress levels and less access to high-quality early education.

The body of evidence showing racial disparities in accessing and succeeding in early childhood programs demonstrates a strong need to review and modify federal, state, and local policies. We need to create a level playing field where all kids can access quality programs and receive equal treatment—supporting their success now and in the future. If we fail to address racial disparities, we’ll be undermining healthy development for millions of our youngest children.

Source: CLASP: Policy Solutions That Work for Low-Income People

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Create a Culture of Acceptance and Kindness in a Challenging World: It all Starts in Your Early Childhood Program

2 – 3:30pm ET

Presenter: Jacky Howell

In a time where there seems to be many negative messages in the media and beyond, we in early childhood programs experience the effects on young children.  This webinar will share a variety of ideas and strategies to use in your programs that embrace a culture of acceptance and kindness.


  • Description and examples will be given defining a classroom that embraces a culture of acceptance and kindness.
  • Concrete strategies and ideas will be shared that participants can bring back to use in their settings.
  • Opportunity will be provided for question/answer.

Source: Early Childhood Webinars

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Assistance to States for the Education of Children With Disabilities; Preschool Grants for Children With Disabilities; Final Rule


The Secretary amends the regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) governing the Assistance to States for the Education of Children with Disabilities program and the Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities program. With the goal of promoting equity under IDEA, the regulations will establish a standard methodology States must use to determine whether significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity is occurring in the State and in its local educational agencies (LEAs); clarify that States must address significant disproportionality in the incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions, including suspensions and expulsions, using the same statutory remedies required to address significant disproportionality in the identification and placement of children with disabilities; clarify requirements for the review and revision of policies, practices, and procedures when significant disproportionality is found; and require that LEAs identify and address the factors contributing to significant disproportionality as part of comprehensive coordinated early intervening services (comprehensive CEIS) and allow these services for children from age 3 through grade 12, with and without disabilities.

Source: Federal Register, Volume 81 Issue 243

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CLASP Brief Examines Latino Families’ Access to Child Care Subsidies


CLASP has released a new brief titled A Closer Look at Latino Access to Child Care Subsidies. A companion piece to our original report Disparate Access: Head Start and CCDBG Data by Race and Ethnicity, this brief elaborates on the low level of access Latino children and their parents have to child care assistance through the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). CCDBG helps parents afford the high costs of child care and supports quality improvements in child care.

CLASP’s analysis found that access to child care subsidies is sharply limited for all eligible children, but even more so eligible Latino children. While 13 percent of all eligible children receive child care assistance through CCDBG, only 8 percent of eligible Latino children nationally get help. Access is even lower in 29 states. This brief takes a closer look at the data on Latino children’s access across the states and offers policy solutions to improve access to child care assistance. 

Read A Closer Look At Latino Access To Child Care Subsidies >>

Register for CLASP and’s joint webinar, Place and Race Matter: Head Start and CCDBG Access by Race, Ethnicity, and Location >> 

Source: CLASP

Webinar: Place, Race, ACE, and the First 1000 Days: New Policy Imperatives for Early Childhood

About the presenters

Charles Bruner, Ph.D.
Charles Bruner, Ph.D. Image
Charles Bruner, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator for the Learning Collaborative on Health Equity and Young Children, has worked on child policy and advocacy issues from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Charlie holds a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University, served 12 years as a state representative and then senator in the Iowa General Assembly, and was the founding Director of Iowa’s leading child policy research and advocacy organization, the Child and Family Policy Center. His presentation will draw upon the policy brief, ACE, Place, Race, Poverty, and Young Children: Community-Building as a Component of Early Childhood Systems Building.
Richard Chase
Richard Chase Image
Senior research manager at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, studies early childhood policies, services, and indicators and evaluates the effectiveness of school readiness, prevention, and capacity-building programs for children. For more than 30 years, Richard has worked with diverse community agencies to design and carry out studies focused on outcomes and improvement. Richard holds a doctorate in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. His presentation will draw upon the policy report, Prenatal to Age 3: A Comprehensive, Racially-Equitable Policy Plan for Universal Healthy Child Development.
Voices and Choices for Children Coalition
The Voices and Choices for Children Coalition working closely with the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet, state ethnic councils, state agencies, early childhood funders, community-based organizations, early childhood advocates and parents representing communities of color and American Indian communities across the state of Minnesota, focuses on developing strongly engaged cultural communities of learning as well as organizing and advocacy opportunities for their access, input, and impact around shaping more equitable practices and policies that will support better outcomes for children of color and American Indian children prenatal to 8 years old across the state. The coalition prioritizes the voices of organizations, advocates and parents of color and American Indians working across early childhood sectors to more meaningfully engage and empower communities of color and American Indians.
Angelica Cardenas-Chaisson, M.S.W.
Moderator: Angelica Cardenas-Chaisson, M.S.W. is CFPC’s staff lead for the Learning Collaborative on Health Equity and Young Children.  Ms. Cardenas-Chaisson has an emphasis on health equity and young children. She brings expertise in early learning and family support to the center’s work.  She also works closely on issues of youth living in foster care.
Ms. Cardenas received her B.A. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has a Master’s of Social Work with an emphasis on children and families from the University of California, Berkeley.

Source: Learning Collaborative on Health Equity & Young Children

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Early School Readiness: Indicators on Children and Youth


Compared with white or black children, Hispanic children are less likely to be able to recognize the letters of the alphabet, count to 20 or higher, or write their names before they start kindergarten. Black children are similar to white children on these measures, but are more likely than white children to be reading words in books.


School readiness, a multi-dimensional concept,1 conveys important advantages. Children who enter school with early skills, such as a basic knowledge of math and reading, are more likely than their peers to experience later academic success,2,3 attain higher levels of education, and secure employment.4 Absence of these and other skills may contribute to even greater disparities down the road. For example, one study found that gaps in math, reading, and vocabulary skills evident at elementary school entry explained at least half of the racial gap in high school achievement scores.5

As conceptualized by the National Education Goals Panel, school readiness encompasses five dimensions: (1) physical well-being and motor development; (2) social and emotional development; (3) approaches to learning; (4) language development (including early literacy); and (5) cognition and general knowledge.6 The school readiness indicator reported on here includes four skills related to early literacy and cognitive development: a child’s ability to recognize letters, count to 20 or higher, write his or her first name, and read words in a book. While cognitive development and early literacy are important for children’s school readiness and early success in school, other areas of development, like health, social development, and engagement, may be of equal or greater importance.7,8,9 However, although experts agree that social-emotional skills are critically important for school readiness, to date there are no nationally representative data in this area.

Source: Child Trends

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Being Black is Not a Risk Factor: Read the Reports


NBCDI’s State of the Black Child initiative is focused on creating resources that challenge the prevailing discourse about Black children-one which overemphasizes limitations and deficits and does not draw upon the considerable strengths, assets and resilience demonstrated by our children, families, and communities. We are deeply grateful for support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Walmart Foundation and the Alliance for Early Success, as well as our data partners, including CLASP and NCCP, and, of course, our Affiliate network and partners on the ground in the states.

Each of the reports, national and state-based, are designed to address the needs of policymakers, advocates, principals, teachers, parents and others, by weaving together three elements:

  1. Essays from experts that focus on using our children’s, families’ and communities’ strengths to improve outcomes for Black children
  2. “Points of Proof” from organizations that serve not as exceptions, but as examples of places where Black children and families are succeeding
  3. Data points that indicate how our children and families are doing across a range of measures

Source: National Black Child Development Institute

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A Better Start: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education : Blog of the Century


A Better Start: Why Classroom Diversity Matters in Early Education is a new report that describes troubling racial, ethnic and economic disparities in preschool classrooms across America. Featuring TCF fellow Halley Potter as a contributing author, it calls for policymakers to focus on the value of diversity in early education classrooms as a means to increase equity and quality for America’s youngest learners.

Released on the eve of the 50th Anniversary of Head Start by The Century Foundation and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, the report found that preschool classrooms are largely separate and often unequal.

Demographic data as in the report reveal:

  • Children from low-SES families and Hispanic children are less likely than high-SES and non-Hispanic children to be enrolled in center-based early childhood programs;
  • Low-income children are most likely to attend low-quality preschool programs; and
  • Most children in public preschool programs attend classrooms that are segregated by family income and often by race/ethnicity as well.

The report’s authors Jeanne L. Reid and Sharon Lynn Kagan from the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University analyzed recent research on how the composition of young children’s classrooms affects children’s cognitive and social development. They argue that greater attention should be paid to this scholarship as policymakers strive to build early education systems that are excellent, equitable and sustainable.

“The research on classroom composition and peer effects in early childhood education suggests that segregating children limits their learning. Yet, much of current preschool policy effectively segregates children by income, and often, by race/ethnicity,” explain Reid and Kagan in the report.

Furthermore, a survey of fourteen of the nation’s leading early learning organizations’ position statements found that none articulated a specific commitment to economic and racial integration in preschool classrooms.

Philip Tegeler, Executive Director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council said the earlier we can start to bring children together in the same classrooms, the faster we will close the achievement gap and break down racial prejudice.

“If we’re really serious about addressing the achievement gap, we need to stop educating low-income children in separate schools – and pre-kindergarten is the best place to start,” argues Tegeler. “The Department of Education needs to take a leadership role on this issue.”

Halley Potter encouraged policy-makers to seize this moment of unparalleled investment in preschool programs to course-correct on diversity.

“As policymakers consider the best ways to set our nation’s children on a path to success, we hope this report will encourage our leaders to enact creative policy solutions that increase the opportunities for children of different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds to learn together in the same classrooms,” said Potter.

A Better Start makes specific recommendations to address the diversity challenge in early education including:

  • Increase funding: Create an “equity” set-aside in current federal early education funding, parallel to the concept of the “quality” set-asides in Head Start and Child Care Development.
  • Make diversity a priority: National early childhood organizations should take a stance on reducing segregation in preschool classrooms, as a critical element of their commitment to serve all children and serve them equitably.
  • Strengthen and diversify Head Start: Increase fiscal allocations for Head Start considerably to allow Head Start providers to use the existing option of enrolling up to 10 percent of their children from families with incomes above the poverty line without jeopardizing services to low-income children.

“Good policy – whether it is on education, juvenile justice, or health care – should be based on evidence, research, and proven outcomes,” said Ranking Member Scott. “I am pleased to join the Century Foundation and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council for the release of their new report on research findings concerning the role that socioeconomic and racial diversity in early childhood programs plays in cognitive and social benefits for children, and long term implications for learning and achievement. The Century Foundation continues to provide essential research that informs policymaking.”

The report was launched at a briefing on Capitol Hill featuring Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Ranking Democratic Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, together with the report’s authors and contributors.

Source: The Century Foundation

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My Brother’s Keeper: A Year Later 


“Helping more of our young people stay on track. Providing the support they need to think more broadly about their future. Building on what works, when it works, in those critical life-changing moments.”

That’s how President Obama explained the My Brother’s Keeper initiative a year ago when it first launched. And in the 12 months since, we’ve seen a tremendous response from people and organizations at all levels that are answering the President’s call to action.

President Obama established My Brother’s Keeper, or MBK, to help close the opportunity gaps faced by too many young people across our country, and by boys and young men of color in particular. At the initiative’s launch, he called for government, businesses, nonprofits, local education agencies, and individuals to step up and do their part to ensure all of our nation’s youth have the tools they need to succeed.

We’re celebrated MBK’s first anniversary with a day focused on the young people and communities at the heart of this program. First, we’re sharing a very special StoryCorps interview between President Obama and Noah McQueen, a D.C.-area high school student and one of our White House mentees. In the interview that aired on the morning of March 2 on NPR, the President and Noah talked candidly with each other about overcoming tough circumstances, rebounding from setbacks, and what it takes to have a successful future.

Source: Administration for Children and Families

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Reducing Health Insurance Inequities among Latino Families Raising Children with Special Health Care Needs


The Catalyst Center is committed to identifying and supporting policy and program initiatives that work to reduce inequities in health insurance coverage and financing among underserved children with special health care needs (CSHCN).

Children are more likely to have health insurance when their parents are also insured. This fact sheet explores:

  • The Medicaid expansion provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA);
  • A state option to provide 12-month continuous eligibility to parents and other adults;
  • How these policy initiatives have the potential to impact the insurance status of Latino CSHCN

Source: Catalyst Center

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