Mapping Student Needs during COVID-19

Mapping Student Needs during COVID-19. Urban Institute. Kristin Blagg et al. April 29, 2020

Staff, teachers, and students experienced rapid change as school buildings closed in March 2020 because of the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. In this brief, we use American Community Survey (ACS) data to highlight different types of challenges to remote learning and point to district and educator strategies that might mitigate harm to students as districts navigate long-term school closures. Although many families will face unique circumstances and obstacles, we focus on six factors in addition to poverty: linguistic isolation, child disability status, parents in vulnerable economic sectors, single parents, crowded conditions, and lack of computer or broadband access. We describe the difficulties each circumstance presents and potential solutions for school districts. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 27 pages].

OKFutures Needs Assessment: Oklahoma’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five

OKFutures Needs Assessment: Oklahoma’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five. Urban Institute. Erica Greenberg et al. January 27, 2020.

The importance of quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) is increasingly visible across the country. ECCE affects children’s growth and development, families’ ability to work, and the future health of society. This has inspired federal support for states to create extensive, multi-year plans to serve children and families more effectively. Though the quality and availability of ECCE have become priorities for many states, there are still gaps in how children and families access programs and the resources they provide.
Oklahoma is a national leader in ECCE and is working to illuminate and address unmet need through OKFutures. This paper provides a comprehensive assessment of need across the ECCE mixed delivery system with a focus on programs that directly provide ECCE: universal prekindergarten, Head Start and Early Head Start, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Head Start and Early Head Start, Early Head Start–Child Care Partnerships, Educare, Oklahoma child care, and tribal child care. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 117 pages].

Incorporating Two-Generation Approaches in Community Change

Incorporating Two-Generation Approaches in Community Change. Urban Institute. Susan J. Popkin et al. December 16, 2019.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation launched Family-Centered Community Change (FCCC) in 2012 to support three local partnerships seeking to help parents and children in high-poverty neighborhoods succeed together. These partnerships, located in Buffalo, New York; Columbus, Ohio; and San Antonio, Texas, are each developing a more integrated set of services, including housing assistance, high-quality education, and job training.
Since 2013, the Urban Institute has been evaluating each initiative’s design, implementation, and outcomes for families. The theory behind the demonstration is that “two-generation approaches,” or coordinating high-quality programs and services for children and parents, can help break intergenerational poverty and move families with low incomes toward greater economic independence. This paper is one of a series of reports based on what we have learned from five years of observations from our research.
The three FCCC initiatives provide services including early childhood education and child care, partnerships with local elementary schools, after-school care, employment and training for adults, financial education, and coaching to help parents set goals and stay on target. All three initiatives operate within communities where families move frequently and have widely varying needs and within neighborhoods with long histories of racial segregation and systemic racism, changing job markets, demographic changes, and gentrification. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 51 pages].

Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes: Scaling Strategies for A Playful Learning Movement

Philadelphia Playful Learning Landscapes: Scaling Strategies for A Playful Learning Movement.  Brookings Institution. Jenny Perlman Robinson. October 24, 2019

Playful Learning Landscapes seeks to transform everyday spaces into playful learning opportunities to maximize “the other 80 percent” of time that children spend outside school. It lies at the intersection of the growing Child Friendly City movement and a global development agenda that calls for access to high-quality early childhood education for all. A joint project of Temple University’s Infant and Child Laboratory and the Brookings Institution, Playful Learning Landscapes is a broad umbrella initiative that marries community involvement and learning sciences with placemaking in order to design carefully curated playful experiences in everyday spaces. As it focuses on learning outcomes, particularly for children and families from under-resourced communities, Playful Learning Landscapes offers a new way to involve families in the kinds of experiences that enrich relationships and enhance children’s development. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 36 pages].

Parents’ Access to Work-Family Supports

Parents’ Access to Work-Family Supports. Urban Institute. Shirley Adelstein, H. Elizabeth Peters. October 11, 2019

Three work-family supports—paid leave, workplace flexibility and control, and support for child care—are crucial to the ability of parents to effectively manage work and family. This research used national survey data to examine patterns in working parents’ access to these supports; variations in access by parental characteristics like socioeconomic advantage; and the need for these work-family supports among working parents.Three work-family supports—paid leave, workplace flexibility and control, and support for child care—are crucial to the ability of parents to effectively manage work and family. This research used national survey data to examine patterns in working parents’ access to these supports; variations in access by parental characteristics like socioeconomic advantage; and the need for these work-family supports among working parents. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 43 pages].

Youth Violence Prevention in the United States: Examining International Terrorists, Domestic Terrorists, School Shooters, and Gang Members

Youth Violence Prevention in the United States: Examining International Terrorists, Domestic Terrorists, School Shooters, and Gang Members. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Sarah Bast, Victoria DeSimone. September 25, 2019

This report concludes that international terrorists, domestic terrorists, school shooters, and gang members share some common factors that made them vulnerable to radicalization to violence. By focusing on the areas of commonality, it would be possible to further prevention efforts on all four types of violence rather than isolating initiatives. Efforts should focus on the personal, group, and community-level, aiming to provide early education, intervention, or off-ramping options. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 51 pages].

Generation AI Establishing Global Standards for Children and AI

Generation AI Establishing Global Standards for Children and AI. World Economic Forum. September 11, 2019.

On 6-7 May 2019, the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its partners UNICEF and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) hosted a workshop in San Francisco on the joint “Generation AI” initiative. This workshop identified deliverables in two key areas: 1) public policy guidelines that direct countries on creating new laws focused on children and 2) a corporate governance charter that guides companies leveraging AI to design their products and services with children in mind. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 18 pages]. 

Domestic Food Assistance: Summary of Programs

Domestic Food Assistance: Summary of Programs.  Congressional Research Service. Randy Alison Aussenberg, Kirsten J. Colello, Kara Clifford Billings. Updated August 27, 2019

Over the years, Congress has authorized and the federal government has administered programs to provide food to the hungry and to other vulnerable populations in this country. This report offers a brief overview of hunger and food insecurity along with the related network of programs. The report is structured around three main tables that contain information about each program, including its authorizing language, administering agency, eligibility criteria, services provided, participation data, and funding information. In between the tables, contextual information about this policy area and program administration is provided that may assist Congress in tracking developments in domestic food assistance. This report provides a bird’s-eye view of domestic food assistance and can be used both to learn about the details of individual programs as well as compare and contrast features across programs. This report includes overview information for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) programs as well as nutrition programs administered by the Administration on Aging (AOA), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (HHS-ACL).

[PDF format, 22 pages].

Child Support Enforcement: Program Basics

Child Support Enforcement: Program Basics. Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Tollestrup. Updated July 25, 2019

The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program was enacted in 1975 as a federal-state program (Title IV-D of the Social Security Act). The primary purpose of this program was to reduce public expenditures for recipients of cash assistance by obtaining ongoing support from noncustodial parents that could be used to reimburse the state and federal governments for part of that assistance. (This purpose often is referred to as “welfare cost-recovery.”) Relatedly, the program also sought to strengthen families by securing financial support for children from their noncustodial parents on a consistent and continuing basis to enable some of those families to remain self-sufficient and off public assistance. Over the years, CSE has evolved into a multifaceted program. While welfare cost-recovery still remains an important function of the program, its other aspects include service delivery and promotion of self-sufficiency and parental responsibility. The CSE program has different rules for assistance families (e.g., those receiving cash benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program; TANF) and nonassistance families.

[PDF format, 16 pages].

Helping Public Housing Residents Find Jobs and Build Careers

Helping Public Housing Residents Find Jobs and Build Careers: Evaluation Findings from New York City’s Jobs-Plus Expansion. Urban Institute. Josh Leopold et al. September 6, 2019

Since 2009, New York City has implemented the Jobs-Plus program to increase employment and earnings public housing residents. The program is modeled after a successful federal demonstration from the 1990s that combines employment services, financial incentives, and community supports to promote work. The Urban Institute evaluation of the program combined interviews and focus groups with staff and participants with analysis of data on Jobs-Plus participation, public housing residency, and quarterly earnings before and after implementation. We concluded that the program provided personal, culturally competent employment services and cultivate a network of employers interested in hiring Jobs-Plus participants. Among participants, Jobs-Plus increased employment by 12 percentage points and quarterly earnings by $497. Our evaluation found mixed evidence that the program slightly improved employment rates for residents of the targeted developments and found no evidence that it improved earnings. We attribute this lack of impact primarily to two factors. First, the Jobs-Plus providers might not have assisted a high enough proportion of residents to change overall trends within the developments. Second, our evaluation could not capture the program’s impact on the many participants who lived in the targeted developments but were not officially listed on the lease and were thus not included in our data. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 97 pages].