News Roundup January 28

Legislation Focusing on the Zero to Three Population

Nebraska State Senator John Harms has introduced a bill to the State Legislature to help fund early childhood education programs for at-risk children from zero to three. If it passes, the bill would appropriate $10 million from the stateā€™s general fund each year for 2013-14 and 2014-15 for the Early Childhood Education Endowment Fund. Early Childhood Education Bill

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is proposing new investments in early education. By fiscal year 2017, he would like to increase access to high quality programs for qualified children from zero to five. The funding proposal includes $31.6 million for infants and toddlers with additional funds for preschoolers. He is also proposing $5 million for comprehensive support services for families who have children ages zero to five who live in areas with low performing schools. Additional funds have also been proposed to promote provider and program quality. Patrick Proposal

Brain Images Can Predict Language Skills at Age 1

Researchers at the University of Washington are the first to associate the hippocampus and cerebellum brain structures with future language development. Using a whole brain imaging technique, researchers took images of the brain structure of 19 boys and girls at the age of 7 months and then tested their language ability at 1 year of age. Babbling and language comprehension were used as signs of language mastery. Infants with greater concentrations of grey and white matter in the hippocampus and cerebellum at 7 months had better language abilities at age 1 year. Neither the hippocampus, which is associated with memory processing, nor the cerebellum, which is associated with motor learning, are well known as having a roll in language development. This research could help identify children delays and provide earlier interventions. University of WA Study

Breastfeeding Women Should Get a Flu Vaccine

Flu vaccines are both safe and recommended for women who are breastfeeding. Women can receive either the injected or nasal spray vaccine. Getting the vaccine protects both the mother and infant lowering the risk of transmission of the flu. The infant may also receive protection by way of antibodies transferred to the infant through breast milk. The flu vaccine is also safe for pregnant women. Flu Vaccine InformationĀ 

This News Roundup was compiled and co-authored by Karen Burch, MA

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