Children & Families

February 26, 2003 2 min read

Guiding Parents

To help parents and community members better understand the “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001, the Washington-based Public Education Network has published a guide to the federal law, which explains how it can be used to improve student achievement.

The 80-page handbook, supported by a grant from the Annenberg Foundation, in St. Davids, Pa., includes a glossary of education terms and abbreviations commonly used by educators and policymakers when they refer to the new law. And it advises parents and other citizens how to hold town meetings, disseminate information to the public on school performance, have productive parent-teacher conferences, and use other strategies to hold educators accountable for results.

“Using NCLB to Improve Student Achievement: An Action Guide for Community and Parent Leaders” is available for free by calling PEN at (202) 628-7460. It is also online at pdf/NCLBBook.pdf. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

PEN is a national organization of local education funds and individuals working to build support for public schools.

Helping Mothers:

A new study suggests that child-care subsidies can significantly improve a low-income mother’s chances of keeping a job.Helping Mothers: A new study suggests that child-care subsidies can significantly improve a low-income mother’s chances of keeping a job.

Researchers from Georgia State University, in Atlanta, and the University of Georgia, in Athens, found that poor working mothers in Georgia who received such subsidies were 25 percent more likely to be employed than similar women who were on waiting lists for the subsidies.

“With welfare rolls declining so drastically over the past five years, many policymakers have declared job retention as the next big challenge for welfare reform,” the authors write in the study, which appears in the current issue of the Early Childhood Research Quarterly, a journal sponsored by the Washington-based National Association for the Education of Young Children. “Our findings suggest that child-care subsidies may contribute to job retention for low-income families.”

Mothers using subsidies were also more likely than those on waiting lists to use licensed child-care centers, and those child-care arrangements were more stable, according to the study, which was led by Fred P. Brooks, a social work professor at Georgia State.

The researchers did not find significant differences, however, on measures of child well-being, such as school readiness, social and emotional development, and physical health.

—Linda Jacobson