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Janet Sear Board of Jewish Education Chicago
Brenda from Bender JCC in greater DC
Sasha Kopp, The Jewish Education Project, NY - So excited for the presentation today!
Lemor Balter, My Little School, NYC
Nancy...Bnai Israel...Rockville, MD
Amy Miller, Larchmont Temple Nursery School
Alyse Eisenberg-Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas
Michelle Gold, Goldsmith Early Childhood Center
Robin Cohen, Beth Emeth Early Childhood Center
Shani Wilkes, Combined Jewish Philanthropies (Boston)
Abby Aloni from Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Chicago
Liz Sherman BJE Wilmette IL
Hi. Veronica Maravankin. Florida
Karen Faust JCC Milwaukee
Scott Aaron, JUF Chicago
—Friendly notetaker Anna Hartman (Chicago) here.
Rachel Raz, Boston
Oak Park Temple
Marci Sperling Flynn, Glasser Preschool of Oak Park Temple, Oak Park, IL
—Arielle Levites welcomes us, introduces the work.
—HQ early care is essential infrastructure!
—Essential for the Jewish community as well.
Denise Moyes Schnur
Denise Moyes-Schnur Jewish Community Federation, San Francisco
So excited to hear this research! Max Handelman, Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago
—How Jewish ECE can create entry point and sometimes even amplifier for connection to Jewish meaning and community
—Researchers at Child Trends. Child Trends is the nation’s leading nonprofit research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives and prospects of children, youth, and their families.
Hi Tam! So nice our paths are crossing here
—Mark Rosen. Mark Rosen is an Associate Professor in the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University. Mark has been doing research on Jewish families with young children and Jewish early childhood for the past 15 years.
Hi Everyone- Mara Bier- excited for this presentation.
-At Child Trends, Dr. Tamara Halle was co-Principle Investigator on this study. She is a Senior Scholar in the Early Childhood Development content area at Child Trends.
So happy to have other members of our CASJE ECE Project Team join from near and far! Hi, Monica Arkin and Mara Bier!
—Is study greater, or action? The rabbis conclude: "Study is greater, for it leads to action." We could also perhaps read it as: Study is greater when or if it leads to action. That’s our intention here today.
—Mark begins. Many documents, hundreds of pages! Must-year study. Have been distilling, and here we are!
—There you can find all of the documents. Such as exec summary and final report. Goes into interesting issues and findings we won’t all get to today.
—How to summarize?
—Three really basic Qs we attempted to answer.
—1. Jewish engagement as a concept. We toss around this concept, but what does it actually mean—to families and to professionals? Definition and measurement to answer.
—2. How programs engage families. The Q tried to answer is how DO Jewish ECE programs engage families with young children; and what might barriers be?
—3. Looked at families. Tried to answer: How does Jewish engagement change over time for Jewish families with young children? How differ from families not at Jewish ECE programs?
—Needed data to answer these. Thus went into depth in three communities. Chicago, Washington, D.C., Seattle. Each chosen for a reason.
—Main findings here on screen.
—1. What is Jewish engagement? A: It is multidimensional! Aspects that thad not yet been looked at systematically.
2. Second finding is there are some structural barriers to choosing these programs—these reflect needs of parents. Parents need convenience, meets schedules, can afford. These are barriers for some parents.
3. Clear to us that ECE is essential to the economy. So clear to us all today.
4. Jewish ECE is linked with increased levels of Jewish family engagement. Yes. A fam that enrolls does show increased levels of Jewish engagement.
5. Major windows of opportunity for engaging families: birth of first child; enrolling first child in Jewish ECE. Those windows are important and we want to be there and help parents make those decisions.
—Dr. Tamara Halle with Child Trends.
—Regarding this first research question (what does Jewish education Mean). Did lit. Review of literature on Jewish engagement, with focus on families with young children.
—Looking at broader literature but focusing in.
—This lit review is up on CASJE site
—Reviewed previous surveys to see how Jewish engagement been looked at in the past. To see how defined. Specific interest in fans with young children.
—Also key informant interviews with Jewish EC professionals, Jewish engagement researchers, funders, practitioners, parents.
—Thus developed definitions and measurement.
—Specific aspects of engagement seem to be especially salient for families with young children
—Jewish engagement can change over time. For this segment of the population, the key windows of opportunity for increasing Jewish engagement: Birth of a first child, entry into early care and education for any of the children.
—Another finding: most impt engagement approach for fans with young children is one that is relational. From professionals and among other families who are in same life position/trajectory as a family. This a way to engage families.
—Some of the dimensions of Jewish engagement that are impt for fans with young children:
—Three main components: behaviors, attitudes/values, institutional attachment. For many, indicator of engagement is becoming a member of some kind of Jewish org.
—Through the lit review and interviews (and somewhat from survey) we found particular aspects salient and impt when trying to define J engagement among fans with young children.
—Home practice:Engaging young children with Jewish practices or activities with Jewish content, such as songs and books with Hebrew or Jewish themes/language, Friday night dinner
—Educational choices parents make for children is an indication of engagement—choosing to send child to parent and me class, for example, is an indicator of engagement among these fams. As well as choosing Jewish ECE program.
—Finding meaning in one’s life through Jewish practice or diff. kinds of aspects of Jewish behaviors and attitudes is impt piece of meaning among families with young children.
—Changes over time in Jewish engagement. Heard loud and clear that two particular windows of opportunity for elevating engagement: Birth of first child and entrance into ECE. We had hypothesizes this and thus in the case studies we built in next part of our methodology we were able to search for and find this.
—Next up: Ilana Huz. Senior Research Analyst in the Parenting and Family Dynamics content area at Child Trends’ and the project’s graduate intern.
—Research Q 2: How do Jewish ECE programs engage families and what are barriers to engagement?
—1. Jewish ECE programs see main role as educating children and families about Judaism’s practices and encouraging finding meaning in Jewish life.
—Programs also offer opps for families to build relationships and connections with one another, creating community.
—Impt barriers to enrollment in Jewish ECE. Notably, prioritizing relationship-based engagement can help enroll and keep engaged.
—Jewish ECE programs are ambivalent about goal of increasing home practices—but do provide many opportunities for this. Don’t want to push or alienate.
—Jewish ECE programs are invested in engaging families in the host institutions, with area for growth being promoting attachment in Jewish community writ large
—Barriers: Cost, hours, location; we heard a lot about programs trying to increase hours.
—Didn’t hear a lot about programs for children with special needs
Does anyone on this call work in a program that offers a comprehensive program for children with special needs?
—Closes on Jewish holidays is a barrier.
—Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Karberg is a Senior Research Scientist in the Parenting and Family Dynamics content area at Child Trends. Liz oversaw the survey development, launch, and analyses for this project.
—Question 3: How do beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors around Jewish engagement change over time? How/if do patterns differ for children not in Jewish ECE? Online Survey to answer this. From those three communities and more.
—Families with high engagement prior to birth of first child were more likely to choose Jewish ece rather than non-jewish ece
—Blue is those who chose Jewish ECE
—Other ECE noted in orange
—Parents who chose other ECE were more likely to report these various factors as important. This aligned with previous studies. Quality of care, location, hours of care, cost
—Those who chose Jewish rated more impt warmth of staff and other priorities.
—Examined families Jewish engagement by what they chose for schools. More families with children in Jewish ECE report higher levels of engagement (unsurprising).
—Asked if engagement changed while a family in Jewish ECE. Four aspects of engagement that 71% or more said they changed are: more a part of jewish community and more a part of local Jewish community, more friends who are jewish, built a jewish tradition in home or family.
—Some interesting community-specific findings. Chicago and DC were similar,
—Chicago: fewer Chicago families were interested in certain areas of engagement relative to those in Seattle. Maybe because families are already established in Jewish life than in Seattle. Could mean Jewish ECE enrollment is an indicator rather than catalyst for Jewish engagement.
—In Seattle, less established community, seeing families increase engagement in practices at home. Could be bellwether for other communities that are less established Jewishly.
—Regarding the question of “Does Jewish ECE change family’s engagement.” Are the changes we’re see related to number of hours a family attends Jewish ECE? No. But number of months attending makes a difference.
—Enrollment in Jewish ECE as window of opportunity for engagement. Can be an accelerant, especially in first 6-12 months of enrollment.
—Jewish ECE as a gateway. More likely to send children to other Jewish programming in future years. Less likely to send to public or charter schools.
—Jewish ECE associated with Jewish engagement—these are descriptive finds and not causal as a finding.
—To reiterate: In general, Jewish ECE increases engagement. Data in multiple data sets bears this out.
—The big change happens if/when families were already Jewishly engaged before birth of a child.
—Found that Jewish ECE has an effect on Jewish engagement if baseline levels are already high. Those families who expressed engagement in limited ways before birth of a child did not experience big growth across the board.
—Other levers for Jewish engagement: Birth of a first child. Increases in domains where already engaged. Lever for changing degree of engagement.
—Jewish ECE has potential to change the ways that families engage more than any other lever.
—Implications for ECE staff:
—Parents have varying needs and competing demands.
—Parents want to join in Jewish celebrations and learning.
—What will all this mean in COVID-19 area? What opportunities are there?
—ECE quality is about quality of curriculum AND engagement. Parents want to be involved in the community. How to reimagine these opportunities creatively in our current era?
—For example, modified programming on Jewish holidays since these closures are barriers to enrollment.
—How to tighten quality via PD?
—From funding and policy and planning point of view: Jewish ECE has the promise to engage families Jewishly, but they must be enrolled to make that happen!
—How can we strengthen enrollment? Programs must be successful, which require string staff. Low salaries are a barrier. Need to focus on competitive salaries!
—More funding for professional development for teachers and directors
—Statewide quality improvement initiatives (known commonly as QRIS). When programs participate they may get on 4th radar of more families and into community with other schools in ECE.
—How better to support and expand disability inclusion?
—Implications for future research. 1. We need more and better data at local, state and national levels—around Jewish ECE workforce and families with young Jewish children. We relied on data from these three cities with their Federations and PJ Library lists. There can be survey fatigue and don’t want to risk overuse. Need to think about how to build additional data sources at multiple levels to heighten our understanding of how to engage families and support ECE workforce.
—Need further conceptual work around this new multidimensional model for engagement. To expand the model to expand on items Mark just discussed. As well as some of the PD supports provided for staff and compensation packages. Getting policy and practices constructs into what supports parents’ choices for and experience with Jewish ECe will be key.
—Future research could study questions earlier on, as many of ours were retrospective.
—More longitudinal designs have drawbacks and benefits.
—Will need continued Federation partnerships
—More research should come in the future on communities with large proportions of unaffiliated or interfaith. As we found with Seattle. To understand role of Jewish ECE on Jewish engagement.
—To disaggregate data by location, will need bigger data sets.
—More research on the role of Jewish engagement programming on ECE choice.
—Need observational measures of Jewish ECE quality that reflects the indicators that are prevalent in Jewish ECE programs
—Would love to see more measurement work!
—Questions? Add to Q&A box.
—Ilana hired as scholar fellow in this project—Anna says, now that is a great way to support future research in the field!
We can take a page from Reggio Emilia where every child with a special need ( that they call a child with special rights) is provided a one on one trained facilitator to be with them throughout their ECE education.
—Link to breakouts now: https://bit.ly/breakout613
Thank you for all of your questions! There are many great questions that we were unable to answers due to time constraints. Please e-mail any members of the research team with any questions.
—Full study at casje.org
I forgot to say thanks and hello to Heidi Schwartz and Maya Cook - members of our CASJE ECE Team!
Marlyn Bloch Jaffe
How can we get more info about the July 9 session for policy and planning people?
—@Marlyn, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org
-Recording and notes on jparadigm.org