In this issue, I want to begin by expressing my gratitude to the 46 members of the IYC editorial board for their service over the past 5 years. Service is defined as the action of helping, or doing work for someone. Synonyms include kindness, favor, good turn, assistance. All of these words describe the editorial board’s collective and individual contribution to IYC: to me as editor; to the journal itself; and most importantly, to those who have read and benefited from each of the 131 articles published by IYC during this time. These articles represent an acceptance rate just below 50%, though only 5% of submissions were accepted at first review. This illustrates the commitment of the board to the editorial process of bringing a manuscript to publication readiness. For this, I thank each of them.
As you may know, I began my editorship by focusing on expanding the articles in the journal in three ways. First, I actively sought out international authors to emphasize the growing presence of early childhood intervention in most countries today and to highlight the IYC relationship to the International Society of Early Intervention. I must single out and thank Dr. Robin McWilliams for his tireless contributions to this area. As International Acquisitions Editor, Robin worked with every international author after they submitted their manuscript to IYC in order to assist in the initial review process. I thank him for the many hours he spent in this role, which became increasingly important to IYC as we increased the number of those from other countries who submitted their work for publication consideration.
Second, I placed a focus on working with novice authors to nurture scholarship and build capacity in our field. This meant that the editorial board became mentors to some of our authors who submitting their work for to IYC. In these cases, the reviewers were very thorough in their feedback, and the editorial process could become lengthy as a reviewer and I worked with an author(s) to bring a manuscript up to publication standards. I thank those board members who served in this capacity.
Last, I chose to highlight interdisciplinary research, education and service by encouraging manuscript submissions through programs in the Association of University Centers on Disabilities which is national network of training and research programs. Many from this network submitted their work to IYC, and because of this, IYC benefitted from this affiliation.
I cannot end my thanks for the service of others to IYC without acknowledging and offering my utmost gratitude to Linda Procko as Editorial Assistant. In actuality, she has been so much more than that to both IYC and at the University Of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Disabilities Education, Research and Service where we have worked together since 1987. It is because of Linda that IYC has succeeded under my editorship. I thank her for her continued hard work and dedication.
In our first article. Tiffany Martoccio, Holly Brophy-Herb, and Esther Onaga focuses on the importance of identifying the developmental paths of economically at risk young children. They conducted an analysis on an existing state specific data set from National Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Study in order to identify and target meaningful interventions for this population. In particular, the authors’ were interested in studying the relationship between early parent child interaction and school readiness behaviors in a group of 127 children (at age 5), and whether a child’s joint attention (as reported at 14 months) mediated this relationship. School readiness behaviors included children’s emotional regulation, social-cognition, language development, and literacy and math academic outcomes. Findings suggested toddlers’ joint attention behaviors at 14 months partially mediated the path between mother-child interaction at 14 months and later school readiness. The authors’ conclude by stressing the important role of early mother-child interaction and joint attention to promoting school readiness skills.
Next, Carl Dunst, Carol Trivette, and Melinda Raab provide an overview of an intervention model developed and evaluated at the Center on Everyday Child Language Learning. Their model included four components: interest based child learning opportunities; everyday family and community activities that are sources of interest-based child learning; methods for increasing child participation in the everyday learning activities; and the use of responsive teaching for promoting child communication and language learning. The article presents data from the evaluation of the practitioners’ use of an evidence-based coaching practice and the parents' subsequent use of intervention practices. The authors’ conclude with a discussion about factors that influenced the fidelity with which the practioners used coaching practices, and the effects of these factors on the fidelity of the intervention practices used by the families.
Nichole Edwards and Peggy Gallagher describe three consecutive program evaluations of a statewide Early Intervention (EI) Program in our third article. This EI program is unique because it employs parent educators who are parents of children who have received EI services. The parent educators are trained to support EI families and staff. During the evaluation, input was received from four groups of stakeholders including EI coordinators, service coordinators, parents in EI, and the PEs themselves. The evaluation was used to monitor and improve services and the results are discussed in this context. The authors conclude with recommendations for program evaluation, as well as implementation guidance on the use of a parent educator model.
Our next article focuses on teacher perceptions about the inclusion of young children with challenging behavior in their classrooms. Amanda Quesenberry, Mary Louise Hemmeter, Michaelene Ostrosky, and Kira Hamann provide interview data from nine childcare teachers which suggests that challenging behavior is a significant issue for these teachers. Further, the article describes the strategies used by these teachers when they are addressing challenging behavior. The interviews also suggested, however, that these strategies were not being used intentionally, nor in an individualized manner. The authors conclude by discussing the need for increased professional development for child care teachers in order that may support young children’s social and emotional development in their classrooms.
Our last article by Allison Wilson and Jane Squires explore a situation facing increasing numbers of families with infants and young children: those who are homeless. The authors provide an overview of a number of federal programs specific to these families. They then describe the service delivery options available to both families and their children in regard to early childhood intervention. In doing so, the authors discuss the barriers encountered in the early identification process and the delivery of needed interventions to eligible children. They conclude by providing solutions and recommendations for future practice and research in this area.
I must close by thanking our publishers and the IYC team at Wolters Kluwer Health Medical Research. It is because of them that IYC continues to impact and improve the field of Early Childhood Intervention.
Mary Beth Bruder, Ph.D.