Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

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The child care & early education glossary defines terms used to describe aspects of child care and early education practice and policy; the research glossary defines terms used in conducting social science and policy research, for example those describing methods, measurements, statistical procedures, and other aspects of research.

Technical Assistance (TA)
The provision of targeted and customized supports by a professional(s) with subject matter expertise and adult learning knowledge and competencies. In an early education setting, TA is typically provided to teaching and administrative staff to improve the quality of services and supports they provide to children and families. See related: Coaching; Mentoring; Consultation; Professional Development.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
A federally funded grant program, created upon the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996, that provides funds to states, territories, and tribes to design and operate programs that help needy families achieve economic security and child and family well-being, including through the provision of child care services. States vary in how they administer CCDF and TANF. Lead agencies may operate the two programs jointly or may align particular policies and practices across programs. In some states, families interact with both programs as the operation of particular functions of child care assistance (e.g., eligibility determination, authorization, Redetermination, etc.) may be distributed across programs. States can utilize several methods for using TANF funds to pay for child care, such as by commingling and/or transferring a portion of their TANF funds to their state’s CCDF, or spending TANF directly for child care. TANF replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS).
Therapeutic Child Care
Services or programming geared towards At Risk children, such as those living in homeless shelters or victims of violence or neglect. Therapeutic child care is commonly an integrated component of a well-structured treatment program in which services are provided by professional and paraprofessional staff in a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environments.
Tiered Reimbursement System
A subsidy payment system that offers higher payments for child care programs that meet higher quality standards or for child care that is in short supply. Some states systematically leverage tiered reimbursements for programs that attain national Accreditation and/or higher quality ratings in their states' Quality Rating and Improvement Systems. These states typically refer to their systems as Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (TQRIS).
Title 1
Part of the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) legislation of 1965 that was designed to provide fair, equitable and high-quality education to all children, to reduce achievement gaps and improve academic performance among students living in poverty. Title I, Part A allows LEAs to use their Title I funds for Preschool programs and services to improve educational outcomes for children up to the age at which the LEA provides free public elementary education.
Toxic Stress
A term to describe the kinds of negative experiences that can affect brain architecture and brain chemistry, particularly in a developing child. Examples include strong, frequent/chronic, and/or prolonged exposure to adversity such as physical or emotional abuse, neglect, violence, and/or the accumulated burdens of family economic hardship, without adequate adult support.
Transitional Child Care
Child care subsidies offered to families that are no longer income eligible for public assistance, generally due to employment, as they transition to greater financial independence. The Family Support Act of 1986 established a federal Transitional Child Care program, which was later replaced by the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).
Trauma Informed Care (TIC)
Refers to an approach used in working with children exposed to traumatic events or conditions. Children exposed to trauma may display heightened aggression, poor social skills and impulsivity; and may struggle academically or engage in risk-taking or other challenging behaviors. Service providers and family members that are trained in TIC learn effective ways to interact with these children, such as by helping them cope with traumatic “triggers,” supporting their emotion regulation skills, maintaining predictable routines, and using effective behavior management strategies. See related: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE); Toxic Stress.
Tribal Child Care
Publicly supported child care programs offered by Native American Tribes in the United States. Federally recognized Tribes can become CCDF grantees and receive implementation and training support through the OCC's National Center on Tribal Early Childhood Development (NCTECD). When receiving public funding, tribal child care programs are subject to regulatory requirements and oversight.
Twenty First Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Program
A federally funded grant program, originally authorized by Congress in 1994 through the ESEA, that supports states to create community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities, educational services, and extracurricular activities to children during afterschool hours. The program is designed to help low-income students from low-performing school districts to meet state and local standards in core academic subjects.
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