Engaging Families of Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities: Strategies to Enhance Your Practice

Wednesday, July 6th 2 – 3:30

Presenters: Amanda Schwartz, Ph.D. and Lorelei Pisha, Ed.D.

This session is sponsored by the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education.

 

Engaging families can be a challenge, particularly if their infant or toddler has a disability or may show signs of developmental delay. Families of children with disabilities are often deluged by service providers and advice from early intervention teams, therapists, doctors, and other professionals. However, strong relationships between program staff and families are an essential component of effectively including infants and toddlers with disabilities in programs. Join this session to learn strategies for enhancing family engagement practices for your program as well as your staff’s confidence in building culturally responsive partnerships with families of the infants and toddlers with disabilities included in your program.

Participants will learn:

1) The every day context for families of infants and toddlers with disabilities

2) Strategies for enhancing program systems to support and engage families of infants and toddlers with disabilities

3) Professional development strategies to enhance staff’s competence and confidence in talking with infants and toddlers with disabilities

All sessions are 1.5 hours long, and include a brief announcement from our sponsor.

Register at: https://www.earlychildhoodwebinars.com/presentations/engaging-families-infants-toddlers-disabilities-strategies-enhance-practice-amanda-schwartz-lorelei-pisha/

 

Policy and Advocacy Team: Call for Team Leader

One of the most powerful tools DEC has is the ability to use our collective voice to advocate for young children with disabilities and their families. To that end, the DEC Policy and Advocacy Team helps to develop DEC’s policy recommendations to ensure that proposed legislation, regulations, and documents from the US Departments of Education and Human Services increase opportunities for all young children including children with disabilities and their families.
The Policy and Advocacy Team functions as a necessary and significant arm of the DEC Executive Office, focusing DEC’s policy and advocacy efforts by working collaboratively with the DEC Executive Office Leadership, the DEC Governmental Relations Consultant, and the Children’s Action Network (CAN) Coordinator. Division for Early Childhoods Teams are officially recognized bodies of DEC members who are supported by the DEC Executive Office. Teams reflect the formal positions of the Division for Early Childhood and participate in developing, maintaining, and evolving strategies and initiatives that are critical and center to supporting DEC’s mission and beliefs.
CAN supports DEC’s mission by encouraging members to take action on legislation and issues that already have been endorsed by DEC/CEC or issues that DEC/CEC have already provided recommendations about. The Governmental Relations Consultant and the Executive Director develop and sustain relationships with national organizations, agencies, and governmental entities.
The Policy and Advocacy Team ensures DEC has a seat at the table with important stakeholders and will provide CAN with the tools needed to engage in effective advocacy. The Team also ensures a proactive stance in the drafting of policy and legislative recommendations and issue briefs; suggests updates to the DEC policy webpages as appropriate; supports the dissemination of policy and advocacy specific information; and assists in planning DEC policy and advocacy events and resources (including policy/advocacy specific actions at the annual national conference).
                                                                                          
At this time, DEC is seeking a new Policy and Advocacy Team Leader to continue the important work of planning and supporting DEC policy and advocacy activities.
Source: Division of Early Childhood, Council for Exceptional Children

NOW HIRING: INTERNS (Obama Foundation)

The Obama Foundation is looking to hire a diverse cohort of passionate, mission-oriented, and qualified interns to serve in our Chicago and D.C. offices. This internship is open to current undergraduate and graduate students who are eligible to work in the United States.

We believe our interns will become some of the world’s most valuable leaders in varying capacities. Our hope is that this internship can provide interns with exposure to diverse models of leadership and practical work experience, especially for those who might not otherwise get them.

The Fall 2018 internship will run for 14 weeks beginning on September 4, 2018 and ending on December 7, 2018. For students on the quarter system, the internship will run from September 17, 2018 to December 21, 2018. Interns will be required to work 40 hours a week in either our Chicago or Washington, D.C. office.

The application opened on April 23, 2018 at 9AM CT and will close on May 14, 2018 at 5PM CT. We will not accept late applications.

If you are a law student interested in an internship in the Office of the General Counsel at the Obama Foundation for the Spring 2019 term, click here.

To ensure you get all the information you need in a timely manner, we encourage you to read our FAQ page before reaching out with questions.

What do interns do?

We are looking for interns who have excellent time management and organizational skills, are strong writers and researchers, and are eager to work in a fast-paced office environment. Interns will play a key role in providing departments at the Obama Foundation with the administrative, logistical, and operational assistance needed to execute their work. To learn more, check out our department descriptions here.

Who can apply?

Current full-time or part-time undergraduate and graduate students eligible to work in the United States are welcome to apply. The Foundation is committed to recruiting a diverse cohort of interns and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Foundation does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, creed, national origin, citizenship status, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, ancestry, genetic information, military service, veteran status, or any other protected category under local, state, or federal law. We encourage qualified persons of all backgrounds to apply. If you are a qualified candidate with a disability, please contact us at interns@obama.org if you require a reasonable accommodation to complete this application.

The Foundation will provide interns with a stipend and reimbursements for a portion of the expenses directly related to their internship. Please note the Foundation will not provide relocation or housing assistance.

Completing the application

Please note that as you fill out your application, you will not be able to save your responses or return to them before submitting. If you’d like to take more than one session to work on your answers, please download the Application Worksheet to draft your application responses offline. Please note you will still have to enter your answers into the application before the deadline.

Source: The Obama Foundation

Available at: https://www.obama.org/internship/

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD: Power to the Profession Task Force’s Decision Cycles 3-5

Unifying and strengthening the early childhood workforce may be the single most important step towards closing the opportunity/achievement gap. The Foundation for Child Development has committed its energies and resources towards professionalization of the early childhood field, improving the quality of professional practice, and enhancing early childhood teacher preparation.

In 2000, the National Research Council’s Eager to Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers report and the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) From Neurons to Neighborhood: The Science of Early Childhood Development report gave the early childhood field its scientific foundation and the standards for high-quality teacher preparation. We also support the long-term vision and teacher competencies proposed by the 2015 IOM report, Transforming the Workforce for Children from Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Moving forward, the Foundation has positioned the research base and recommendations from these landmark reports at the center of our 100-plus years of funding research into the care and education that all children need for a strong start in life.

The Foundation’s support of Power to Profession was spurred by the 2015 IOM report and the vision it articulated. We acknowledge both the importance and difficulty of asking the initiative’s Task Force to do what has never been accomplished in the early childhood field: Envision a unified, diverse, well-prepared, appropriately compensated workforce and determine the competencies and qualifications early childhood professionals must have at every level of practice in order to guarantee that all children have equal access to high-quality early care and education. Recognizing that increasing competencies and qualifications among a diverse workforce would require an equitable pathway for professional development, and the compensation that must come with it, the Foundation also funded the 2018 National Academies’ Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education report that outlines a financing framework and funding strategy based on increased competencies while also retaining diversity in our workforce.

Therefore, we view Power to the Profession’s work as framed by these seminal reports, which emphasized what works for all children and developed a vision that demands equal access to high-quality care and education, access that begins each day in the arms of qualified professionals across every community, not just for those who can afford the best for their children.

THE TASK FORCE’S PURPOSE.

The work of the initiative’s Task Force is an opportunity for social and systemic transformation that cannot be squandered. It is within this context that we strongly believe that the draft recommendations in Decision Cycles 3-5 fail to seize the moment to look beyond the systemic and fiscal constraints of the present. Instead, we urge the Task Force to envision what could be and embrace what educators do best by setting higher professional standards that lead all children to better school and life outcomes.

The question today is not whether quality early childhood education works, but rather how we can make it work for all children and for all early childhood educators.

Much has been done over the past decade to convince policymakers and the public of a fundamental truth: High-quality early care and education is the vehicle of social mobility, the accelerator of better education, health, social, and economic outcomes for children and our nation.

Our charge is to close the opportunity gap that too many children and families in our society experience due to lack of access to quality early care and education. The reality is that children in the greatest need deserve early care and education provided by professionals with the highest qualifications — yet they are least likely to get them. A diverse group of competent, qualified, and fairly compensated early childhood professionals, working in every community, is a force that can eliminate the gap and lift an entire generation out of poverty to make sure that each child — regardless of the zip code in which they live — has a clear path to their full potential.

We must see the early childhood workforce as the engine of positive social and economic change that it can be. We cannot be satisfied with the status quo. We cannot be so constrained by the present realities that we cannot envision a new and better reality for children, families, and the profession of early childhood educators.

The time is now. Parents, stretched to the breaking point between their aspirations for their children and what they can afford to provide, demand something better. That demand can be harnessed to drive greater public investment, but only if early childhood educators leverage the trust that parents have in their work and their professional knowledge and skill. We have a golden opportunity to deliver a vision of and transition towards a professional structure that elevates a diverse workforce while providing uniform access to high-quality care and education for all children.

The Task Force’s vision, as currently drafted in Decision Cycles 3-5, will fail to accomplish these big but necessary goals.

We cannot have progress without change. The draft document settles for the low bar of the status quo — which further perpetuates the reality that both the quality of children’s early childhood experiences and the compensation for early childhood professionals are highly dependent on the settings in which they are enrolled or work.

In its current form, the document does not describe a clear strategy to incentivize and facilitate upward mobility across professional roles in the profession. It does not provide specific individual competencies that would describe what early childhood professionals should know and be able to do across professional roles. Nor does the current iteration of the document ensure that all children and families have access to competent professionals across all settings at every stage of early childhood education and care.

DECISION CYCLES 3-5 SET THE BAR TOO LOW…

For more: https://www.fcd-us.org/power-to-the-profession/

Source: 

New Study Brings Insight into Parental Choices in Early Education

Over the past several decades, the number of young children enrolled in formal, center-based early childhood education, which can include Head Start, state-funded pre-K, and private child care programs, has grown dramatically. For example, while only 23 percent of four-year-olds were enrolled in formal early learning programs in 1968, that number increased to 65 percent in 2000 and 70 percent in 2012. State-funded pre-K programs now exist in 43 states and serve 1.5 million children, an all-time high, including 32 percent of the nation’s four-year-olds.

Growth in this sector has led to a heightened urgency in understanding why parents choose certain education settings over others for their children. Already, there have been a large number of studies examining which families choose to enroll their children in center-based early learning programs as opposed to home-based settings. However, there is a surprising lack of research available about how parents make decisions about choosing among options within the formal sector of Head Start, state-funded pre-K, and private child care programs.

It’s important to understand how and why parents choose one type of center-based care over others because the type of program chosen can have an impact on overall child and family well-being. For example, Head Start and state-funded pre-K programs have generally been shown to be of higher quality than private child care centers, likely because these programs face more stringent regulations than private centers. However, there are benefits to private centers that often lead families to choose them, such as the fact that they generally offer longer, more flexible hours that are attractive to working parents. As states increasingly look to help parents navigate the wide variety of early education choices available to them, it’s important to gain a better understanding of what parents look for in a provider and how they go about searching for an ideal fit for their needs.

In a new study, researchers from the University of Virginia attempt to fill the research gap about how low-income parents make choices within the formal early education sector. The researchers selected 80 early education programs that primarily served four-year-olds across five Louisiana parishes (counties) during the 2014-2015 school year. Researchers included programs to participate if they received some public funding, meaning Head Start, state pre-K, and private child care centers that received subsidies were included. Within each program, one classroom was randomly selected and parents of enrolled students were asked to respond to surveys about various aspects of their search for an early learning program. In all, about 1,300 low-income parents completed the survey.

Overall, the survey responses suggest that parents had similar views about what aspects of a program are most important, regardless of which setting their child was in, but they reported vastly different experiences about the search for a program itself.

Parents across all three types of settings agreed that the following features are the most important when selecting an early education program: that the program builds academic skills, offers a clean and safe environment, and provides teachers who respond warmly to children. Parents weighed these features as more important than more practical considerations, such as the convenience of the program’s hours and even its affordability.

But it’s in the search process itself where the researchers observed meaningful differences by setting. For example, parents seeking private child care were over three times as likely to use ads or the internet to aid them in their search compared to Head Start and state pre-K parents. Perhaps most importantly, child care parents searched more, considered more alternatives, and found the search process more difficult than other parents. Child care parents were also less likely to report that they enrolled in their top choice compared to other parents surveyed.

Why is the search process more difficult for parents who choose private child care? The survey didn’t allow the researchers to answer this question, but they do offer a few possible explanations. It could be that child care parents had more limited options as a result of having income that was slightly too high to qualify for Head Start or state pre-K. It’s also possible that child care parents were eligible and did apply for Head Start or state pre-K, but were turned away due to limited supply and had to continue in their search.

The report acknowledges that more research is needed to better understand why families in child care settings found their search more challenging, but the researchers say that one place policymakers could look to for lessening the burden for parents is a state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. The researchers suggest that refined QRIS’s that offer parents streamlined, easy-to-understand information about early education programs in their area are likely to facilitate better and easier decision-making on the part of parents. For example, Louisiana recently unveiled an online tool that provides parents with performance profiles for early education programs.

The fact that child care parents found the search process difficult and were less likely to enroll in their top choice is significant. Due to the substantial increase in funding for CCDBG included in the recent budget agreement, the Center for Law and Social Policy estimates over 150,000 additional children will receive child care subsidies to be used at child care centers. While this expansion of access to care and education is welcome news, it also means a large increase in the number of parents engaged in the search for a quality program. Understanding parents’ motivations and frustrations can help programs and policymakers provide information necessary to ease the burdens on parents searching for a quality early education program.

Source: New America

Available at: https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/edcentral/new-study-brings-insight-parental-choices-early-education/

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is Thursday, May 10, 2018! This annual event raises awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and its impact on their healthy development.

Mental Health and Head Start

Early childhood mental health is a child’s growing capacity to experience, regulate, and express emotions. For children birth to 5 years of age, early childhood mental health is the same as social and emotional development. Head Start and Early Head Start have a long-standing partnership with mental health consultants and community professionals to promote the well-being of children, families, and staff in the program.

Awareness Day 2018

The national theme for Awareness Day 2018 is Partnering for Health and Hope Following Trauma. It will focus on the importance of an integrated approach to caring for the mental health needs of children and families who have experienced trauma. The Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care will highlight best practices that support resilience for this year’s Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. Look for more details about opportunities to participate in the coming weeks.

More than 1,100 communities and 160 national collaborating organizations and federal programs will organize local Awareness Day activities and events around the country. Learn more about Awareness Day 2018 and how you and your community can get involved at https://www.samhsa.gov/children/awareness-day/2018.

Interested in planning an awareness day event at your program? Read about activities that communities across the country held for National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2017 at https://www.samhsa.gov/children/awareness-day/2017/activities.

Home Visitor Webinar Series: Socializations in Home-Based Programs

 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
3–4 p.m. ET

Register Online Now!

Learn about the key role socializations play in home-based programs during this webinar. Monthly socializations offer both children and parents a chance to participate in group activities and interact with peers. Parents have many time demands so it can be challenging for them to participate. Join us to explore practices, activities, and strategies for offering engaging and effective socializations.

Topics for the webinar include:

  • The role of socializations in Head Start and Early Head Start home-based programs
  • Planning and implementing effective socializations
  • Frequently asked questions about socializations
  • Resources to support informative and engaging socializations

Target Audience

  • Home visiting program leaders
  • Home visitors
  • Regional T/TA staff who support home visiting programs

How to Register

Select the link to register: https://events-na2.adobeconnect.com/content/connect/c1/951782966/en/events
/event/shared/1043467858/event_registration.html?sco-id=1099394061&_charset_=utf-8

Questions?

To learn more, contact the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning at ecdtl@ecetta.info or (toll-free) 1-844-261-3752.

Home Visitor Webinar Series 2018 Calendar

Save the dates and mark your calendars! The Home Visitor Series webinars occur bi-monthly, from 3–4 p.m. ET:

  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018
  • Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018

To watch previous webinars in this series on-demand, visit https://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/home-visitor-series.

Spotlights on Innovative Practices: Learning Management Systems— Sharing and Accessing Professional Development Resources

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

3:00–4:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)

Register on line now.

This webinar will outline the benefits of developing a repository of course modules designed for early learning professionals and the ways in which administrators of state learning management systems (LMS) can join the effort. Listen to representatives from Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island as they discuss their respective LMSs, involvement with the repository, and a description of currently available materials. Join the webinar to see how your state might get involved! 

Who Should Participate

This webinar will be of interest to professional development system leaders, LMS administrators, and related staff members.

Viewing the Webinar

Select this Web link to register for the webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Questions

If you have questions, contact the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning at ecdtl@ecetta.info or call (toll-free) at (844) 261-3752.

Upcoming Webinar Making a Difference: Maternal Depression

 

Date and Time: March 27, 2018 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET/12:00 – 1:00 pm CT/11:00 am – 12:00 pm MT/10:00 – 11:00 am PT

Description:  Maternal depression encompasses a range of conditions that can affect women at any time, and occurs most often during pregnancy and in the first year postpartum.  Having a depressed mother can have a negative impact on young children’s behavior and social/emotional development. Home visitors and early childhood professionals are often best positioned to support very young children and their families. Infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) consultants can help home visitors and early care and education (ECE) providers learn the skills needed to support children and families who are experiencing the effects of maternal depression.

This webinar will explore the role of IECMH consultants in building staff capacity to identify maternal depression and support mothers and their young children through screening, support, and linkages to evidence-based prevention and treatment services. After attending this webinar, participants will:

  • Understand how maternal depression affects infants and toddlers.
  • Understand how IECMH consultants can help ECE providers and home visitors identify maternal depression in the families they serve.
  • Identify strategies to address maternal depression in ECE and home visiting settings.

Who Should Attend? This webinar is for program directors in infant and early childhood mental health consultation, early care and education, Early Head Start and Head Start, and home visiting, as well as federal, state, tribal, and community maternal and child health agency workers.

Please forward this invitation to anyone who may be interested in attending.

Presenters: 

  • Deborah Perry, Expert Mentor with the Center of Excellence for IECMHC, and Director of Research and Evaluation and a Research Professor at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development
  • Cathy Ayoub, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Director of Research and Evaluation at Brazelton Touchpoint Center
  • Debra Sosin, Program Manager for Family Connections at Brazelton Touchpoint Center

Please register by March 26, 2018 to receive webinar login information.

 

Register Here

 

The National Research Conference on Early Childhood

Title: NRCEC 2018 Document Header. - Description: NRCEC 2018.

The Administration for Children and Families presents the National Research Conference on Early Childhood.

June 25-27, 2018. Crystal Gateway Marriott. Arlington, VA.Registration is open!

We are pleased to invite you to attend the Administration for Children and Families’ 2018 National Research Conference on Early Childhood (NRCEC 2018). The conference will be held June 25–27, 2018, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA.

This conference, presented by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in conjunction with the Office of Head Start, is the leading venue for research on the development, education, and care of young children and their families and the policy and practice implications of their findings.

Please visit http://nrcec.net/ to register to attend the conference or for more information about the event. There is no cost to attend the conference, although all participants should register in advance through the conference website.

Please download, print, and share the registration flyer with colleagues!

 For hotel reservations, please contact the Crystal Gateway Marriott at (888) 421-1442 and provide the reservation attendant with the group name “NRCEC18” to receive the discounted room rate. Additionally, reservations can be made through the online reservation system. The group code for the discounted conference room rate will automatically be applied when you make your reservation on line. To receive this discounted rate, attendees must make reservations with the hotel by Wednesday, June 1, 2018. After this date, reservations will be accepted on a space-available basis and may be at a significantly higher rate.

 If you have any questions about the conference, please contact us at nrcec@impaqint.com.

 We look forward to seeing you in June!

The NRCEC 2018 Logistics Team
Office of Child Care
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Mary E. Switzer Building, Fourth Floor, MS 4425
330 C Street, S.W.
Washington, DC  20201
General office number: (202) 690-6782
Fax: (202) 690-5600
General email: occ@acf.hhs.gov
Website: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/occ