Harnessing Opportunity for Positive, Equitable Early Childhood Development (HOPE)

February 1, 2018
The Nemours Children’s Health System is proud to launch The Project HOPE Consortium, a new partnership with The BUILD Initiative and BMC Vital Village Network supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Project HOPE is designed to generate real progress toward equitable outcomes for young children (prenatal to age five) and their families by building the capacity of local communities, state leaders, cross-sector state teams, and local coalitions to prevent social adversities in early childhood and promote child well-being.

Grant Opportunity
States and communities are invited to build collaborative teams to participate in this work. Up to eight community teams and seven state teams will be selected to receive grants that will support in-depth technical assistance for capacity-building through targeted funding, tailored provision of technical assistance, focused strategies and approaches, tools and materials, webinars, and support for in-person convening. Complete your Expression of Interest Survey before March 8, 2018.

Through this survey, cross-sector teams or leaders can express interest in the HOPE project. Selected community coalitions/teams will be invited to apply for grants of up to $80,000 over 18 months. Selected state teams and individual leader survey respondents will be invited to apply for seven state grants of up to $200,000 over 24 months.

Learn More
Join Nemours, BUILD Initiative, and BMC Vital Village for an informational webinar on Thursday, February 8 at 2:00 PM ET. Any questions can be submitted toprojecthope2018202@gmail.com. Questions received before February 5 will be addressed on the webinar. Register here.

What is Systems Building?

By working collectively on state systems and community approaches, The Project HOPE Consortium will help early childhood leaders from early learning, health, and other child- and family-serving systems develop health equity as a shared value. Learn more about systems building here


Joint Statement on Collaboration and Coordination of the MIECHV and IDEA Part C Programs

January 19, 2017

Creating a high-quality system of services and supports for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

The purpose of this joint statement from the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) (the Departments), is to set a vision for stronger partnerships, collaboration, and coordination between awardees of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part C Program (IDEA Part C Program). Specifically, this joint statement provides recommendations to states, territories, and tribal entities to identify and enhance opportunities for collaboration and coordination between MIECHV and the IDEA Part C Program.

Effective collaboration and coordination across MIECHV and the IDEA Part C Program can create a high-quality system of services and supports for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. It is the position of both Departments that all infants and toddlers and their families should have access to coordinated, comprehensive services that support overall health, development, and wellness. This joint ED and HHS statement aims to advance this position by:

  • Providing an overview of the MIECHV and the IDEA Part C Programs;
  • Emphasizing the potential for collaboration and coordination between MIECHV awardees and the IDEA Part C State programs;
  • Highlighting existing opportunities for partnerships between MIECHV awardees and the IDEA Part C State programs; and
  • Providing recommendations to states, territories, tribal entities, and local programs for identifying and increasing opportunities for collaboration and coordination.


Joint Policy Statement on Collaboration and Coordination of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part C Programs (PDF, 1.0MB)

Follow us on Twitter and see tweet about this joint statement here! https://twitter.com/ED_Sped_Rehab/status/822090143721025536

DEC Recommended Practices Monograph Series – Using DEC Family Practices with All Families: Call for Manuscripts

The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC) will be publishing its third monograph in the DEC Recommended Practices Monograph Series in 2017 concentrating on the Family topic area.

We are interested in manuscripts that highlight the Family Recommended Practices from multiple perspectives to support families with young children from birth – 5 years old who have or are at risk of developmental delays and disabilities.  We hope to publish manuscripts that represent the breadth and depth of each of the three themes of the DEC Family Recommended Practices (family-centered practices, family capacity-building practices, and family and professional collaboration), which include the 10 practices that can be downloaded from the DEC website.

We are especially interested in manuscripts that demonstrate innovative use of the DEC family recommended practices to (1) effectively address the complexities of partnering with families, (2) positively support families whose values and structures are different from the professionals supporting the families, (3) identify specific behaviors that encompass the active ingredients of the recommended practices, and (4) enhance families’ knowledge and skills to enrich their child’s development.

Suggested topics include applying the DEC Family Practices to strengthen:

  • Families who are supported by multiple formal systems
  • Reciprocity between caregivers in different EI/ECSE contexts (e.g., preschool teacher and family)
  • Families with limited access to needed supports, such as families who are undocumented and those lacking stable housing
  • Family outcomes
  • Families’ use of informal supports to help meet the needs of their family and children

We are seeking manuscripts well grounded in research that are written for practitioners as well as case studies that illustrate the nuances of partnering with individual families.  We are also seeking manuscripts that include families who are currently, or in the last year were, supported by Early Intervention or 619 programs as primary or equal contributors to manuscript development.  At least one Family Recommended Practice should be clearly targeted and woven into the manuscript.

Final inclusion of manuscripts will, in part, be determined to assure representation of different Family Recommended Practices.

Submission Deadline is December 15, 2016. Manuscripts should be 10-12 pages including references.

Please contact the co-editors Carol M. Trivette (trivettecm@etsu.edu) and Bonnie Keilty (bkeilty@hunter.cuny.edu) with any questions.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

The Integration of Early Childhood Data: State Profiles and a Report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education 


The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED) announced the release of a report that will help states refine their capacity to use existing administrative data from early childhood programs to improve services for young children and families. The report covers key considerations when states integrate data and highlights progress in eight states that are actively developing and using early childhood integrated data systems (ECIDS). The report discusses technical assistance and other resources available to states as they develop their ECIDS.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education, Early Childhood Development, Administration for Children and Families

Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/ecd/early-childhood-data

A National Snapshot of State-Level Collaboration for Early Care and Education


The Child Care Collaboration Study, conducted by a research team at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), and funded by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, is designed to examine collaborations among child care administrators and providers at both the state and local levels and to determine whether different models of collaboration are related to access and quality of early care and education programs. The study comprises two phases, the first of which focuses on the national landscape regarding collaboration among child care administrators. The second phase builds on the findings from the first phase to examine relationships between state-and local-level collaborations in two specific states, Maryland and Vermont. This research brief focuses on the findings from the first phase of the study by describing collaboration among state early care and education leaders across the country and focusing on these leaders’ perceptions of the interactions among their respective agencies.

Source: Child Care Collaboration Study

Available at: http://ltd.edc.org/sites/ltd.edc.org/files/ChildCareCollabBrief2015.pdf

MIECHV Funding Has Central Role in Expanding Home Visiting Services to Vulnerable Families


CLASP, together with the Center for American Progress, interviewed 20 state and 2 tribal MIECHV grantees to understand how federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) dollars are being used to provide evidence-based home visiting services to children and parents, and to identify innovative approaches, successes, and challenges. The results are outlined in a report, An Investment in our Future: How Federal Home Visiting Funding Provides Critical Support for Parents and Children, and in-depth state profiles (accessed through our interactive map below).

Interviews with 22 states and tribal organizations revealed the breadth of innovation and success across the country as a result of MIECHV funding, including the:

  • Expansion of evidence-based home visiting to serve more vulnerable children and families in high-risk communities and keep them engaged in the programs.
  • Establishment of systems within home visiting communities and across services that support children and families, ensuring that families receive the best services to meet their needs.
  • Provision of systemic training, technical assistance, and professional development to support the home visiting workforce.
  • Creation of data collection systems, allowing grantees to analyze, evaluate, and report on data to demonstrate achieved child and family outcomes and improve program quality.
  • Coordination amongst home visiting and other early childhood programs as well as the creation of centralized intake systems, which are collaborative approaches to engaging, recruiting, and enrolling families in home visiting programs across programs and organizations.
  • Use of promising practices and other innovations in order to better serve at-risk populations with unmet needs.

Source: CLASP: Policy Solutions That Work for Low-Income People

Available at: http://www.clasp.org/issues/child-care-and-early-education/did-you-know/miechv-funding-has-central-role-in-expanding-home-visiting-services-to-vulnerable-families

Linking Head Start Data with State Early Care and Education Coordinated Data Systems


Head Start programs are a critical component of early care and education in our country. They serve more than one million young children and employ more than 230,000 staff members. When linked to other early care and education data systems, data collected by Head Start programs on their children, program services, and workforce can inform key decisions by state policymakers and guide efforts to improve early childhood program responsiveness and effectiveness. However, although Head Start data are a vital component for any comprehensive early childhood data system, only a handful of states are presently linking Head Start data with data from other early care and education programs.

A fully coordinated early childhood data system, inclusive of data from Head Start, state pre-k, child care, early childhood special education, and other publicly-funded early care and education (ECE) programs, provides a comprehensive picture of a state’s early childhood systems. State policymakers gain a full picture of the status of young children and their progress over time, early childhood services, program quality, and the early childhood workforce. Armed with this knowledge, states can reap many benefits, such as enhancing access to high-quality programs for all children, improving program quality, building a more effective ECE workforce, and ultimately, improving child outcomes.

At present, there is no requirement for local Head Start programs to link or share their data with other state data systems. However, several states are making advances toward linking and/or sharing data across their state’s K-12 data system or other services’ data systems. In this process, states have encountered some challenges and have had to tackle issues related to data privacy and security, among others. To better understand some of the challenges, successes, and strategies behind this work, the Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC) contacted and interviewed a sample of Head Start and state early childhood leaders in a dozen states.

Source: The Early Childhood Data Collaborative

Available at: http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ecdc-head-start-brief.pdf

Engaging Families of Children with Disabilities: Systematically Planning to Create Positive Experiences and Meet Expectations (Webinar)

November 4, 2015 2:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Inclusion means more than providing high quality services to children with disabilities. It involves building strong partnerships with families. Each family member learns about and confronts the disability of their child in different ways. All families are complex, but these complexities grow with the added stressors of accommodating unexpected challenges that come with disability. High quality early care and education programs partner with families to ensure their children access the most effective services. Learn more about the experiences of families of children with disabilities and find out what they are looking for from programs.In addition, consider the programmatic systems that need to be in place to support families of children with disabilities. Program administrators will learn about strategies including professional development for staff, partnerships with early intervention and preschool special education providers, and resources necessary to fully include families in your program.Engage families of children with disabilities in meaningful ways to promote children’s school readiness and improve their outcomes. All families want the most for their children and will do all they can to support them. Finding ways to meet their needs and support them in this process creates a partnership that benefits everyone.

Source: Early Childhood Investigations Webinars

Available at: http://www.earlychildhoodwebinars.com/presentations/engaging-families-of-children-with-disabilities-systematically-planning-to-create-positive-experiences-and-meet-expectations-amanda-schwartz/

Strong Connections for Strong Kids: Working Through the Challenges of System Collaboration

Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014
1 – 2 p.m. EST

Join the Head Start National Center on Health (NCH) for a webinar that brings together health care and Head Start experts. Learn to address the challenges that can arise when multiple systems are caring for children and families. The webinar will highlight the differing requirements for each system. It will also explore ways that communities have worked through them to provide the best support to children.

Topics for the webinar include:

  • How the Head Start Program Performance Standards and pediatric preventive services guidelines intersect
  • Examples of communities overcoming the challenges of collaboration
  • Key Head Start and health care systems staff who can help coordinate a collaborative approach to overcoming system challenges

Who Should Participate?

This webinar will benefit an array of audiences, including: Head Start health managers and staff, center directors, and education managers; regional program managers; pediatricians and members of the medical home team; health care system leaders; and American Academy of Pediatrics chapter members and staff.

How to Register

Participation is free. Select this link to register:

After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join the webinar on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014. This presentation will be recorded and archived in the NCH portal on the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC) for later viewing.

Certificate of Participation

Participants will receive a certificate of participation upon completion of an online evaluation. A link will be available when the webinar closes. Participants must complete the online evaluation in order to receive a certificate. Only participants in the live presentation will be eligible.


For more information, contact NCH at nchinfo@aap.org or 1-888-227-5125.

Building a Partnership between Medicaid and Head Start

Join the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services CMS and the Medicaid-CHIP State Dental Association MSDA for the Building a Partnership between Medicaid and Head Start webinar on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 12:30 p.m. EDT. It is the eighth installment of the CMS Learning Lab: Improving Oral Health Through Access. Participants will learn about Head Start dental requirements and how Medicaid can help meet childrens needs. Discover the benefits of collaboration through examples from the Pennsylvania Head Start Association.

State Medicaid programs offer insurance to pregnant women, people with disabilities, and seniors. The Childrens Health Insurance Program CHIP also is a state-run health insurance program. It covers children from families who do not qualify for Medicaid but who cannot afford private insurance.

Topics for the webinar include:

  • Understanding the federal Head Start infrastructure and dental requirements
  • Oral health resources from the Administration for Children and Families and the Office of Head Start
  • Step-by-step process used in Pennsylvania to build a partnership between Medicaid and Head Start
  • Elements of Pennsylvania’s collaborative intervention and lessons learned so far


Guest faculty for this webinar include:

Marco Beltran, DrPH,
Head Start program specialist,
Office of Head Start,
Administration for Children and Families

Paul R. Westerberg, DDS, MBA,
chief dental officer,
Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare,
Office of Medical Assistance Programs

Amy Requa, MSN, CRNP,
oral health coordinator,
Pennsylvania Head Start Association

Who Should Participate?

This webinar will benefit an array of audience members, including: Head Start and Early Head Start health managers and staff; Medicaid and CHIP liaisons; and anyone else interesting in building and supporting these partnerships.

How to Watch the Archived Webinar

To watch the archived video, select the link and submit registration information at: https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration