The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start: First Annual Report | Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation | Administration for Children and Families

1/3/2014

The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start (MIHOPE-Strong Start), developed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), funded by CMS, and implemented in partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), uses a rigorous random assignment design to examine the effects of home visiting programs on birth outcomes and maternal and infant health and health care. The study will also collect and analyze rich information on local implementation processes. This report includes a description of the study and the similarities and differences between the two home visiting models that are included in the study: Healthy Families America (HFA) and Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP).

Source: Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families

Available at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/resource/the-mother-and-infant-home-visiting-program-evaluation-strong-start-first

El currículo, la evaluación y el marco de head start: Una herramienta para revisar la alineación – Head Start

Esta herramienta se diseñó con el fin de ayudar a su programa para que pueda determinar el grado de alineación que exista entre una evaluación o un currículo para la primera infancia, y los dominios y los elementos de los dominios identificados en el Marco de Head Start para el Desarrollo y Aprendizaje Temprano de los Niños (HSCDELF, por sus siglas en inglés, revisado, Sept. 2011).

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/Espanol/educacion/educacion/Elcurrculola.htm

NAEYC Thought Leaders in Early Childhood Webinar Series

October – December, 2013

Gain insight and access to some of the most prominent thought leaders in the early childhood field today. Sponsored by Walden University’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Thought Leaders in Early Childhood webinar series explores a wide range of topics, trends, and best practices in the field.

Join us for one or all of the following events:

Dr. Clancy Blair, professor of applied psychology in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, discusses “Promoting the Development of Self-Regulation in Young Children” on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Register Now

Dr. Catherine Snow, a psychologist who has studied language and literacy acquisition in bilingual and monolingual children, will discuss “Facilitating Language Development in Young Children” on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Register Now

Dr. Robert C. Pianta, founding director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia and a professor in both the Curry School of Education and in the Department of Psychology, discusses “Measuring Classroom Quality” on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Register Now

Listen to an EduTalk radio interview about the webinar series.

The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University, a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)–accredited institution, is proud to be a year-round sponsor of NAEYC, the world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children.

Walden University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs. As a recognized standard of excellence in professional education for the preparation of teachers, administrators, and other preK–12 school professionals, NCATE accreditation ensures that the institution has met rigorous national standards set by the profession and members of the public. However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses offered to preK–12 educators for professional development, relicensure, or other purposes.

Source: National Association for the Education of Young Children and Walden University

Available at: http://www.waldenu.edu/about/events/webinars/education/early-childhood-series

Evaluation of the Head Start Designation Renewal System

8/15/2013

In the fall of 2011, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) significantly expanded its accountability provisions with the implementation of the Head Start Designation Renewal System (DRS). The DRS is designed to identify which Head Start and Early Head Start grantees are providing high quality, comprehensive services to the children and families in their communities. Where they are not, grantees are denied automatic renewal of their grant and must apply for continuing funding through an open competition process. Determinations are based on seven conditions designed to measure service quality, program operational quality, and fiscal and internal integrity.

The ACF is proposing to conduct an evaluation of the DRS. The purpose of the evaluation is to understand if the DRS is working as intended, as a valid, reliable, and transparent method for identifying high-quality programs that can receive continuing five-year grants without competition and as a system that encourages overall program quality improvement. It also seeks to understand how the system is working, the circumstances in which it works more or less well, and the contextual, demographic, and program factors and program actions associated with how well the system is working. The study will employ a mixed-methods design that integrates and layers administrative and secondary data sources, observational measures, and interviews to develop a rich knowledge base about what the DRS accomplishes and how it does so.

Source: Federal Register Volume 78, Number 158

Available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-15/html/2013-19805.htm

Developmental Screening, Assessments and Evaluations for Infants and Toddlers

8/2013

This webinar discusses how to integrate data from assessments into daily experiences. Early Head Start staff also learn how to identify behavioral and developmental concerns observed while working with infants and toddlers.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Available at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/ehsnrc/Early%20Head%20Start/multimedia/webinars/DevelopmentalScr.htm

Comment Request: Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Annual Performance Report

6/24/2013

Comments submitted by: 8/27/2013

The Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge program is authorized by Sections 14005 and 14006, Division A, of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as amended by section 1832(b) of Division B of Public Law 112-10, the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, and the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2012 (Title III of Division F of Public Law 112-74, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012). This program is jointly managed by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The purpose of the Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge program is to focus on improving early learning and development programs for young children by supporting States’ efforts to: (1) Increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged children in each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are enrolled in high-quality early learning programs; (2) design and implement an integrated system of high-quality early learning programs and services; and (3) ensure that any use of assessments conforms with the recommendations of the National Research Council’s reports on early childhood. Five key program reform areas representing the foundation of an effective early learning and development reform agenda focused on school readiness and ongoing educational success. These five key reform areas are: (A) Successful State Systems; (B) High-Quality, Accountable Programs; (C) Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children; (D) A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce; and (E) Measuring Outcomes and Progress. The first two reform areas, (A) and (B) are “Core Areas of Focus” for this program and all applicants addressed selection criteria based on these core areas. Reform areas (C), (D), and (E) are “Focused Investment Areas” where State’s choose which specific areas to target based on their State’s early childhood reform areas and policies. Research demonstrates that high-quality early learning and development programs and services can improve young children’s health, social-emotional, and cognitive outcomes; enhance school readiness; and help close the school readiness gap that exists between children with High Needs and their more abled peers at the time they enter kindergarten.

The Annual Performance Report for this program will collect data on the performance measures and the selection criteria described in the application (note OMB approval in 2011). Program staff have reviewed this report carefully to minimize burden. The APR will be collected electronically which will enable program staff to pre-populate information on baseline data, approved performance targets, and approved annual budgets. This report will be used to provide necessary information to program staff and to the public on the implementation of these grants.

Source: Federal Register

Available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/06/28/2013-15489/agency-information-collection-activities-comment-request-race-to-the-top-early-learning-challenge

Evaluation of the Head Start Designation Renewal System

6/11/2013

In the fall of 2011, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) significantly expanded its accountability provisions with the implementation of the Head Start Designation Renewal System (DRS). The DRS is designed to identify which Head Start and Early HeadStart grantees are providing high quality, comprehensive services to the children and families in their communities. Where they are not, grantees are denied automatic renewal of their grant and must apply for continuing funding through an open competition process. Determinations are based on seven conditions designed to measure service quality, program operational quality, and fiscal and internal integrity.

The ACF is proposing to conduct an evaluation of the DRS. The purpose of the evaluation is to understand if the DRS is working as intended, as a valid, reliable, and transparent method for identifying high-quality programs that can receive continuing five-year grants without competition and as a system that encourages overall program quality improvement. It also seeks to understand how the system is working, the circumstances in which it works more or less well, and the contextual, demographic, and program factors and program actions associated with how well the system is working. The study will employ a mixed-methods design that integrates and layers administrative and secondary data sources, observational measures, and interviews to develop a rich knowledge base about what the DRS accomplishes and how it does so.

Source: Federal Register, Volume 78 Issue 112

Available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-06-11/html/2013-13716.htm

Autism Speaks Launches New Ad Council Campaign – “Maybe” | News | Autism Speaks

May 2013

Extending its award-winning “Learn the Signs” campaign, Autism Speaks today launched the “Maybe” campaign, a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to reach African American and Hispanic parents. According to research, children in these communities are often diagnosed later than the national average. The PSAs, which are being distributed to media outlets nationwide this week, show some of the early signs of autism and encourage parents to take immediate action if their child is not meeting standard developmental milestones. Read a story on the campaign launch from the New York Times.

According to the CDC, the average age of diagnosis is 4-5 years, but a reliable autism diagnosis can be made as early as 18-24 months. While early detection is critical, research shows that many parents have very little knowledge about autism and its symptoms. The current age of diagnosis among low income families, as well as African Americans and Hispanics, is higher than the general public. With appropriate early intervention services from ages 3-5, between 20 percent and 50 percent of children diagnosed with autism will be able to attend mainstream kindergarten.

The new “Maybe” PSAs show parents observing the unusual behavior or non-reaction of their child in seemingly ordinary situations. A child’s lack of eye contact, babbling or big smiles invite parental worry and speculation: “maybe it’s this” or “maybe it’s that.” Showing the subtle presence of potential problems in otherwise everyday instances, the PSAs emphasize that these “maybes” are reasons enough for parents to consult their pediatrician or primary care provider for further screening. The PSAs encourage parents to seek further information about the early signs of autism and additional screening resources at autismspeaks.org/signs and autismspeaks.org/aprende for Spanish information.

Source: Autism Speaks

Available at: http://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/autism-speaks-ad-council-campaign-maybe-signs

Motor Delays: Early Identification and Evaluation

May 27, 2013

Pediatricians often encounter children with delays of motor development in their clinical practices. Earlier identification of motor delays allows for timely referral for developmental interventions as well as diagnostic evaluations and treatment planning. A multidisciplinary expert panel developed an algorithm for the surveillance and screening of children for motor delays within the medical home, offering guidance for the initial workup and referral of the child with possible delays in motor development. Highlights of this clinical report include suggestions for formal developmental screening at the 9-, 18-, 30-, and 48-month well-child visits; approaches to the neurologic examination, with emphasis on the assessment of muscle tone; and initial diagnostic approaches for medical home providers. Use of diagnostic tests to evaluate children with motor delays are described, including brain MRI for children with high muscle tone, and measuring serum creatine kinase concentration of those with decreased muscle tone. The importance of pursuing diagnostic tests while concurrently referring patients to early intervention programs is emphasized.

Source: Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics.

Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/05/22/peds.2013-1056.abstract

SERIES: An Integrated Approach to Supporting Child Development

Summer 2012

Developmental delays affect between 10 and 13 percent of U.S. children under the age of three; however, only two to three percent of children in this age group receive Early Intervention (EI) services.1-3 An approach that identifies concerns early and links children to services is vital. Many efforts have focused on implementing developmental screening in primary care, and have contributed valuable information about the feasibility and effectiveness of this strategy.4-8 However, few studies have evaluated the success of screening beyond the identification of a developmental concern and the initiation of a referral.9 Those studies that have looked beyond referral show significant gaps between the identification of a concern and the receipt of developmental services by children and families.10, 11 This has prompted increasing awareness of the need for better care coordination across systems involved in meeting the
developmental needs of children.12

To promote a more coordinated approach to meeting children’s developmental needs, this brief proposes the adoption of the SERIES paradigm of developmental screening in which each step—Screening, Early Identification, Referral, Intake, Evaluation, and Services—is seen not as an isolated activity, but rather an integral component of a single process. SERIES challenges all systems serving young children to broaden their focus to include practices that promote shared responsibility for ensuring that each child successfully completes the entire pathway from screening to services.13 This brief does not aim to be a comprehensive review of the evidence around developmental screening, as such reviews already exist.1, 14, 15 Instead, the brief explores barriers that may prevent children from completing the SERIES, highlights promising approaches for collaboration, and proposes practice and policy actions that may offer useful guidance for planning, financing, and delivering early childhood services.

Source: PolicyLab Center to Bridge Research, Practice, & Policy

Available at: http://policylab.us/images/pdf/policylab_e2a_summer2012_series.pdf