Office of Head Start Upcoming Events

Explore and register for upcoming T/TA events, sorted by topic. Scroll down for General Interest; Education & Child Development; Family & Community Engagement; Financial & Program Management; Health & Social and Emotional Well-being; Partnerships in Education & Child Care; and Non-ACF Events in the Early Childhood Field.

To see events sorted by date, visit the Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center (ECLKC).

 

General Interest

Monday, March 12
4–4:45 p.m. ET
Online

MyPeers Orientation

Join this webinar for a 45-minute introduction to MyPeers, a community of practice forum for Head Start programs, staff, and partners. MyPeers is a virtual space for brainstorming, exchanging ideas, and sharing resources. Local program staff across the country can connect with and lend support to fellow early childhood colleagues.

Webinar Repeats (all ET): March 19 at 1 p.m.; April 12 at 2 p.m.; April 23 at 3 p.m.; May 8 at noon.; May 16 at 2 p.m.

Education & Child Development

Wednesday, March 7
3–4 p.m. ET
Online

Spotlights on Innovative Practices: Relationship-Based Competencies for Professionals Who Work with Young Children

This is a live repeat of the December webinar which introduced the updated resource Relationship-Based Competencies for Professionals Who Work with Young Children in Group Settings.

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Tuesday, March 13
3–4 p.m. ET
Online

BabyTalks Series: Supporting Children’s Early Brain Development

For very young children, almost every experience is an opportunity for learning. Explore how children’s brains develop in the first few years of life.

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Friday, March 16
3–4 p.m. ET
Online

Preschool Cognition: Supporting Early Math

Join this Teacher Time webisode to hear from experts about early math development. Learn how to integrate early geometry concepts and skills, like shapes and puzzles, into everyday teaching practices.

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Tuesday, March 20
3–4 p.m. ET
Online

New and Revised: Making It Work – Implementing Cultural Learning Experiences in AIAN Early Learning Settings

Discover the importance of infusing language and culture in early learning programs. Hear about the newly updated Making It Work, a guide for implementing cultural learning experiences in American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) programs.

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Family & Community Engagement

Thursday, March 29
3–4:15 p.m. ET
Online

Helping Families Prepare for Income Changes Throughout the Year

Nearly two-thirds of low-income families go through significant changes in household income during the year. Head Start and Early Head Start programs can play a key role in helping families develop a plan to handle sudden income changes. This webinar is part of the Building Foundations for Economic Mobility (BFEM) webinar series.

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Financial & Program Management

Thursday, March 8
3–4 p.m. ET
Online

Program Planning and Data & Evaluation

This session will give an overview of the Program Planning and Data and Evaluation sections of the Head Start Management Systems Wheel. Topics will include coordinated approaches and how data supports continuous improvement.

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Wednesday, March 28
3–4:30 p.m. ET
Online

Successful, Supportive Relationships with State Early Childhood Systems

Explore both grantee and state perspectives on building relationships that support access to the Child Care and Development Fund subsidy. Hear from state representatives and two Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grantees, one rural and one urban, about the benefits of these relationships and what steps they took in building them. This webinar is part of the “Making Strides” series.

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Thursday, April 12
3–4 p.m. ET
Online

Facilities and Learning Environments

This session continues the exploration of the Head Start Management Systems Wheel. Review key considerations in facilities management. This includes an overview of the facility development and renovation cycle, as well as the health and wellness implications in facility management.

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Thursday, May 10
3–4 p.m. ET
Online

Transportation and Technology

This Head Start Management Systems Wheel session will address the fundamental concepts that support the systems of Transportation and Technology and Information Systems. This will include transportation planning, ensuring child safety, and the role of internal staff and external consultants in supporting your computers and software.

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Health & Social and Emotional Well-being

Monday, March 5
2–3 p.m. ET
Online

Tummy Time: A Simple Concept with Enormous Benefits

Tummy time gives babies a chance to stretch and strengthen their muscles, which helps them push up, roll over, crawl, and walk. Join this webinar to explore a new suite of materials for home visitors and other professionals working with families with infants. Learn to encourage and incorporate tummy time into families’ routines. Help caregivers use tummy time as a special chance to bond and interact with babies.

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Tuesday, March 6
1–2 p.m. ET
Online

Implementing Evidence-Based Hearing Screening Practices for Children 3 to 5 Years of Age in Head Start Programs

Learn about evidence-based hearing screening for children 3–5 years of age. Explore newly released instructional resources designed to assist those using Pure Tone screening.

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Thursday, March 15
2–3 p.m. ET
Online

Nutrition Education in the Classroom

Nutrition is key for children’s healthy development, but it can be challenging to make it a part of your daily routine. Explore tips and strategies to create healthier eating environments for children in the classroom and at home.

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April 10–12
All Day
Dallas, TX

I Am Moving, I Am Learning Team Trainings

I Am Moving, I Am Learning (IMIL) is a Head Start program enhancement created to address childhood obesity. It was not designed as a curriculum or an add-on. Join the team training to find out how IMIL fits seamlessly into what programs are already doing to meet the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. Apply online by March 9, 2018.

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Partnerships in Education & Child Care

Tuesday, March 6
2–3:30 p.m. ET
Online

Strategies for Building and Financing the Supply of High Quality Early Learning Webinar Series: State and Local Finance Strategies

The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance, in collaboration with the BUILD initiative, will facilitate a discussion about state and local revenue-generation strategies that fund quality services for children.

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Tuesday, May 1
2–3:30 p.m. ET
Online

Strategies for Building and Financing the Supply of High Quality Early Learning: Utilizing Grants and Contracts, Payment Rates, and Financial Incentives to Increase Supply and Improve Quality

Hear from states that have used different strategies related to provider payments, grants and contracts, and financial incentives.

May 30 – June 1
All Day
Washington, DC

Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS)

Explore the latest findings from evaluations or programs, policies, and services that support low-income and vulnerable families on the path to economic self-sufficiency. RECS is presented by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Non-ACF Events in the Early Childhood Field

April 4–6
All Day
Online

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April 23–27
All Day
Anaheim, CA

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

 

Nemours looking to partner with ECE/Childhood Obesity Organization to test ECELC revised Toolkit

Nemours Children’s Health System is pleased to announce a search to fund an organization to test an Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative (ECELC) Toolkit beginning October 1, 2017.  The ECELC Toolkit will guide a state/community through developing and implementing a childhood obesity learning collaborative for early care and education (ECE) providers.  For additional information regarding Nemours National ECE Learning Collaborative model, please visit https://healthykidshealthyfuture.org/about-ecelc/.

Nemours’ National ECELC is an evidenced informed model that, with funding from CDC, has reached over 1,670 early care and education programs and over 170,000 children nationally over the past five years.  As childhood obesity prevention efforts in the United States continue, policy and practice based interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity best practices help shape healthier environments for children attending early care and education programs.  Over the past five years, early care and education programs participating in Nemours ECELC have improved healthy environments in their programs and continue to implement healthy eating and physical activity best practices.  Through self-assessment tools, we have learned, the ECELC model contributes to increases in child nutrition, physical activity, breastfeeding support, outdoor play and learning, and screen time best practices and healthy policy changes in early child care and education programs across the country.[1]

The ECELC model has been implemented with large grants to public and private partners and technical assistance from Nemours and CDC.  As part of the project, Nemours has developed an off-the-shelf ECELC Toolkit to guide organizations on how to run a learning collaborative for ECE providers focused on childhood obesity prevention. Nemours is seeking a partner organization to test whether the model can be implemented with limited technical assistance using the ECELC Toolkit and a small amount of funding.  The ECELC Toolkit can provide a tremendous opportunity for an organization to build upon their current professional development repertoire for early care and education programs in a targeted community.  As an added bonus, all training materials and resources are provided at no additional costs to the partner organization!   Piloting the ECELC Toolkit before full dissemination will allow Nemours and CDC to enhance the content and supportive resources with key information to ensure success of learning collaborative(s) launched by other organizations.

The selected organization will collaborate with Nemours beginning October 1, 2017 through September 2018.

The selected partner organization will receive the user-friendly Nemours ECELC Toolkit manual, all training materials and resources online, limited technical assistance support, and a small amount of funding from Nemours.  The partner organization will provide a designated staff member for the project, funding to support the project needs beyond the Nemours grant, and participate in a formal evaluation process.

An informational webinar is scheduled for Monday, August 21, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET to provide potential partner organizations information regarding Nemours ECELC Toolkit project and application process.  For questions or to register for the webinar, please contact, Content Specialist Kevin Cataldo at kevin.cataldo@nemours.org.

Nemours Children’s Health System is committed to improving the health of children.  As a nonprofit children’s health organization, we consider the health of every child to be a sacred trust.  Through family-centered care in our children’s hospitals and clinics in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida, as well as world-changing research, education and advocacy, Nemours fulfills the promise of a healthier tomorrow for all children – even those who may never enter our doors.

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[1] Smith TM, Blaser C, Geno Rasmussen C, Shuell J, Plumlee C, Yaroch AL. Assessment of nutrition and physical activity practices using self-report and observation in early care and education across multiple US states. Public Health Nutrition. March 2017:1-7. doi:10.1017/S1368980017000155.

 

Smith, T. M., Blaser, C., Geno Rasmussen, C., Shuell, J., Plumlee, C., Gargano, T., & Yaroch, A. L. (In Press). Real world implementation of a project aimed to improve nutrition and physical activity policies and practices in early care and education. Preventing Chronic Disease.

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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.

Download:

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

Eligibility and Access in the CCDF Program

FROM THE OFFICE OF CHILD CARE

1/11/17

Dear Colleague:

As we begin a new year, it’s natural to take stock of our priorities as we move forward. Fortunately, the recognition of the importance of child care to child development and family economic stability continues to grow.

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act was updated and reauthorized with bipartisan support by Congress in 2014 to better meet these dual goals. A report issued last month provides information on the reach of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program, the Nation’s largest funding source for child care assistance to help parents who are working or in education/training to pay for child care and to improve the quality of care for all children. States, Territories, and Tribes use CCDF funds to serve their unique populations and to have some flexibility in setting specific policies that govern the everyday experiences of over 1 million children, their families, and the early childhood workforce that nurtures them, and our collective future, each day.

The CCDBG Act of 2014 required the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the extent of participation in the CCDF program across States. The resulting report, Access to Subsidies and Strategies to Manage Demand Vary Across States, found that approximately 14.2 million children under age 13 were in families estimated to be eligible for CCDF subsidies in an average month. These figures are based on the Federal limit on eligibility, which allows States, Territories, and Tribes to set maximum income eligibility no higher than 85% of State Median Income (SMI) and which requires families to qualify based on their participation in work or education/training. According to the Census Bureau, nationally, 85% of SMI translates to a family income of roughly $45,000 per year.Statesmay set the threshold lower and add other eligibility criteria. The GAO found the total number eligible when these criteria are applied is 8.6 million. Of those, GAO found that 1.5 million children in eligible families received child care subsidies in the years for which the data were reviewed (2011 and 2012). That number translates into just 11% of federally eligible children receiving CCDF subsidies. Please view the chart on page 10 of the report for a graphic illustrating these results.

Before, we typically used the figure of 15% of children federally eligible for CCDF who could access the program, based on an analysis published by the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation in 2015. Now, GAO’s calculations show just 11% benefit from access to this important support that helps families choose child care so that they can work or attend school. This current situation is a lost opportunity to strengthen American families and children’s prospects for their future.

Over three-quarters (77%) of children receiving a subsidy lived in families with income under 150% of the Federal poverty level, with 60% below poverty. Poverty wages meant earnings less than $23,000 for a family of four in 2012, the most recent year of data that GAO analyzed. The average price of child care for an infant care in a center is over $10,000 a year, although it varies depending on the cost of living in different areas.

When more families ask for a subsidy than a State can serve, it leads to difficult choices. GAO asked 32 States questions about how they manage the demand for child care subsidies. States mentioned using wait lists, prioritization criteria, and closing intake.

With the birth of a new year, like the birth of a child, comes new potential and promise. Thank you to all who will be a part of realizing that potential and promise for children, families, and the early childhood workforce in 2017.

Sincerely,

Rachel Schumacher

Opportunity to Strengthen Your System of Care for CYSHCN: Action Learning Collaborative

1/4/2017

AMCHP, in partnership with the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) and with support from the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, is excited to announce a Request for Applications for state teams interested in receiving peer-to-peer technical assistance in adopting the National Standards for Systems of Care for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (the Standards) to improve their state system of care for this population of children.

This is an eight-month TA opportunity for five selected states beginning in February 2017 with a kickoff webinar and consisting of a face-to-face meeting in spring 2017 in Washington, D.C. and ongoing technical assistance calls through the remaining months. For questions about this RFA, contact Kate Taft at ktaft@amchp.org. To download a blank application form, click here. Applications must be submitted electronically by Jan. 23, 2017 to Cori Floyd at cfloyd@amchp.org.

Overview

In the United States, about 11.2 million children have special health care needs.CYSHCN Fact Sheet.PNG Children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN) are a diverse group of children, ranging from children with chronic conditions to those with more medically complex health issues, to children with behavioral or emotional conditions. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau defines CYSHCN as children from birth to age 21 who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.

As a national advocate for family health, AMCHP ensures these children receive high quality, family-centered, integrated health services by partnering with national and state agencies and organizations, such as state Title V CYSHCN Programs.

State Title V CYSHCN programs have decades of experience in creating and sustaining systems of care for CYSHCN and their families. State CYSHCN programs ensure family-centered, community-based, coordinated care for children with chronic conditions and disabilities.

With support from several sponsors, including the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, AMCHP assists families and state Title V CYSHCN programs with the following:

  • Policy and legislative analysis
  • Research
  • Coordination of national meetings
  • Publications

To access a fact sheet on general CYSHCN informationclick here.

To access an overview of Models of Care for CYSHCNclick here.

To learn about Health Reform related to CYSHCNclick here.

Focus Areas

The CYSHCN program at AMCHP covers a range of focus areas through our partnerships with state and national organizations.

To learn more about each focus area, click on the subjects below or click here.

Education Agenda 2017: Top Priorities for State Leaders, the Next Administration, and Congress

1/4/2017

Today’s students are the next generation of American doers and thinkers. The most diverse population ever, they have the honor and the burden of keeping the United States on the forefront of innovation and social progress.

To ensure students can succeed, our country’s publicly-funded education system—from early learning to public schools, and through higher education and workforce training—must be strengthened. So far, this system has failed too many of our country’s young people—turning them off of learning before they exit elementary school, leading them to repeat grades or drop out, requiring them to engage in costly remediation, and more. Widespread disparities are festering between students from high-income and low-income families; racial justice is still wanting; and linguistic diversity is still seen as a challenge instead of an opportunity.

To reform this system, New America’s Education Policy program recommends that leaders in the new administration, members of Congress, and state and local policymakers turn their attention to 10 important actions:

  1. Expand access to quality early learning.
  2. Smooth transition points from pre-K through higher education and into the workforce.
  3. Transform the preparation and ongoing development of educators.
  4. Align research and development to educational practice.
  5. Build an infrastructure for supporting dual language learners (DLLs).
  6. Improve access to and linkages between education and workforce data while protecting student privacy.
  7. Hold “bad actors” in the higher education system accountable.
  8. Simplify and target financial aid to the students who need it most.
  9. Repair the federal-state partnership in higher education.
  10. Connect education and the labor market by moving beyond the “skills gap.”

Source: New America Foundation

Available at: http://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/policy-papers/education-agenda-2017/

The Obama Early Childhood Legacy

12/15/2016

By Laura Bornfreund and David Loewenberg

In a matter of weeks, the portrait of President Obama that hangs in the lobby of the Department of Education will be taken down. What policies and programs come down with it remains to be seen, raising questions about what the Obama legacy in education will be: How will he be remembered? What indelible mark has his administration left on education in our country?  What policies, if any, will outlive his administration? Finally, however the recent election alters (or tarnishes) his legacy, will his administration’s mark on early childhood education withstand?

While early learning was arguably overshadowed by K-12 reforms during the Obama administration’s first term, over the course of the past eight years, great strides have been made to improve the quality—and increase the availability—of high-quality early education offerings across the country.Since 2009, federal investment in early childhood programs has increased by more than $6 billion. Thanks to that funding, thousands more children are being served in state pre-K programs, steps have been taken to improve the quality of childcare, and Head Start—the nation’s largest federally funded early education program—has been overhauled to make it a higher quality, more flexible program. Today, nearly all states provide some funding for pre-K, and state investment in pre-K continues to rise. What’s more, 40 states are measuring early childhood program quality—up from 17 at the beginning of Obama’s administration.

Through the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC), 20 states have received a combined total of more than $1 billion to improve children’s access to high-quality early learning programs. And for the first time ever, there is a dedicated Office of Early Learning in the Department of Education (ED) — a move that proved to be significant in both symbolic and practical terms. Since its creation in 2011, the office has worked to thread early learning across ED offices and has improved coordination between ED and the Department of Health and Human Services which administers Head Start and other early childhood programs.

Perhaps most importantly, though, the president has used his bully pulpit to lift early education into the national spotlight. This was never more evident than in 2013 when President Obama used his State of the Union address to highlight the promise of early learning. Speaking on perhaps the most prominent stage in politics, the president set the ambitious goal of making high-quality pre-K available to every single child in America. This historic shout-out for early education was followed by the rollout of his “Preschool for All” proposal. While the proposal never gained much legislative traction, for the first time in recent memory, early childhood education became a centerpiece in the national conversation around improving education.

So has the access and quality of early childhood education for children and families improved over the last eight years of the Obama administration? The answer is an unequivocal “yes.”

There is room for debate, however, when it comes to whether the actions and rhetoric of the Obama administration have ushered in the type of sustainable, large-scale improvements that are needed.

While state pre-K programs are serving thousands more children, and while nearly all states now fund pre-K, the percentage of children served has remained relatively flat. Just 41 percent of four-year-olds and 16 percent of three-year-olds were enrolled in publicly-funded pre-K programs in 2015 — an increase of a mere 3 percent from 2008 levels and a far cry from the president’s 2013 call for “Preschool for All” four-year-olds.

And while it is certainly true that more states are investing in their youngest, the state of early education in the U.S., as a whole, is one that remains plagued by significant issues when it comes to quality, cost, and the workforce. The quality of state pre-K programs and other early childhood programs remains extremely varied, the cost of good child care is still far out of reach for most families, particularly low-income families, and the early childhood workforce continues to be severely underpaid.

Further complicating the record of progress, kindergarten and the early grades are still largely ignored in much of federal and state policy and the notion of a birth-through-third grade system — even a pre-K-3rd grade system — as a whole, is still just that, an idea rather than common practice. And as skeptics of large-scale pre-K programs will point out, we still don’t fully understand how best to ensure that the academic benefits of pre-K endure over time.

In short, progress has been made but significant work remains if the U.S. hopes to arrive at a place where its youngest children receive the educational opportunities they need and deserve.

Undoubtedly the Obama Administration did more than those that came before to make children’s earliest years an important part of the national education conversation. By incentivizing state and local investments and creating a national platform for the issue, the Obama administration has unmistakably helped to strengthen the quality and availability of early learning across the country. Still, rather than fundamentally transforming the early education landscape, it may be more accurate to say that the Obama years have laid important groundwork necessary for large-scale efforts in the years to come — should there be future leaders who make doing so a priority.

Source: New America

Available at: https://www.newamerica.org/weekly/edition-146/obama-early-childhood-legacy/

A Webinar for Child Care Health Consultants The Shifting Landscape for Health and Safety in Child Care

Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016
1–2 p.m. EST

Register Online Now!

The National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW) invites Child Care Health Consultants (CCHCs) to register for the second in a series of ongoing webinars to support child care health consultation in all early childhood education (ECE) settings. Join us to explore new developments in early childhood health and safety. Find out how to strengthen programs’ health and safety practices.

Topics for the webinar include:

  • Identifying the new state requirements for health and safety training
  • Understanding key data that programs can use to promote effective health and safety practices
  • Recognizing how to find information about your state’s approach to health and safety

Who Should Attend?

This webinar will benefit child care health and nurse consultants; health educators and advocates; Head Start health services staff; and school nurses working with pre-K programs.

Select the link to register: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/phta48t05aaa&eom

Questions?

Contact NCECHW at health@ecetta.info or call (toll-free) 1-888-227-5125.

Infants And Toddlers In The Policy Picture: A Self-Assessment Toolkit For States

11/2015

All infants and toddlers need good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences. Furthermore, young children benefit most from an early childhood system that is built through collaboration. These goals form the framework for a policy agenda that creates a comprehensive range of services and supports that honor the needs and choices of families for their children. This self-assessment toolkit draws on research on effective policies and best practices to help states evaluate progress toward building an effective early childhood system and set priorities for improvement.

The toolkit will guide you through a series of questions that will prompt you to collect data on how infants and toddlers are doing in your state and to analyze existing state policies and funding choices. In each section, ZERO TO THREE has provided national comparison data as well as suggested sources where you can find information for your state. Each topical section also includes optional stakeholder surveys that you may use to gather input on how existing services are meeting families’ needs. We recommend that you read Suggested Process for Using the Self-Assessment Toolkit before you begin using the toolkit.

Source: ZERO TO THREE

Available at: http://www.zerotothree.org/public-policy/self-assessment-toolkit.html