July 29, 2005

In this Issue:

  1. Evaluation of States' Monitoring and Improvement Practices Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - Request for Comments
      Source: Federal Register - July 27, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 143)
  2. Funding Opportunities from the Administration for Children and Families
      Source: Administration for Children and Families - July 25, 2005
  3. Child Early Intervention Programs Make for Healthier Adults
      Source: Press Release: Children's Hospital Boston - July 5, 2005
  4. Trained Screeners Can Identify Preschoolers With Vision Disorders
      Source: NIH News - July 27, 2005
  5. Healthy Steps for Young Children: Resources for Preventive Care
      Source: The Commonwealth Fund - July 25, 2005
  6. The Role of States in Improving Health and Health Care for Young Children
      Source: Commonwealth Fund - July 28, 2005

1. Evaluation of States' Monitoring and Improvement Practices Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - Request for Comments

Source: Federal Register - July 27, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 143)

The Department of Education has issued the following request for comments:

Title: Evaluation of States' Monitoring and Improvement Practices Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Abstract: States' monitoring and improvement practices under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are vital to ensuring that students with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education and that infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families receive early intervention services. The purpose of this study is to evaluate states' monitoring and related improvement practices under IDEA. This study will describe the nature and scope of monitoring as implemented by the 50 states and the District of Columbia for Parts B and C of IDEA, assess the effect of the quality of states' monitoring and related improvement practices on key outcomes of Parts B and C of IDEA, and identify and develop recommendations for potential best practices in monitoring and identify areas for ongoing technical assistance.

Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before August 26, 2005. For complete information go to http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2005-3/072705a.html

2. Funding Opportunities from the Administration for Children and Families

Source: Administration for Children and Families - July 25, 2005

The Administration for Children and Families has recently published the following funding opportunities:

  • Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credentialing Program - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/HHS-2005-ACF-ACYF-YD-0064.html [Note: Link checked on 11/26/2007 - this document is no longer available online. For other ACF grant opportunities go to http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/ ].
  • Head Start Family Literacy Project - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/open/HHS-2005-ACF-ACYF-YL-0023.html [Note: Link checked on 11/26/2007 - this document is no longer available online. For other ACF grant opportunities go to http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants/ ].

3. Child Early Intervention Programs Make for Healthier Adults

Source: Press Release: Children's Hospital Boston - July 5, 2005

A 25-year follow-up study of a comprehensive early health and education intervention program begun in the early 1970s shows that inner-city children who participated not only did better educationally, but had better physical and mental health in adulthood. The findings, published in the July 2005 issue of Pediatrics, add to evidence that programs like Early Head Start, which was modeled on this intervention, provide good value to society. While several have shown that early intervention programs lead to better academic outcomes during the school years, this study, led by researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and Boston College, is one of the first to look at long-term effects on health and health behaviors. See the full press release at http://www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom/Site1339/mainpageS1339P1sublevel146.html

Full citation:
Palfrey, J. S., Hauser-Cram, P., Bronson, M. B., Warfield, M. E., Sirin, S., & Chan, E. (2005). The Brookline early education project: A 25-year follow-up study of a family-centered early health and development intervention. Pediatrics, 116(1), 144-152.

4. Trained Screeners Can Identify Preschoolers With Vision Disorders

Source: NIH News - July 27, 2005

Specially trained nurses and lay people performed effectively when using certain vision screening tests to identify preschoolers with vision disorders, according to a National Institutes of Health-funded research study of more than 1,400 children ...

"It is estimated that up to 15 percent of preschool children between the ages of three and five have an eye or vision condition that, if not corrected, can result in reduced vision," said Paulette P. Schmidt, O.D., M.S., chairperson of the VIP Study and a professor of optometry and vision science at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. "Unfortunately, many parents are unaware that their child has an eye problem because vision problems do not hurt and children do not know how well they should see."

To read the full press release go to http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/jul2005/nei-27.htm

5. Healthy Steps for Young Children: Resources for Preventive Care

Source: The Commonwealth Fund - July 25, 2005

Healthy Steps for Young Children is a national initiative, developed by the faculty in the department of pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine, to improve the quality of preventive health care for infants and toddlers. Established with Commonwealth Fund support, the program emphasizes a close relationship between health care professionals and parents in addressing the physical, emotional, and intellectual development of children from birth to age 3.

Among the benefits Healthy Steps provides are authoritative materials for parents and health professionals to promote child development and enhance well-child care. The following materials, in English and Spanish, are now being made available free of charge as a service to interested professionals and parents at http://www.commonwealthfund.org/General/General_show.htm?doc_id=246567:

  • LINK Letters, which prepare parents for well-child visits and provide child-rearing advice.
  • Parent Prompt sheets, which provide guidance on critical developmental issues so parents are "prompted" to ask the right question at well-child visits.
  • Parent Handouts, which cover a wide range of medical, developmental, and practical issues, from baby-proofing the home to coping with toddlers' fears.
  • Quick Check Sheets, which provide guidance to clinicians on developmental and behavioral issues.
Information about the Healthy Steps program is available at http://www.healthysteps.org.

6. The Role of States in Improving Health and Health Care for Young Children

Source: Commonwealth Fund - July 28, 2005

States are uniquely positioned to make significant improvements in the quality of health and heath care for young children, due to their roles as administrators of Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as mental health, public health, and education programs. Quality improvement initiatives are often hampered, however, by lack of coordination among programs within a state, by the lack of adequate data and information technology, and the tendency of state officials to focus on short-term policy projects ... A new Commonwealth Fund-supported study, The Role of States in Improving Health and Health Care for Young Children, is based on discussions with officials from all key child health care programs administered by states. The author finds that successful quality improvement ultimately depends on changes to the culture, traditions, and practice patterns of the health care delivery system.

To access the report online go to http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=288611