January 13, 2017

In this Issue:

  1. Dear Colleague Letter - Preschool Least Restrictive Environments
      Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs - January 9, 2017
  2. Resource Guide: Building a Bright Future for All
      Source: U.S. Department of Education - January 2017
  3. Resource Guide to Trauma-Informed Human Services
      Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - January 12, 2017
  4. Fact Sheets on Children Served by CCDBG
      Source: CLASP - January 11, 2017

1. Dear Colleague Letter - Preschool Least Restrictive Environments

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs - January 9, 2017

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has released an updated Dear Colleague Letter related to Preschool Least Restrictive Environments (LRE) (January 9, 2017). The letter provides updated guidance and clarification on: Key Statutory and Regulatory Requirements, Preschool Placement Options, Reporting Educational Environments Data for Preschool Children with Disabilities, and Use of IDEA Part B Funds for Preschool Children with Disabilities. It reaffirms OSEP's position that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs where they are provided with individualized and appropriate supports to enable them to meet high expectations.

Additional OSEP Memos, Dear Colleague Letters and Policy Letters are publicly available online. A subset of OSEP guidance documents related to the early childhood provisions of the IDEA (Part C and Part B, Section 619) can be accessed on the ECTA Center Web site.

2. Resource Guide: Building a Bright Future for All

Source: U.S. Department of Education - January 2017

The U.S. Department of Education has released a new guide entitled, Resource Guide: Building a Bright Future for All (January 2017). The guide was developed to enhance State and local efforts to support immigrant children from birth through the elementary grades. The first half provides tips for educators in early learning programs and elementary schools as well as schools, districts, and States to: (1) facilitate school enrollment by immigrant families; (2) promote healthy child development in the school setting; (3) encourage caregiver engagement in their children's education; and (4) build staff knowledge about immigrant children and their educational needs. The second half provides tips for parents and guardians on how to facilitate children's learning and education starting at birth. A blog post from the Department provides more information.

3. Resource Guide to Trauma-Informed Human Services

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - January 12, 2017

A newly released Resource Guide to Trauma-Informed Human Services (January 2017) provides an introduction to the topic of trauma, a discussion of why understanding and addressing trauma is important for human services programs, and a "road map" to relevant resources. It is meant to help professionals learn about trauma-informed care and improve their practices. Some of the resources in the guide are specific to Early Childhood Programs.

The guide was developed by the Administration for Children and Families, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations, the Administration for Community Living, and the Offices of the Assistant Secretary for Health and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

4. Fact Sheets on Children Served by CCDBG

Source: CLASP - January 11, 2017

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the major federal funding stream for states to help make quality child care affordable for low-income parents. Over the past decade, the CCDBG program has been serving fewer eligible children due to declining federal and state investments. CLASP has released two new fact sheets discussing some of the consequences of this trend:

  • CCDBG Participation Drops to Historic Low (January 2017) - This fact sheet shows that 21% fewer children received CCDBG-funded child care in an average month in 2015 than in 2006. This is the smallest number of children served in the history of CCDBG. It also finds that more than 85% of children who qualify for help cannot access the program.
  • Fewer Children, Fewer Providers (January 2017) - This fact sheet finds that the number of child care providers receiving CCDBG payments has declined by 52% since 2006. This is the fewest number of providers to participate in the program ever. It also discusses changes in the types of providers receiving CCDBG payments and the implications of these changes.