This training activity was created to support participants' understanding of the criteria needed to develop and write high quality, participation-based IEP goals. The term "functional" is often used to describe what goals ought to be, yet many providers struggle to define what makes a goal "functional." Still others struggle with making goals meet the criteria set forth in regulations, as well as have meaning for families. A review of existing resources developed by national experts provided a framework for considering IEP goals to determine if the goals are high quality and support the child's participation in everyday routines and activities.
ECTA Center, (2014), 36 pp.Availability: http://www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/rating-iep.pdf (PDF: 1622kb)
This training activity was created to support participants' understanding of the criteria needed to develop and write high quality, participation-based IFSP outcomes. The term "functional" is often used to describe what outcomes ought to be, yet many providers struggle to define what makes an outcome "functional." Still others struggle with making outcomes meet the criteria set forth in regulations, as well as have meaning for families. A review of existing resources developed by national experts provided a framework for considering IFSP outcomes to determine if the outcomes are high quality and support the child's participation in everyday routines and activities.
ECTA Center, (2014), 31 pp.Availability: http://www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/rating-ifsp.pdf (PDF: 1353kb)
The 2012 edition of this publication updates information provided by state coordinators on state policies, programs, and practices under the Preschool Grants Program (Section 619 of Part B) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Information includes: program administration, funding, interagency coordination, personnel, transition, monitoring, use of IEPs/ IFSPs, family-centered services, standards and outcomes, pre-kindergarten programs, initiatives for special populations, and services in least restrictive environments (LRE). Note: Previous editions also included a compilation of information on the Section 619 program from other sources: federal and state policies, a bibliography of selected online publications and journal articles related to the implementation of Section 619 published ina given year, contact information for state and jurisdictional program coordinators, and program data from www.ideadata.org.
Previous editions of the Section 619 Profile are available as well:
NECTAC, (2012), 80 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/sec619_2012.pdf (PDF: 602kb)
This paper looks at the term "informed clinical opinion" and addresses its meaning in the context of Part C, its effect on the determination of eligibility and why its documentation is necessary. This paper is an update of NECTAC Notes No. 10 (May 2002) by Jo Shackelford.
NECTAC Notes, No. 28, (2012), 7 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/nnotes28.pdf (PDF: 330kb)
This document was developed to assist states in identifying ways to improve results for children and families participating in Part C early intervention services through the implementation of quality practices. It provides a table of key quality practices that, when implemented, will have direct impact on child family outcomes. The instructions describe a number of ways it can be used by states to identify areas in need of improvement, develop improvement activities, orient providers to the key practices, and conduct self-assessments.
NECTAC, (2012), 34 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/QualityPracticesOutcomes_2012-04-17.pdf (PDF: 548kb)
This tool was developed to assist local programs in collecting valid and reliable data to determine contributing factors impacting performance on State Performance Plan (SPP) indicators C-2, C-4, C-5, and C-6. It provides ideas for the types of questions a local team would consider in identifying factors impacting performance. General questions that are applicable to all indicators are included, as well as questions specific to each indicator. Data collected from this investigation should be used to identify contributing factors that relate to program infrastructure, policies and procedures, funding, training and technical assistance, supervision, data, personnel and provider practices. These factors, once identified, can lead to the development of meaningful strategies for improvement.
NECTAC, (2012), 24 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/topics/gensup/ContributingFactor-Results_Final_28Mar12.pdf (PDF: 2046kb)
This article examines how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has influenced state and local practices in providing services to infants, toddlers and young children with disabilities and their families. The authors discuss how the IDEA has promoted the development of a system of services and supports for young children with disabilities over the past 25 years, as well as some of the barriers to its effective implementation nationwide. Specifically, the following four implementation issues are addressed: access to services, quality of services, costs and funding, and outcomes. The article concludes with a brief discussion about the current trend toward building unified early childhood systems within states and how this trend might impact IDEA early childhood programs.
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 31(4), 199-207, February 2012. doi:10.1177/0271121411429077Availability: Sage Journals Online at http://tec.sagepub.com/content/31/4/199
The NECTAC Evaluation Unit systematically collects and analyzes data to describe the quantity and nature of services provided by NECTAC staff, the quality and relevance of NECTAC services and products, and whether recipients use the information and resources gained to improve state and local systems and practices serving young children with disabilities and their families. In addition to ongoing evaluation efforts, in September 2011 a national evaluation was conducted with all Part C and Section 619 Coordinators from all states and jurisdictions about the quality, relevance and impact of NECTAC services and products.
Prior compilations of Evaluation Highlights are available as well:
NECTAC, (2012), 4 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/nectac_eval_highlights_2012.pdf (PDF: 760kb)
This guide describes five major stages in the process of changing your state's service delivery approach and the critical considerations and steps that need to be addressed for each stage. While not a rigid sequence of activities, there is a logical flow. In actual implementation, the activities may cross stages and may be worked on simultaneously. Also, a change effort may begin at a later stage but back-track to do the work of the earlier stages.
NECTAC, (2011), 6 pp.Availability: The full online version includes greater detail and downloadable resource documents: http://www.ectacenter.org/effectiveservicedelivery/splash.asp
This paper presents highlights from the results of a query sent to Part C and Section 619 Coordinators in September 2011. Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that NECTAC TA, including both services and products, are of high quality, relevant to their work, and contributing to improved state infrastructure, local program implementation, and practices. The query was sent to 125 state coordinators and a total of 67 responses from state coordinators were received. Respondents included 35 Part C Coordinators and 32 Section 619 Coordinators representing 46 states and jurisdictions.
NECTAC, (2011), 4 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/quality_relevance_impact_nectac.pdf (PDF: 757kb)
This publication provides a compilation of resources on the Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities (Part C) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Section I contains information on Part C program administration, funding appropriations, and trend data related to the numbers of children served, the settings in which children receive services and the status of children exiting Part C from www.ideadata.org. Section II contains resources on Part C program implementation, including: federal regulations, states' Part C rules, regulations, and policies, OSEP policy clarification letters, and a bibliography of selected online publications and journal articles related to the implementation of Part C published in 2010-2011. Section III includes federal and state level Part C program contact information.
Previous Editions of the Part C Updates are available as well:
NECTAC, (2011), 66 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/partcupdate2011.pdf (PDF: 1792kb)
The Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Program (Part C) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was created in 1986 to enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities, minimize potential developmental delay, and reduce educational costs to our society by minimizing the need for special education services as children with disabilities reach school age. These fact sheets provide brief overviews of the Part C program and facts from the research on early brain development, the importance of intervening early, the outcomes of early intervention, and current unmet needs. They are meant to be used as a tool to communicate with policymakers, pediatricians, families, and community leaders about the importance of high quality services for infants and toddlers with or at-risk for developmental delays and their families.
This paper describes the impetus for creating the Expanding Opportunities Interagency Inclusion Initiative and achievements to date in identifying and implementing effective and efficient inclusion strategies in the participating states.
NECTAC, (2011), 8 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/exp_opps_eval_summary.pdf (PDF: 561kb)
Since the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reauthorized in 2004, states have been working to enhance their accountability systems in order to gather more meaningful data about the quality of their early intervention and early childhood special education programs, as well as the results/outcomes these programs are achieving for young children with disabilities and their families. This article uses trend data reported by the states on their annual performance reports (APRs) for FFY 2005-06 through FFY 2008-09 to provide an overview of the progress they have made on indicators related to early identification, timely provision of services in natural environments, early childhood transition, and early childhood outcomes. It includes information about the challenges states have faced, the improvement strategies they have implemented, and implications for the future.
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. Advance online publication, May 20, 2011. doi:10.1177/0271121411408119Availability: Sage Journals Online at http://tec.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/05/19/0271121411408119.abstract
IDEA offers special provisions for states to identify children younger than school age who are eligible for special education and related services. In addition to the Part B disability categories used for school aged students, states may use Developmental Delay (DD), or a term of their choosing, for ages three through nine or a subset thereof. This paper discusses the options states have and analyzes their current policies. A table of the eligibility criteria with links to source documents for the states and District of Columbia is an Attachment to the paper.
NECTAC Notes, No. 27, (2011), 21 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/nnotes27.pdf (PDF: 1061kb)
The NECTAC TA Model for Long-Term Systems Change (LTSC) is grounded in conceptual frameworks in the literature on systems change and systems thinking. The NECTAC conceptual framework uses a logic model approach to change developed specifically for states' infant and toddler early intervention programs and preschool special education service systems, designed to benefit young children with disabilities, from birth through age 5, and their families. NECTAC has supported many states over the last seven years in implementing systems change resulting in improvements for systems that serve young children with disabilities and their families. Three examples are presented in this document. The first focuses on building a system for measuring child outcomes, the second focuses on building an effective general supervision and monitoring system, and the third focuses on ensuring high quality family centered services through reviewing the quality of Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs). Data collected for this paper was gathered through interviews, surveys, and email communications with state Part C and Section 619 Coordinators as well as NECTAC TA providers involved in supporting these states' initiatives.
An executive summary of this document is are available as well:
NECTAC, (2010), 8 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/ltsc3states.pdf (PDF: 2759kb)
Available resources and indicators of high quality inclusive practices are presented in this compilation. Assembling many different resources in one place allows for easy comparison of potential indicators of quality. Excerpts and adaptations of the resources are intended to provide some familiarity with the content of each resource and encourage further examination via links to more complete information. National and state-developed resources contained within this document have been designed for a variety of audiences, and may be useful for families, practitioners, program administrators, technical assistance personnel, researchers, and state administrators.
NECTAC, (2010), 34pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/qualityindicatorsinclusion.pdf (PDF: 2,000kb)
(Please note our more recent ECTA Center System Framework for Part C and Section 619)
NECTAC was asked to identify essential elements for supporting high performance and provision of high quality early intervention Part C services as determined by the Annual Performance Review (APR) required under IDEA. To respond, NECTAC interviewed one state and conducted a focus group with four other states that have consistently met requirements on the APR indicators and are maintaining effective, efficient practices. Additionally, the NECTAC review of state' APR early childhood indicators and technical assistance experience also helped inform the identification of commonalities across states that could be considered essential elements of a high performing Part C system.
NECTAC Notes, No. 25, (2010), 4 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/nnotes25.pdf (PDF: 756kb)
This article discusses the impact of the growing rate of children diagnosed with autism on early intervention programs and the public school system. It includes an overview of the characteristics of autism, research on early behavioral indicators of infants and toddlers at risk for autism, indicators that may be overlooked in older children, and educational implications of the disorder. Current and pending federal policy initiatives related to autism are also discussed.
Preventing School Failure, 54(4), pp. 211-219, May 2010. doi:10.1080/10459881003744552Availability: Informaworld at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10459881003744552#.VIi50Hv0_Si
This paper highlights several current collaborative activities of the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC). There are many specific examples of TA collaborations that take place on a regular basis; the seven examples presented here were selected to represent different types of collaboration. The descriptions were developed for the OSEP/OESE Leveraging Resources Meeting, Washington, DC, April 13-14, 2010 and were included in handouts at the Improving Early Learning Workgroup sessions at that meeting.
NECTAC, (May 2010), 8 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/nectac_ta_collaborations.pdf (PDF: 244kb)
Research has shown that both young children with disabilities and their peers benefit from participating together in quality programs and community activities. However, inclusive opportunities for young children with disabilities are often not systematic, comprehensive or necessarily of high quality. Four federal agency partners recognized the need to promote collaborative efforts in states that would result in high quality inclusive opportunities for all children and families. They created the Expanding Opportunities Initiative and supported it through the coordinated efforts of their technical assistance (TA) resources. This interagency inclusion initiative began in 2005 and has continued to be supported by the federal partners each year.
NECTAC, (March 2010), 2 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/nectac_eval_expopps.pdf (PDF: 340kb)
This document is intended to assist State Education Agency (SEA) and Lead Agency (LA) staff and technical assistance providers in designing a meaningful evaluation for the State Performance Plan (SPP)/Annual Performance Report (APR) improvement activities. It provides 1) information about the relevance of evaluation in the context of improvement planning and strategic systems thinking; 2) guidance on selecting an appropriate design for evaluating different types of improvement activities and; 3) additional resources and tools that support the overall design, implementation and evaluation of the SPP which may serve as a State's blueprint for systems improvement.
NECTAC, (2009), 13 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/evaluatingsppapractivities.pdf (PDF: 190kb)
In response to interest from the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC-ASD), NECTAC queried state Part C and Section 619 coordinators regarding screening measures, diagnostic instruments and procedures, and trends in identifying young children with ASD under the age of five years. NECTAC collaborated with the NPDC-ASD to develop and refine a series of questions and then to conduct an on-line survey during a two week period in November 2008. The survey was opened again in August 2009 to allow responses from additional states. Individual states are not identified in this report.
NECTAC. (2009). 7 pp.Availability: http://www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/queries/queries_asdscreening.pdf (PDF: 896kb)
The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC) was charged by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) from 2001-2006 to develop, implement, and evaluate an approach to technical assistance that would result in sustainable systems change in state Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education programs served under the early childhood provisions of IDEA. Even with the individualized nature of the systems change work with states, and with the variation across plans on a number of dimensions, NECTAC was able to determine the most effective strategies relating to the development and implementation processes for producing better results. The most important lessons learned are incorporated into the description of the model in this paper and can be applied to future technical assistance with states on system change initiatives.
NECTAC, (June 2009), 26 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/tamodel.pdf (PDF: 792kb)
This series, Topics in TA, is being produced by NECTAC staff to share with our colleagues and others who are interested in the research on and practice of technical assistance. We will address various topics drawing from relevant literature and our experience in providing technical assistance. The impetus for this series is in large part to honor our late director, Pascal 'Pat' Trohanis, who guided and inspired us for 35 years. Pat was a consummate collaborator and greatly enjoyed sharing with and learning from our TA colleagues in and outside of the OSEP-funded TA & Dissemination network. This first paper is one he originally prepared to share with that network and concerns systemic changes in service systems. We welcome your comments on this paper and the series.
NECTAC, (2009), 4pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/tatopics/topics_thinkingpoints.pdf (PDF: 830kb)
This review traces the evolution from 1971 to the present of a national technical assistance (TA) program to support the creation, expansion, and improvement of services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with special needs. From its beginning as a TA resource for demonstration projects, to linking outreach projects' expertise with state efforts to expand services, to supporting national constituencies across the research, development, and policy communities, to promoting program improvement and accountability for results, the OSEP-funded national early childhood TA center has been an important piece of a comprehensive infrastructure for early childhood special education. Through its collaboration with other agencies' early childhood TA programs, the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center is committed to influencing the development of an infrastructure for early childhood to better serve all of our children.
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 29(1), 7-23, 2009. doi: 10.1177/0271121408330931Availability: Sage Journals Online at http://tec.sagepub.com/content/29/1/7.abstract
The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center was charged by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs from October 2001 through September 2006 to develop, implement, and evaluate an approach to technical assistance (TA) that would result in sustainable systems change in state early intervention and preschool special education programs served under the early childhood provisions of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Both process and summative evaluations were conducted over the 5-year contract period. The TA Model for Long-Term Systems Change was found to result in improvements in state and local infrastructures, personnel development systems, practices, and outcomes for children and families. The resulting model is a legacy that Pat Trohanis leaves to the field of technical assistance.
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 29(1), 24-39, 2009. doi: 10.1177/0271121409334039Availability: Sage Journals Online at http://tec.sagepub.com/content/29/1/24.abstract
The screening instruments included focus on the social-emotional developmental domain as well as those that address multiple developmental domains. The screening instruments are further sub-divided into those which must be administered by professionals and those that may be completed by family members or other caregivers. A list of social-emotional assessment instruments that must be administered by professionals is also provided. The information for each instrument includes a description, the age range for which the instrument was validated, the time to administer, the scoring procedure, psychometric properties, and requirements for administrators, and a link to, or address for, the publisher or source of more information.
NECTAC, (2008), 20 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/screening.pdf (PDF: 950kb)
In response to states' interest, NECTAC queried Part C and Section 619 Coordinators regarding certification or endorsements for personnel working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and how states provide services for children diagnosed with ASD.
NECTAC, (2008), 5pp.Availability: http://www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/queries/queries_asd.pdf (PDF: 887kb)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states participating in Part C to refer for early intervention (EI) services any child under the age of 3 who is involved in a substantiated case of child abuse or neglect; or is identified as affected by illegal substance abuse, or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act Reauthorization Act (CAPTA) also requires states that receive CAPTA funds to refer children under age 3 who are involved in a substantiated case of abuse or neglect to Part C early intervention services. This fact sheet provides data on infants, toddlers and young children who are experiencing these kinds of risk factors. It includes a section highlighting factors that have been found to promote positive outcomes for all vulnerable young children and their families..
NECTAC, (2008), 7 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/factsheet_vulnerable.pdf (PDF: 253kb)
This article updates our 2002 paper of the same title. It presents a historical overview of the following three IDEA programs and their major accomplishments in providing services to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with special needs and their families: (1) Part C, the Program for Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities, (2) Part B, Section 619, the Preschool Grants Program, and (3) Part D, National Activities to Improve Education of Children with Disabilities
Journal of Early Intervention, 30(2), 140-151, 2008. doi: 10.1177/105381510731205Availability: Sage Journals Online at http://jei.sagepub.com/content/30/2/140.abstract (PDF: 100kb)
(Please note our more recent ECTA Center System Framework for Part C and Section 619)
This paper summarizes the fiscal challenges that this legislation presents and proposes a framework for analyzing, adjusting, and maintaining a flexible and self-regulating finance system to support Part C early intervention services for infants and toddlers and their families. The framework design features four phases of work to help agencies understand the issues and make informed decisions for on-going development and support of a Part C finance system.
NECTAC Notes, No. 23, (2007), 10 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/nnotes23.pdf (PDF: 158kb)
This paper summarizes the current financing difficulties faced by state and local Part C agencies, and it examines in closer detail aspects and implications of Family Cost Participation, under which some family resources may be accessed to distribute the cost of intervention services provided to the client family.
NECTAC Notes, No. 22, (2007), 16 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/nnotes22.pdf (PDF: 177kb)
Analyzes states' Part C definitions of developmental delay, established conditions, and biological and environmental risk categories. A chart lists definitions and identifies states serving at-risk children.
NECTAC Notes, No. 21, (2006), 16 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/nnotes21.pdf (PDF: 207kb)
In recent years, research on young children's early brain development has underscored its importance for later development. This minibibliography includes a selection of online resources that discuss some the latest developments in this field and related educational policy issues.
NECTAC, (2006), 6 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/brainresearch.pdf (PDF: 100kb)
This annotated minibibliography provides a selection of resources that address the needs and educational rights of young children experiencing homelessness, as well as strategies for working with these vulnerable children and their families in early childhood care and education programs.
NECTAC, (2006), 8 pp.Availability: www.ectacenter.org/~pdfs/pubs/homeless.pdf (PDF: 106kb)
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