eNotesApril 13, 2022
Updates from the ECTA Center
International Early Childhood Inclusion Institute Registration Open
The International Early Childhood Inclusion Institute Hybrid Conference is April 26-28, 2022. This year's conference theme is We're in This Together: Caring for One Another in Difficult Times, and will feature Dr. Jackie Joseph, executive director of The Rise School of Denver in Colorado. Over its 21-year history, the Institute has become one of the premier educational opportunities for people involved in the care and education of young children with disabilities in inclusive settings. Two in-person pre-conference workshops will be held in Chapel Hill, NC at the Friday Center, April 26, 2022. People from across the nation and around the world are drawn to the Institute to learn about the latest research findings, models, and resources that guide inclusive policy, professional development, and practice to develop collaborative relationships and cross-agency systems that support early childhood inclusion. The Institute is sponsored by Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center and Brookes Publishing.
New aRPy AmbassadorsTwelve new aRPy Ambassadors have been selected to help build their state's capacity to use ECTA's Practice Improvement Tools that support the implementation of DEC Recommended Practices by local practitioners and families. Due to the robust response, twelve ambassadors were selected rather than the 10 originally planned. The ambassadors represent state agencies, Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs), and technical assistance and professional development organizations. The project is a partnership between ECTA, DEC of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and Parent to Parent of Georgia/the Region B Parent Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).
The ambassadors are:
- Cindy Lee, Texas Region 10 Education Service Center;
- Carol Maliszewski, Minnesota Department of Education;
- Iandia Morgan, M.Ed., Nevada IDEA Part C Office;
- Kristen Paul, The Parents' Place of Maryland;
- Lisa Gehring, Virginia Department of Education Training & Technical Assistance Center at Old Dominion University;
- Kodey Toney, Pervasive Parenting Center C.P.R.C.;
- Heather Waters, Utah Baby Watch Early Intervention Program;
- Mariela Pijem, APNI, Puerto Rico;
- Katie McCarthy, Vermont Agency of Education;
- Kristen Votava, University of North Dakota;
- Kristina Trujillo Stephens, Exceptional Children's Assistance Center; and
- Karen Brown, University of the Virgin Islands.
Tool Spotlight: Indicators of High-Quality Inclusion
Four sets of Indicators of High-Quality Inclusion address inclusive policies and practices at the state, local program leadership and early care and education environments levels. Designed to improve and increase inclusive opportunities for young children with disabilities and their families through system and practice refinements, these indicators support state leaders, local administrators and front-line personnel in the early care and education system.
- Twelve state indicators detail the key elements needed for an early childhood infrastructure across state agencies and federal programs.
- Twelve community indicator allows for Community Inclusion Teams (CITs) that bring service providers and families together to build community-wide awareness and vision of the importance of early childhood inclusion.
- Nine local program indicators help cross-sector early childhood leadership efforts increase access and meaningful participation of young children with disabilities.
- Twelve Early Childhood Education Environment (ECEE) indicators help personnel provide effective supports and services to young children with disabilities.
The initiative is co-led by ECTA and the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) and includes partners from across the early care and education system.
News from the Field
President's Budget Request
The President requested $88.3 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education. The President's Budget Request proposes $503 million for Preschool 619 and $932 million for Part C IDEA grants for infants and toddlers. The budget proposal supports students through COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery; makes historic investments in schools with high-poverty rates by addressing opportunity and achievement gaps; and invests in educator recruitment and retention. It also includes significant policy changes such as providing flexibility for states to use their Part C funds to conduct child find, public awareness, and referral activities for individuals who are expected to become parents of an infant or toddler with a disability; prohibiting family fees or out-of-pocket expenses; and requiring states to provide families at least 24 months' advance notice of any changes to eligibility requirements under the Part C program.