eNotesNovember 5, 2021
Updates from the ECTA Center
ECTA Honored with NASDSE Award
The Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center recently received an award from the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) for its extraordinary contributions in support of NADSE's overall mission and goals. Recipients of the Martha J. Fields Award of Excellence are selected by the NASDSE board of directors based on recommendations from the President and Executive Director. In accepting the award, Christina Kasprzak, ECTA co-director, said "I am beaming with pride in our team. Not only is this a remarkable accomplishment, but it was won during a year of extraordinary challenges."
Increasing Access to Inclusive Environments
Providing access to high-quality inclusive programs is more important now than ever before, and the concerns are greater still for families of color. The Increasing Access to Inclusive Environments document includes recommendations for increasing access for families and children with disabilities. The recommendations focus on grants and contracts; expansion and support of family childcare; increased programmatic accessibility and professional development; and accessible outreach to families. This resource was developed in collaboration with the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance and ECTA.
Differentiated Monitoring and Support (DMS) 2.0
This web page outlines the schedule and phases of Differentiated Monitoring and Support 2.0 (DMS 2.0) that begins in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020. In 2016, the Office of Special Education (OSEP) programs began implementing DMS as part of its results driven accountability (RDA) system for both Part B and Part C. Under RDA, OSEP shifted from compliance-based monitoring to monitoring and support focused on compliance and improving results for children with disabilities. It outlines each state's Part B and Part C General Supervision system according to a five-year cycle and assigned monitoring cohort.
Extended Part C Option (for Services Beyond Age 3)
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provides $481.9 million in IDEA Part C funding and specifically allows for state incentive grants (SIGs) to any state in FFY 2021 that elects to offer Part C services to children beyond age three as described under the Extended Part C Option. The purpose of this provision is to assist states that have elected to extend eligibility for Part C services to children with disabilities beyond age three until entrance into kindergarten or elementary school, or for a portion of this period.
Section 619 National Survey 2021
This summary of the Section 619 National Survey 2021 conducted with 54 Part B, 619 Coordinators in 2021 provides a national picture of preschool special education programs to inform local, state, and national improvement efforts. Information was obtained from an online questionnaire that was sent to all Section 619 Coordinators in April 2021. The 30 questions asked covered seven topical areas: state administration, funding, eligibility, services, preschool least restrictive environment (LRE), early childhood systems, and personnel.
Analysis Steps Used to Generate National Estimates for Child Outcomes Progress Categories, Summary Statements, and Results FFY2019
Analysis Steps Used to Generate National Estimates for Child Outcomes Progress Categories, Summary Statements, and Results FFY2019 outlines the three methods used to compute national estimates for IDEA childhood outcomes progress categories, summary statements, and results for FFY 2019. These include computing the average of all states included, weighted by child count; the average of all states included, unweighted; and computing the average of only states that met all data quality criteria, weighted by child count.
State Approaches to Child Outcomes Measurement
Two new updated maps of State Approaches to Child Outcomes Measurement for Part C APR Indicator 3 and Part B Indicator 7 are available on the ECTA Center website. The most often used, the Child Outcomes Summary (COS), summarizes information on a child's functioning in each of the three child outcome areas using a 7-point scale. With the COS process, a team of individuals familiar with a child (including parents) can consider multiple sources of information about his/her functioning, including parent/provider observation and results from direct assessment. These two maps illustrate which states use which measurements.
News from the Field
Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health During COVID-19 Era
A recently released publication by the U.S. Department of Education provides information and resources to enhance the promotion of mental health and the social and emotional well-being among children and students. Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health highlights seven key challenges to providing school or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K-12 schools, and higher education settings, and presents seven corresponding recommendations. Included also are real-world examples of how the recommendations are being used by schools, communities, and states across the country.
Child Care and Prekindergarten in the Build Back Better Act: A Guide for Policymakers
The Hunt Institute has synthesized almost 100 pages of legislative text into a question-and-answer summary of the Biden Administration's Build Back Better (BBB) Act. The BBB Act, which Congress is preparing to vote on, has a $1.75 trillion spending plan that contains $400 billion in expanded early education funding. It will create universal prekindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds and expand childcare quality, access, and affordability, and address longstanding compensation challenges for the early childhood workforce.
Child Care Aware ARP Resources
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds will help stabilize the childcare sector through its $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that includes $39 billion dedicated to childcare relief. Child Care Aware of America offers this infographic on the ARP timeline and funding details.
CCSSO Report on How States Are Using Their ARP ESSER Funds
This report provides a detailed analysis of 35 state plans on the use of ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. Four major themes emerged: unfinished learning; student mental health, well-being and connectedness; building capacity; and data and funding sustainability. States are encouraged to use these themes to inform their thinking about how to use their ARP funds.