eNotesJuly 13, 2022
Updates from the ECTA Center
IDEA Part C Fiscal Monitoring Indicators for State Lead Agencies
Fiscal monitoring is the responsibility of the state Part C Lead Agency (LA). IDEA Part C Fiscal Monitoring Indicators for State Lead Agencies outlines three main categories that the LA needs to consider when developing their state fiscal monitoring system: State Level Fiscal Indicators, Potential Early Intervention System (EIS) Provider Fiscal Monitoring Indicators, and Considerations for Developing EIS Provider Fiscal Monitoring Indicators.
- State Level Fiscal Indicators include a checklist of mechanisms and procedures that Part C LAs need to have in place to monitor and enforce use of funds and consistent implementation of fiscal requirements.
- Potential EIS Provider Fiscal Monitoring Indicators describes indicators that states might use in monitoring EIS provider’s implementation of use of funds and system of payment requirements.
- Considerations for Developing EIS Provider Fiscal Monitoring Indicators include questions to support the LA in developing fiscal monitoring indicators. The questions relate to who’s responsible, how the indicator will be monitored (desk audit, record review, etc.), data source, amount of data needed, compliance criteria, and procedures for monitoring the indicator. Examples of fiscal monitoring indicators are provided along with a template to document each fiscal monitoring indicator a state will use in monitoring providers.
Preschool LRE Reference Points and Discussion Prompts
Preschool LRE Reference Points and Discussion Prompts is summary of the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) provisions of the IDEA as it applies to preschool aged children with disabilities can be used as both a quick reference guide and training tool. Topics under the five sections outline reference points and discussion prompts. Reference points are drawn from several sources such as IDEA regulations and Federal Register comments. Discussion points are intended to help state and local teams support the inclusion of young children with disabilities by appropriately applying LRE provisions and placement decisions for individual children. The five sections are: the IDEA mandate, LRE requirements, regular early childhood programs, funding IDEA preschool services, and accountability.
Making Sound LRE Decisions
Making Sound LRE Decisions lists important actions in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) development process along with guiding principles and practices that should inform placement decisions for preschool-aged children with disabilities. It is organized by important actions within the IEP process and includes reference to the corresponding IDEA rules and regulations to each action. Within each action, a guiding principle is listed followed by additional guidance and resources. Most of the principles in this document are from ECTA Center's Key Principles and Key Practices Underlying the IEP Process. Ideally, states and local programs will adapt this document by adding their own strategies, resources, and guidance to support sound placement decisions.
News from the Field
School and Violence Resources
In the wake of shootings and violent incidents, there are several new resources available that provide useful information and strategies for early childhood professionals and families. A document by Zero to Three, helps parents and professionals address the effects of trauma in early childhood of gun violence. The National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness provides a tip sheet that highlights what families and early childhood personnel may see in a child's response to crisis. The resource is offered in English and Spanish and additional resources are also embedded.
Improving Access to High-Quality Resources That Equitably Support Social-Emotional Development and Mental Health of Young Children
This joint letter by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED) focuses on the application of a targeted set of recommendations to the systems and services that work together to meet the needs of young children from the prenatal period through age 5 and their families. The joint recommendations set a vision for stronger collaboration and coordination across early childhood systems and programs; raise awareness of the importance of social-emotional development and mental health for young children; encourage early childhood programs and other services and systems that interact with young children and their families and caregivers to prioritize access to the full continuum of social-emotional and mental health supports and services; and provide resources, guidance, and recommendations on approaches that communities, states, tribes, and territories can use to promote and support young children’s social-emotional development and mental health.
Early Head Start Key Findings and Highlights on Workforce
This Early Head Start Key Findings and Highlights on Workforce brief draws on data from the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (Baby FACES) 2018, a nationally representative, descriptive study of Early Head Start. Baby FACES aims to inform national program planning, technical assistance, and research by providing descriptive information about Early Head Start services, staff, and children and families. It notes pre-pandemic hiring challenges and key strategies for retention. Those include:
- Most teachers and home visitors have postsecondary degrees. A large majority of staff without a postsecondary degree either have, or are working toward, a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential.
- Teachers with less education and home visitors with less experience are the most likely to meet with their coach frequently (at least once a week). For most other professional development activities, however, staff with different levels of experience or education receive the same level of support.
- In general, teachers and home visitors perceive their centers and programs to have positive organizational climates and they are satisfied with their jobs.
- Centers and programs are more likely to face challenges in hiring qualified staff than to face challenges in retaining them.
- Staff receiving more intensive professional development and working in centers and programs with strong leadership support and positive organizational climates are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.
Compensation for the Early Care and Education Workforce
According to this article from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota, teacher turnover in early care and education decreases as wages increase. The turnover rate for educators who earn less than $10 per hour was more than three times as high as educators who earn $25 per hour or more. Read about the many states and local programs that have invested their COVID-19 pandemic relief funds and other federal funds to provide pay increases or to improve access to such benefits as health insurance, paid leave, or retirement benefits for early childhood educators.