eNotes on Family Engagement
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Application for TA on Improving Equity in Family Outcomes
The ECTA Center invites Part C Coordinators to apply for an intensive TA opportunity focused on advancing equity in family outcomes. This intensive TA will support state/entity teams in improving the quality of family data and in using them to improve implementation of recommended practices with families and family engagement at multiple levels. Interested states/entities must complete all application questions and electronically submit to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 17, 2023.
Technical Assistance Resources for Part C Eligibility
These Technical Assistance Resources for Part C Eligibility from the Office of Special Education Program (OSEP) provides a series of Implementation Technical Assistance Guides that identify strategies and highlight resources and best practices that ensure families have equitable access to IDEA Part C services. The guides, available in English and Spanish, are for IDEA Part C coordinators, state and local early childhood program administrators, early childhood and health providers, families, policymakers, and any individuals or organizations committed to improving outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities. Current guides available include:
- Vision and Guiding Principles;
- Outreach and Family Engagement; and
- Monitoring, Screening, and Referral.
Additinal guides will be added on an ongoing basis.
Registration Open for the National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute 2021 Virtual
Registration is now open for the 2021 National Early Childhood Inclusion Institute with its theme, Forging Equitable Opportunities from Crisis. This year's Institute is again virtual and will be held October 25-28. Dr. Jeanette Betancourt will be this year's keynote. She is Senior Vice President for U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street. In that role, Dr. Betancourt directs the development and implementation of community and family engagement initiatives making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and their families. The Inclusion Institute has drawn people from across the country and around the globe to learn about the latest research findings, models, and resources to guide inclusive policy, professional development and practice; to develop collaborative relationships and cross-agency systems to support early childhood inclusion; and to have the opportunity to meet, learn from and problem solve with peers.
Preschool During the Pandemic: Watch all 16 episodes!
The Preschool During the Pandemic series, developed by Larry Edelman, is now complete. The 16 five to 17-minute episodes in the series illustrate how early education and early childhood special education have successfully supported preschoolers and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each episode includes a facilitator guide that provides prompts to consider when viewing, reflection questions, activities, and supplemental resources.
Episode 15: An Unexpected Gift: Family Engagement and Coaching in Virtual Preschool and Beyond features preschool teacher Rebecca Vitelli. She describes how increased family engagement and coaching have become silver linings during the pandemic. Episode 16: Through a Mother's Eyes: A Year of Preschool During the Pandemic highlights Elizabeth Sharp who shares how she has supported her five sons' education during the pandemic, specifically her four-year old twins who have Individualized Education Programs.
Family Engagement is Key to Student Safety Amidst COVID-19 Reopening
To keep students and families safe during the pandemic, the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) says that school leaders must do more to equip families with timely information to make the safest decisions possible for their students. Their recommendations for schools to consider include:
- Increase resources for parent support specialists tasked with ensuring consistent communication with families.
- Provide low-tech options for families to remain engaged such as phone trees and text alerts.
- Ensure all materials, including remote learning platforms, are available in families' home languages.
- Collect surveys frequently and in multiple distribution and collection modes.
- Increase funds for racially and ethnically diverse, counselors, social workers, and other mental and behavioral health professionals.
State Guidance and Resources on Remote Service Delivery and Distance Learning
This webpage acts as an information repository for state guidance and resources developed specific to COVID-19 and remote service delivery and distance learning from early intervention and early childhood special education programs across the country. Some of the topics covered by state resources include equity, family engagement, and fiscal guidance.
Updates from the National Early Childhood Inclusion Indicators Initiative: Three levels of State System Inclusion Indicators now Available
Three levels of state system early childhood inclusion indicators are now available: State, local program, and early care and education environments. These three new products are designed to support state and local program leaders to examine and implement strategies that strengthen their capacity to provide high quality inclusive options in their communities. The indicators have been co-created by the ECTA Center and the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI), including partners from across the early care and education system.
The State Indicators of High Quality Inclusion address key state-level infrastructure elements such as policies, funding, standards, and professional development. The Local Program Indicators of High Quality Inclusion address local leadership and support including areas such as vision, family engagement and partnerships, local polices and resources, and collaborative teaming. The Early Care and Education Environment Indicators of High Quality Inclusion address critical practices related to areas such as family partnerships, meaningful interactions with peers, curriculum and instruction. Self-assessment tools for each set of indicators are in the final stages of development and will be posted soon. The inclusion indicators and self-assessment tools are in field review status and are being used in intensive TA with states and local systems. Adjustments to the indicators and self-assessments may be made based on feedback as a result of that work, as well as on-going input from early childhood stakeholders.
Taking Home Visiting to Scale - Special Issue
This special Issue of the Maternal and Child Health Journal (October 2018, Volume 22, Issue 1), explores the findings from state-led evaluations of eleven Maternal, Infant & Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program awardees: Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Four broad topics are discussed in the articles: 1) enhancing program quality and fidelity; 2) family engagement; 3) workforce development, and 4) the impact of evidence-based home visiting services.
Intentional Partnerships Podcast - Series on Family Engagement
The Parents As Teachers National Center recently released a podcast series (2018) on different aspects of family engagement. The episodes offer different perspectives from teachers, parents, school administrators, early childhood educators, etc., about their achievements and challenges regarding family engagement. Of the 11 predicted episodes, 7 have been released so far.