The CDC is pleased to announce that its free app, the Milestone Tracker, is now available in Spanish! This mobile app is part of a suite of free, family-friendly materials available through the Learn the Signs Act Early program. The Milestone Tracker allows parents to track their child's development in a fun and easy way that gives them
- tips to help their child learn and grow;
- a way to track milestones and recognize delays; and
- the ability to share this information with their child's health care provider.
Specifically, the app offers the following:
- Interactive milestone checklists for children ages 2 months through 5 years, illustrated with photos and videos
- Tips and activities to help children learn and grow
- Information on when to act early and talk with a doctor about developmental delays
- A personalized milestone summary that can be easily shared with doctors and other care providers
- Reminders for appointments and developmental screenings
Over the last two years, the Early Learning Network’s assessment team at the University of California, Irvine, has been developing and testing a web-based observational tool for practitioners in pre-K through third grade classrooms to help improve student outcomes and strengthen student-teacher relationships. Using electronic assessments and observation, the Optimizing Learning Opportunities for Students Observation System, known as OLOS, provides real-time feedback on children’s academic progress and teachers’ instructional practices. It also offers recommendations on how to best meet students’ unique learning needs. The tool is still in the pilot phase but shows promise in becoming a practitioner-friendly comprehensive measure in early learning programs.
The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) in partnership with the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations developed the online Statewide Implementation Guide. It supports state-level decision makers in implementing evidence-based practices and achieving positive outcomes for infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families. The guide is organized around four essential support structures and four stages of implementation. It includes resources and tools for state leaders, local program leaders, professional development providers and coaches, and practitioners.
The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) recently launched newly reformatted website for easier access to key resources, with a focus on their strategic projects. CEELO's new online Resource Library allows users to search and download reports, presentations, toolkits, Leadership Academy materials, and technical assistance resources. Content is organized so users can search by content area, resource type, title, date, and key word.
ED has recently updated its website for the Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive initiative. The site has a range of resources geared toward states, communities, and families interested in promoting early developmental and behavioral screenings.
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), in consultation with the Department of Education, has released the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)—open September 7, 2018 and closing November 6, 2018—that solicits applications from 50 states and six territories. The new PDG B-5 grant seeks to empower state governments to develop, update, or implement a strategic plan to facilitate collaboration and coordination among early childhood care and education programs in a mixed delivery system to prepare low-income and disadvantaged children t o transition into the local educational agency or elementary school. States and territories can apply for as little as $500,000 and as much as $15,000,000 for the first year of funding.
he National Center on Improving Literacy (NCIL) has developed an online tutorial for families that want to learn more about supporting their child’s literacy development at home. The tutorial provides evidence-based strategies, tips, and activities to help children develop literacy skills from preschool through adolescence, all in an interactive online experience.
States' IDEA Part C and Part B, Section 619 systems have been implementing outcomes measurement systems for nearly 15 years! These data are a critical part of states’ accountability and program improvement efforts. To get a clear national picture of early intervention and preschool special education program results, national data are summarized annually by the OSEP-funded centers ECTA (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center) and DaSy (Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems). The centers have developed new resources to present highlights from the most recent data and overall trends, including those on IDEA child outcomes for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016 and IDEA family data for FFY 2016.
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) recently released a funding opportunity to establish and operate a Center focused on early science, technology, engineering, and Math (STEM) learning for young children with disabilities (CFDA No. 84.327G). The Center's objectives will include:
- increasing the body of knowledge of current evidence-based practices (EBP) for early STEM learning for young children with disabilities;
- increasing the use by early childhood programs, providers, and families of the current EBPs in early STEM learning for young children with disabilities; and
- increasing awareness by faculty in Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) of the current EBPs in early STEM learning for young children with disabilities.
The applications can be found on Grants.gov. The deadline for submitting an application to this competition is July 30, 2018.
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) recently released two funding opportunities to train and prepare personnel in early intervention, special education, and related services:
Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel (CFDA No. 84.325D) funds doctoral degree preparation; and
Interdisciplinary Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services for Personnel Serving Children with Disabilities who have High-Intensity Needs (CFDA No. 84.325K) funds master’s degree, educational specialist degree, or clinical doctoral degree preparation.
The applications can be found here; the deadline for both competitions is July 30, 2018.
The Office of Special Education Programs' (OSEP) network of early childhood technical assistance (TA) centers is offering a variety of new opportunities to build individual and state capacity around the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for young children, with or at-risk for disabilities, from birth through age 5. This handy list can help states consider which TA opportunities best fit individual state needs and priorities.
ED’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently released the 2015–16 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). This collection, published biennially by OCR, includes data that are self-reported by 17,300 public school districts and 96,400 public schools and educational programs. Note that data is available from public preschool programs that are run by local school districts. More information about what kind of data are included can be found here. ED has also released two topic-specific data briefs based on the 2015–16 school year's CRDC: STEM Course Taking and School Climate and Safety.
The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) recently hosted a webinar: Early Learning Opportunities in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This webinar provides an overview of the early learning opportunities in ESSA. Follow these links to view the webinar recording, slide deck, and a related policy brief, The State of Early Learning in ESSA: Plans and Opportunities for Implementation.
The Department's Office of Early Learning is excited to announce that through the Preschool Development Grants (PDG) program, states have increased access to high-quality preschool programs to over 34,000 four-year-olds from low- and moderate-income families. This outcome is among many exciting and impactful data captured in the recently released 2016 PDG Progress Update (PDF, 766KB). The report summarizes trends that emerge in the program's 2016 Annual Performance Reports.
Earlier this month, the Early Learning Challenge Technical Assistance program (ELCTA) released Taking on the Challenge: Building a Strong Foundation for Early Learning. This report summarizes the progress of Early Learning Challenge (ELC) program grantees across the entire duration of the program, including each of the three phases of grantees. It covers the major focus areas of ELC, which are:
- coordinated state systems;
- Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS);
- supporting the early childhood workforce;
- enhancing data systems;
- family engagement;
- strengthening local and community initiatives; and
- measuring progress, including through developmental screenings and kindergarten entry assessments (KEAs).
Alongside the report, ELCTA also released the following: