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:
Pay for Success Toolkit: Considerations for State and Local Leaders.
ED has released a new resource, the Pay for Success Toolkit: Considerations for State and Local Leaders. Pay for Success (PFS) is an innovative financing strategy that leverages private investments to address societal problems and challenges that typically use only government funds. The new toolkit is an introductory guide for state and local governments and other stakeholders that are interested in exploring the possibility of a PFS project for education initiatives, or in addressing related challenges facing their communities and populations.
OSERS' Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is excited to announce three new investments in early childhood. These technical assistance centers are not only used by states, but will offer a wealth of resources to practitioners and families.
The Early Childhood Systems Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) was re-competed and awarded to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This center will provide technical assistance (TA) to states to enable them to build and maintain high-quality systems with implementation supports to implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) consistent with its requirements and to provide high-quality IDEA services for young children with disabilities and their families.
The Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC) was re-competed and awarded to the University of Connecticut Health Center. This center will improve the quality of personnel who serve young children with disabilities and their families by providing TA to state IDEA Part C, and Part B Section 619 programs on implementing a high-quality comprehensive systems of personnel development and provide faculty of institutions of higher education TA on programs of study for providing high-quality services and inclusive programs for young children with disabilities and their families.
The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovation is a new investment and was awarded to the University of South Florida. This center will support young children's social, emotional, and behavioral development and reduce their challenging behaviors by developing an early childhood multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) framework, and supporting states, early childhood programs, and personnel in implementing this framework.
Hurricane Help Information & Resources
The U.S. Department of Education activated its emergency response contact center in response to the devastating impact of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The Department's stakeholders who are seeking informational resources as well as those seeking relief from Department-based administrative requirements should contact the Department toll free at 1‑844‑348‑4082, or by email at HarveyRelief@ed.gov, IrmaRelief@ed.gov or MariaRelief@ed.gov.
This resource, developed by the Early Learning Challenge Technical Assistance (ELC TA), describes how the six Phase 3 ELC states (Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont) are leveraging ELC funds and other state funds to support inclusion. To address this request, ELC TA contacted the ELC grant coordinators in June 2017, and asked them to address five specific questions. This information will be helpful to other states as they consider how to continue to increase the quality of early learning for children with special needs.
Developed by ED and Ascend at the Aspen Institute, 2 Gen Tools to Help Children and Families Thrive: A Resource for Staff Implementing Federal, State, and Local Programs Serving Children and Families (PDF, 834KB), is a toolkit intended to support early learning stakeholders in embedding a two-generation (2Gen) approach in the work they do. The 2Gen approach applies to practice, policy, and research. It provides opportunities for, and strives to meet the needs of, children from families with low incomes, together with their parents, with the goal of creating educational success and economic stability for the family.
Read an interview of Brenda Van Gorder on OSERS Blog. Brenda is director of Granite School District Preschool Services in Salt Lake City, Utah, and in the interview shares the importance of high quality preschool programs, and strategies for overcoming barriers to preschool inclusion.
Visit the ED-funded National Center on Improving Literacy's newly launched website. The center is a partnership between literacy experts, university researchers, and technical assistance providers at the University of Oregon, Florida State University, and RMC Research Corporation. The center's mission is to increase access to, and use of, evidence-based approaches to screen, identify, and instructionally support students with literacy-related disabilities, including dyslexia.
Joint Statement on Collaboration and Coordination of the MIECHV and IDEA Part C Programs
This joint statement from the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) sets a vision for stronger partnerships, collaboration, and coordination between awardees of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C Program.