Opportunities for Input!

The U.S. Department of Education's Early Learning Newsletter

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July 2017: In This Issue

From Deputy Assistant Secretary Monique M. Chism, Ph.D., and Acting Director Ruth Ryder

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education | Office of Special Education Programs

Hello Early Learning Leaders!

Thanks so much for tuning in this month. We have some updates regarding the Department's regulatory reform work. Secretary DeVos has released a statement on the Department's first Regulatory Reform Task Force progress report, which was issued in accordance with Executive Order 13777

ED has also published a Federal Register notice as part of this process, that describes how the public can submit comments regarding regulations and policy guidance they recommend ED review, modify, or repeal. Comments are due by Aug. 21, 2017. You can view such documents for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education here; and for the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) here. We hope you can take advantage of this opportunity, as representatives of the early learning community, to share your comments about ED's regulations and guidance.

On another note related to regulations, OSEP announced conforming changes made to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regulations based on revisions to the IDEA statute made through the Every Student Succeeds Act. The final IDEA regulations are available here, and additional information on the changes can be found here

Finally, we'd like to thank all who attended the 2017 OSEP Leadership Conference. This meeting is a critical opportunity to connect and collaborate with state leaders and to ensure early learning is part of the conversation at multiple levels. Many sessions at the OSEP Leadership Conference focused specifically on early childhood, so we encourage you to look at the presentations posted on the conference website. You can find more information on this in the "Early Learning Updates from ED" section below.

Grantee Spotlight: Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC)

ECPC is an OSEP-funded technical assistance (TA) center that works to facilitate the development, implementation, and evaluation of integrated and comprehensive systems of personnel development, specifically for the early childhood (EC) workforce serving infants and young children with disabilities. ECPC assists states in building strong EC personnel systems by creating tools, such as this database of state personnel standards for all professional disciplines working with young children with disabilities. ECPC works with seven national organizations, representing professional disciplines providing EC services, to align personnel competencies across EC disciplines. This work has established a set of core EC competencies in the field.

ECPC also hosts an annual leadership institute for state teams of IDEA Part C and Section 619 coordinators and EC staff to integrate IDEA EC programs, policies, and personnel into states' EC initiatives. Thus far 25 state teams have participated and are working on action plans that focus on inclusive EC systems at the state level. Another critical piece of ECPC's work, also at the state level, relates to developing EC comprehensive systems of personnel development that cross disciplines and sectors. Currently ECPC is supporting 12 states in developing such systems, which ensure a competent workforce is trained and available to provide effective EC services and programs.

Early Learning Updates From ED: Your Input Requested and OSEP Leadership Conference 2017

  • The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services is requesting public comments on a proposed revision of an existing information collection, the Report of Infants and Toddlers Receiving Early Intervention Services and of Program Settings Where Services are Provided in Accordance with Part C, and Report on Infants and Toddlers. This collection provides instructions and forms necessary for states to report 1) the number of children receiving early intervention services under Part C of IDEA, 2) the settings in which these children are provided services, and 3) the reasons by which these children exit Part C of IDEA. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before Aug. 21, 2017.   
  • OSEP's 2017 Leadership Conference took place earlier this month, bringing together state leaders that work with infants, children and youth with disabilities served under IDEA. The conference provided an important opportunity for participants to build and strengthen partnerships with colleagues from other states. Sessions were led by experts in the field, and included the discussion of evidence-based practices (EBP) and other strategies to enhance leadership roles. More information about the conference, including session slides, is available on the conference website

Resources for You: Presentations and State Technical Assistance Report (STAR) for States and Early Childhood Staff

Some of this month's most recommended resources!

CEELO center logo

The ED-funded Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO), along with its partners in the field, developed the following presentations for the NAEYC Professional Learning Institute, held in San Francisco, June 1114, 2017.

    New PDG TA STAR on Identifying Young Dual Language Learners

    PDG TA's latest STAR, Identifying Young Dual Language Learners: State Policies, Home Language Surveys, and Language Proficiency Assessments, addresses critical questions states face regarding young dual language learners (DLLs). The document examines state policies requiring the identification of DLLs in Pre-K, reviews current practices in home language surveys and language proficiency assessments, and addresses the following questions:

    • How are states identifying and assessing young DLLs? 
    • What policies and practices are in place? 
    • What assessment measures are appropriate and effective? 
    Read More

    ECTA Center logo

    Featured Webinar Series: Exploring Coaching for Practice Change

    The Early Childhood TA Center (ECTA) is presenting Learning Lab: Exploring Coaching for Practice Change, a series of webinars that began in May and runs through August 2017. This series explores how coaching can be supported by states and used within programs to improve implementation of EBPs. Each session topic will be presented in multiple parts, with presentations including an introduction to the topic, relevant resources, implementation approaches, and thoughtful discussions with experts. Registration for the webinars in July and August are still open. Videos and resources for all sessions are being archived on the series webpage. Professionals interested in using coaching strategies to increase implementation of EBPs are encouraged to participate in the live sessions and use the wealth of archived information. 

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    Research and Funding: The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and OSEP Support Partnerships and TA in the Field

    IES Grants Promote Partnerships Between Researchers and State, Local Educators

    IES has awarded 15 grants that will foster partnerships between researchers and practitioners to study education policies, programs, and practices. The grants from the National Center for Education Research total more than $12 million and are funded through two different research programs, (1) the Evaluation of State and Local Education Programs and Policies program and (2) the Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research program. Several of the 2017 awardees and partner institutions, listed below, focus on early learning.

    Read More

    Funding Opportunities

    Check out these opportunities, published in the Federal Register, that support high-quality early learning.

    • Request for Applications (RFA) for research projects that address the National Center for Education Research’s Early Learning Programs and Policies topic. Applications are due Aug. 17, 2017.