Exciting New Resources for 2018 and More!

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

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January 2018: In This Issue

From Acting Directors Sylvia Lyles and Ruth Ryder

Office of Early Learning (OEL) Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

Ruth Ryder and Sylvia Lyles

Happy New Year, Early Learning Leaders!

2018 is already off to a great start. In addition to taking a look back at what we accomplished in 2017, we're thrilled to share many new resources and initiatives already in the works this year. This edition includes tools, briefs, and online information hubs from both ED-funded technical assistance (TA) centers and our partners in the field, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). We've also shared some critical updates from ED, such as a new preschool study seeking pilot classrooms to participate. 

This month, the Department welcomed a new assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services, Johnny Collett. We look forward to working with Mr. Collett to improve outcomes for early learners with disabilities!

Finally, we invite you to check out our brand new "Voices From the Field" interview. This month we feature research and digital media staff from Gallaudet University who have developed a new app for early literacy and language. Read more below!

Grantee Spotlight: Arizona Preschool Development Focuses on Inclusion

Arizona Department of Education seal

Arizona has used its Preschool Development Grant to fund high-quality preschool programs in high-need communities and build the important infrastructure components needed to support high-quality preschool programs throughout the state. A key aspect of this work is supporting programs to successfully include young children with disabilities. 

The Arizona Department of Education's Early Childhood Education division (ADE-ECE) is currently engaged in an intentional strategy to support the inclusion of children with disabilities in high-need communities. This is a collaborative effort that identifies barriers to and corresponding solutions for successfully including young children with disabilities. This work has led to the creation of a task force for inclusion, composed of early learning programs, school district leaders, families, and state agency staff. The task force has developed a logic model to guide their efforts and will be developing goals and strategies to support programs. To read the latest about the ADE-ECE and the state's preschool development work, visit their communications website

Early Learning Updates From ED: Study to Evaluate Preschool Special Education Practices

Mathematica logo

ED's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has funded a study, Evaluation of Preschool Special Education Practices (EPSEP). The study is administered by Mathematica, the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and the University of Florida. It is seeking evidence of the impact of an inclusive preschool curriculum with targeted instructional supports for children with disabilities on language, literacy, and social-emotional behavioral skill development.

Earlier this month, EPSEP released a request for proposals to participate in the study. They are seeking practitioners from approximately 20 inclusive classrooms, starting in the 2019–20 school year. Submissions are due Feb. 26, 2018. 

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Resources for You: Fact Sheets on Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, Plus Resources From ED-Funded Centers

HHS Office of Child Care technical assistance system logo

NEW! QRIS Fact Sheets Assess Systems Across U.S.

Last month, HHS's Administration for Children & Families (ACF) released a series of fact sheets that provides information about the state of quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) across the U.S. The QRIS is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care and education programs. The fact sheets were created based on data that can be found on the Quality Compendium, a comprehensive catalog and comparison of each of the 41 QRIS operating as of Oct. 31, 2016.

ESSA Resources From CEELO

This month, the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) released The State of Early Learning in ESSA: Plans and Opportunities for Implementation. This policy brief highlights promising practices from states evaluating and implementing their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plans, and includes a chart showing how each state addresses seven areas within their plans. CEELO has also published the following resources to guide states through their ESSA state plan implementation:

FEATURED WEBINAR: The Future Is Data Linking


On Jan. 31, from 3 to 4 p.m. EST, join DaSy (the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems) for a webinar on linking Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C and Section 619 data with other early childhood data. During the presentation, DaSy will provide an overview of the advantages, preparation for, and processes associated with linking these data. The center will also use this webinar to describe an upcoming opportunity for up to six states to receive personalized TA for data linking.

Recommended Research: What "Worked" in 2017 and a New Self-Regulation Brief


In 2017, ED’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) celebrated its 15th anniversary. Its What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) also continued the tradition of identifying evidence-based practices for educators in 2017. As a summary of its great work, IES released its annual WWC Year in Review. Check out the "WWC: Looking back on 2017" website to see impressive highlights from WWC's accomplishments this past year!

IES What Works Clearinghouse homepage image

Promoting Self-Regulation in the First Five Years: A Practice Brief

HHS Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation logo

HHS's Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), a component of ACF, has released "Promoting Self-Regulation in the First Five Years: A Practice Brief". The brief provides early childhood leaders, such as program administrators, with guidelines for promoting early development of self-regulation, the act of managing thoughts and feelings to enable goal-directed actions. The brief is based on work conducted by the Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy, and references a series of four reports, Toxic Stress and Self-Regulation, which you will find listed on OPRE's website.

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Voices From the Field: Literacy App From Gallaudet University

Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) logo, eye

This month we had the opportunity to interview Melissa Herzig and Melissa Malzkuhn, research and digital media leads at Gallaudet University. In the interview, Herzig and Malzkuhn discuss an app they’ve designed to promote early literacy and language. This app was developed through the university's partnership with the National Science Foundation's Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2). Although they developed the app specifically for young children who are deaf and hard of hearing, the app is versatile and could be useful to all young children. Check out the full interview on the OSERS Blog

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