Innovating Preschool Expansion Efforts and More!

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

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August 2018: In This Issue


From Acting Directors Ruth Ryder and Tammy Proctor

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

Acting Directors Ruth Ryder and Tammy Procter

Hello, Early Learning Leaders!

Early this month we had the chance to participate in the Improving Data, Improving Outcomes Conference (IDIO), sponsored by several of OSEP’s technical assistance (TA) centers. IDIO brought together over 500 early intervention and early childhood staff, data managers, and families. We encourage you to explore materials from the conference's plentiful and extremely useful workshops and sessions, now available online

As part of IDIO, states celebrated 15 years of collecting child and family outcome data for early childhood programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). States' IDEA Part C and Part B, Section 619 (preschool) programs have led the way in figuring out how to appropriately collect, report, and use meaningful outcome data on young children and families receiving services under IDEA. Be sure to check out the newly released outcome data highlights in Resources for You, below.


Grantee Spotlight: Preschool Pay for Success Study in Oregon

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Pay For Success at ED

Clatsop County, Oregon, was one of eight awardees of the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) Preschool Pay for Success (PFS) Feasibility Study grants. The county is exploring the implementation of PFS as a viable and appropriate strategy to expand preschool programs that are high in quality and yield meaningful results. PFS is a financing tool for which a government entity partners with an investor. The investor finances the up-front costs of implementing interventions designed to improve specific and measurable outcomes for a target population. If the project achieves its intended outcomes, the government entity repays the investor for the cost of the services and pays an additional amount as a return on their investment.

Clatsop County pulled together a local team to lead their project in addition to engaging partners throughout the region. They also partnered with Social Finance for their feasibility assessment, and the Sorenson Impact Center to lead data aggregation and analysis for the project. The team and its partners conducted an evidence and literature review, assessed local needs and baselines, selected and valued outcomes, conducted a cost-benefit analysis, designed a model program, and identified strategic next steps for scaling high-quality preschool services in the region. In the process, the team engaged over 100 local, state, and national stakeholders; conducted the first large-scale preschool provider survey for the region; and gathered data from all eight of Clatsop and neighboring Tillamook counties’ school districts to assess outcome baselines and customize cost-benefit modeling.

Check out our latest Voices From the Field interview below to read more about the project and project lead, Dan Gaffney. 


Updates From ED: New Funding Opportunities From OSEP

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OSEP recently announced funding opportunities for state TA projects and a national TA center to support these projects in improving services and results for children who are deaf-blind. Read more about this opportunity to establish and support institutions and initiatives that serve this diverse group of children with complex needs in the Federal RegisterApplications are due Sept. 20, 2018.


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Resources for You: Outcomes Data, Literacy at Home, and Improving State Early Learning Offices

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Latest Highlights From Early Childhood Outcomes Child and Family Data

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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. Both topics are available as interactive webpages and accessible, downloadable PDFs. You will note that the national child and family outcomes data show little year-to-year change, which speaks to their high quality. States continue to implement strategies for ensuring data quality and to use their data to inform program improvement efforts.  

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New Family-focused Tutorial From the National Center on Improving Literacy

The 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.   

Supporting Your Child's Literacy Development tutorial

Building Highly Effective Offices of Early Learning in States

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The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) recently launched a new webpage to share resources, encourage conversation, and share TA opportunities among states and lead agencies that can enhance an office of early learning’s effectiveness. The site, Building Highly Effective State Offices of Early Learning, features a new vision paper, Defining Highly Effective Offices of Early Learning in State Education, along with a set of presentations from state early education leaders that shares best practices, identify solutions to challenges they face, and explore ways to work more effectively together on behalf of young children and families.


New! Featured Webinar From OSEP's Pyramid Model Center

All Hands on Deck: Partnering with Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants to Implement the Pyramid Model

This webinar from the National Center on Pyramid Model Innovations will explore the role of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC), an evidence-based approach that pairs mental health professionals with people who work with young children and their families. Professionals who provide IECMHC can be critical partners in the implementation of the Pyramid Model to promote young children’s social competence within early childhood education and care programs. The webinar will take place Sept. 11, 2018, from 3–4p.m. EDT, and will discuss the critical relationship between these professionals and Pyramid Model leadership teams. Presenters will also discuss the supports that might be provided by a mental health consultant to build the capacity of programs and personnel as they provide services to young children and their families. The presentation will be recorded and available to view online no more than 48 hours after the live session has concluded.

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Research Corner: Study on Early Childhood Educators and Staff

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A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Planning Research and Evaluation presents findings from studies on the psychological well-being of early childhood education (ECE) workers and data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education that was gathered in 2012. The report finds that less than 10 percent of center-based ECE workers experience moderate psychological stress. It also found that teachers with low household incomes experienced greater psychological distress than those with higher incomes. The report further explores the implications of psychological stress for ECE teachers and its potential impact on the quality of ECE and child development. Data tables, recommendations, and references for further research are also included in the report.


    Voices From the Field: Dan Gaffney on Oregon's Preschool Improvement and Expansion

    This month, we interviewed Dan Gaffney from Clatsop County, Oregon. Dan is a former elementary school principal and special education administrator who is currently leading creative and innovative efforts in northwest Oregon to promote and expand high-quality early learning programs for his community’s most vulnerable young learners. His project is featured in our Grantee Spotlight above. We invite you to read the full interview on the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) Blog.


    Connect With Us Online!

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    Check out ED's Early Learning website for updates on all of ED's early learning activities, and to view the Early Learning newsletter archive. 

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    OSERS is on Twitter with the latest tweets from special education and early intervention advocates, educators, families, and students. Be sure to follow @Ed_Sped_Rehab and tell your friends. OSERS Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett has joined the conversation, too! Follow him today @JCollettOSERS. We'll see you in the Twittersphere!