Early Learning Newsletter | October 2018 | New Investments and New Resources to Support Your Work!

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

New Investments and New Resources to
Support Your Work

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October 2018

In This Issue:

From the Directors

Acting Director Ruth Ryder, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP
Acting Director Tammy Proctor, Office of Early Learning (OEL)

Acting Directors Ruth Ryder and Tammy Procter

Hello, Early Learning Leaders!

The entire month of October is dedicated to supporting people with disabilities, including young learners. It is Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disability, and Down Syndrome Awareness Month. We invite you to visit the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) blog and Twitter account for stories, useful information, and unique perspectives from individuals and families impacted by and living with these disabilities. Prepare to be inspired!

October also is a month to connect with some of our early learning grantees and leaders in the field. Toward that end, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to host the 2018 annual meeting Strengthening and Sustaining Best Practices in Quality Preschool for Preschool Development Grant (PDG) program grantees, Oct. 2–4. The meeting provided an opportunity for grantees and other participants to discuss common early learning policy decisions at the state and local levels, successful strategies to provide high-quality early learning opportunities, and emerging early childhood issues.

ED staff from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and our colleagues in HHS also participated in the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) 2018 International Conference, Oct. 23–26. This conference brought together leaders, practitioners, and families to discuss early intervention and early childhood special education. ED staff had an opportunity to network with leaders from the field and join several presentations, including those focused on personnel development, inclusion, developmental screening, and promoting social competence in young children.

Finally, OSEP is excited to announce new investments in early learning (read more about these below) and the arrival of a new OSEP director, Laurie VanderPloeg. We are thrilled that Laurie will be joining us in November!

Project Spotlight

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Vermont’s Preschool Development Grant

In 2014, Vermont received a Preschool Development Grant—Expansion Grant (PDG) to support state and local efforts to build, develop, expand, and sustain high-quality preschool programs. PDG grants allow more children from low- and moderate-income families to enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life. Vermont focused its grant on improving access to preschool programs and quality by working with subgrantees across the state in high-need communities. Many communities utilized public and private partnerships to improve quality for at-risk 4-year-olds. Read more about how a local child care provider in Vermont benefited from PDG resources to improve program quality for the 4-year-olds she serves in this month’s Voices from the Field below.

Early Learning Updates from ED


New Early Learning Investments


Center on Early Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Learning for Young Children with Disabilities

OSEP closed the 2018 federal year by funding the Center on Early Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Learning for Young Children with Disabilities to ensure that young children with disabilities can engage in and benefit from STEM learning. The center will disseminate information on practices and supports related to improving STEM learning for young children with disabilities. The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill received the grant award and will work together with the University of Denver.


Associate Degree Preservice Program Improvement Grants to Support Personnel Working with Young Children with Disabilities

OSEP funded six new projects under the Associate Degree Preservice Program Improvement Grants to Support Personnel Working with Young Children with Disabilities. The following grantees will partner with local community colleges to enhance the quality of existing associate degree programs so that associate degree-level personnel are well prepared to work with young children with disabilities in inclusive programs: San Diego State University, University of Colorado Denver, University of Connecticut Health Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Toledo, and University of Washington in St. Louis.


Interdisciplinary Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services for Personnel Serving Children With Disabilities Who Have High-Intensity Needs

OSEP funded 10 new early childhood projects under the Interdisciplinary Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services for Personnel Serving Children With Disabilities Who Have High-Intensity Needs to prepare personnel in early intervention, special education, and related services at the master’s, educational specialist, or clinical doctoral degree levels. The following new grantees are California State University, Los Angeles; San Diego State University; San Francisco State University; University of Florida; University of Illinois; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Oregon; University of Vermont; University of Washington; and Washington University in St. Louis.

Check out the Discretionary Grants Database for more information on OSEP’s grants!


Resources for You

ECTA Center logo

Statewide Implementation Guide

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.

Reformatted CEELO Website

The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) recently launched a 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.

Research Corner

HHS’s Office for Planning Research and Evaluation (OPRE)

Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness Review: Executive Summary and Brief

HHS Office of Planning Research and Evaluation (OPRE) released its latest updates to the Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness review of home visiting program models that serve pregnant women and families with children from birth to age 5. OPRE is an office in HHS Administration for Children and Families. The updated document provides information on the review process, the review’s results, and a list of the 20 program models determined to meet HHS criteria for an evidence-based early childhood home visiting service delivery model.

Voices From the Field

This month, we interviewed Caryl Jaques, director of Little One’s University in Essex Junction, Vermont. OSERS Assistant Secretary Johnny Collett and Deputy Assistant Secretary Kim Richey visited Little One’s University as part of their Back-to-School Tour in September. Little One’s University, a private child care center, developed a private and public partnership with the local school district to improve the quality of early learning available in an inclusive setting for young children with and without disabilities. We followed up with Caryl in our interview and learned more about her strategies for improving the quality of services for young children in need in her community. We invite you to read the full interview on the OSERS Blog.

Caryl Jaques

Connect With Us Online!


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. 

Twitter Logo Blue

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!