Early Learning Newsletter | January 2019 | Happy New Year and the New Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five Initiative


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

Happy New Year and the New Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five Initiative

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January 2019

In This Issue:

From the Directors

Directors Laurie VanderPloeg and Annie Hsiao

Hello, Early Learning Leaders!

Hope your new year is off to a good start! We are excited to start the year with the announcement of the new Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five Initiative. Forty-five states or territories were awarded these grants to conduct comprehensive needs assessments and strategic plans focused on strengthening mixed-delivery systems that meet the needs of young children and their families. Our colleagues at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Child Care (OCC) have taken the lead on this new program, and we are excited to partner with them as they work to support these new grantees.

From the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) we are thrilled to announce the release of the Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Be sure to check out data on young children with disabilities served under IDEA!

This month’s newsletter also includes a new school readiness data resource from the State Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program and resources from our various HHS partners.


Laurie VanderPloeg
Director, Office of Special Education Programs

Annie Hsiao
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Programs


Project Spotlight

ED and OCC logos

Preschool Development Birth Through Five Initial Grant Awards

HHS’s Office of Child Care (OCC), in partnership with the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, would like to congratulate the 45 states and territories that received a Preschool Development Birth Through Five (PDG B-5) Initial Grant Award at the end of December.

The PDG B-5 grants differ significantly from the previous Preschool Development Grants. These new grants are designed to fund states and territories to conduct a comprehensive statewide birth through five needs assessment, followed by in-depth strategic planning. The grants also enhance parental choice and expand the current mixed-delivery system, which consists of a wide range of provider types and settings, including child care centers and home-based child care providers, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, state prekindergarten programs, and home visiting service providers across the public, private, and faith-based sectors.

States and territories were invited to be innovative in planning, designing, enhancing, and evaluating their early childhood care and education mixed-delivery systems. They were also strongly encouraged to engage and develop their application jointly with a full range of early childhood stakeholders, including partners at the local community level and parents, allowing them to design and develop systems that best meets the needs of families and their young children, particularly low-income and disadvantaged children. More information about these new grant awards can be found on the OCC website.


Early Learning Updates from ED

OSEP 40th Annual Report to Congress cover

40th Annual Report to Congress

You can now download the 40th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2018. The report includes national- and state-level exhibits about infants and toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities served under IDEA Part C and Part B. The data represent the reporting periods associated with fall 2016 or school year 2015–16. The report presents summaries of

  • findings and determinations resulting from OSEP reviews of state implementation of IDEA;

  • special education research conducted under Part E of the Education Services Reform Act of 2002;

  • national special education studies and evaluations conducted under IDEA section 664(a) and (c); and

  • the extent and progress of assessment of national activities related to determining the effectiveness of IDEA and improving its implementation, as required under IDEA section 664(b).

The report also contains three appendices:

Appendix A — Presents number and percentage of the population of infants, toddlers, children, and youth served under IDEA by age group and state and then by race/ethnicity and state;

Appendix B — Presents information about the number of states reporting serving children ages 3 through 5 and students ages 6 through 9 under the development delay category from 2007 through 2016 and states reporting under the category by the two age groups in fall 2016; and

Appendix C — Presents state-level information on maintenance of effort reduction and coordinated early intervening services.


Resources for You

CDC logo

Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

HHS’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a report entitled Health Care, Family, and Community Factors Associated with Mental, Behavioral, and Developmental Disorders and Poverty Among Children Aged 2–8 Years — United States, 2016 which examines the association between poverty and factors related to mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders among children ages 2–8 years. The implications of the findings are that public assistance programs might offer collaboration opportunities to provide families living in poverty with information, collocated screening programs or services, or connection to care for young children with mental, behavioral, or developmental disorders.

State Longitudinal Data Systems program logo

New School Readiness Data Tool From State Longitudinal Data Systems

The State Longitudinal Data Systems program, in collaboration with ECDataWorks, is pleased to announce the new resource School Readiness Reporting Guide. This guide offers a school- and community-focused approach to looking at whether schools are prepared for the children coming into kindergarten and the actions they can take to ensure that the staff is prepared to meet the needs of incoming students. This resource provides an overview of the types of data frequently included in school readiness reports and suggestions for including school- and community-level data elements in those reports, and it demonstrates how those data can best be presented to inform key audiences.

Early Head Start - Child Care Partnerships logo

Resources to Develop Innovative Partnerships in Early Childhood

Explore a new series of resources from the Spotlights on Innovation and Implementation Practices From the Field. The series highlights innovative strategies to help implement EHS-CC partnerships. Find guidance on how grantees from across the country developed systems and practices to support their EHS-CC Partnership grant. The topics in this series include workforce and professional development, comprehensive services, and continuity of care. Also, read about implementing fiscal and ongoing monitoring and building supply and access to quality care. The intended audience includes EHS-CC partnership grantees, child care partners, training and technical assistance providers, state administrators and staff members, and Head Start collaboration directors.


Featured Webinars

Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center logo

A Series of Practice-Based Webinars for Early Learning Providers!

The National Center on Early Childhood Development Teaching and Learning has scheduled several webinars in the coming months on topics including implementing preschool curriculum with fidelity, evidence-based hearing screenings, and practice-based coaching. More details on these informative webinars for the early learning community, including registration information, can be found on Head Start’s Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center’s upcoming events page.


New Funding Opportunity

Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau logo

Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau is pleased to announce a new notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access Program. The purpose of this program is to promote behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care by supporting the development of new or the improvement of existing statewide or regional pediatric mental health care telehealth access programs. The program is designed to facilitate the access to and the availability of telehealth (including by telephone) psychiatric consultation, as well as care coordination to pediatricians and other pediatric primary care providers. The full NOFO is available at Grants.gov.


Voices From the Field

Kristie Kauerz

Kristie Kauerz: "Bringing Together Research, Policy and Practice"

This month, we interviewed Kristie Kauerz, a clinical associate professor in administrative leadership and policy studies at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Education & Human Development. Kauerz discussed her work on building early childhood systems including establishing a National P-3 Center that focuses on the learning opportunities that young children experience from birth through 3rd grade. We invite you to read the full interview on the OSERS Blog.



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. 

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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!