Early Learning Newsletter | March 2019 | Welcoming Spring With New Early Childhood Opportunities and Resources

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

Welcoming Spring With New Early Childhood Opportunities and Resources


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March 2019

In This Issue:


From the Directors

Directors Laurie VanderPloeg and Annie Hsiao

Hello, Early Learning Leaders!

Spring is here! And with the start of the new season we have some exciting opportunities and resources to share with you to support your work with young children and their families.

We want to draw your attention to two notices of proposed priority and requirements for technical assistance centers on state data collection for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act data. Additionally, do not miss the funding opportunity for grants to support doctoral dissertation research addressing issues related to Head Start and child care.

Below you will find a link to your state’s Act Early Ambassador who can provide Learn the Signs. Act Early. resources to support the developmental monitoring of young children and improve early identification of developmental delay and disability. Lastly, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has a number of resources for educators on early childhood education that we hope you will check out.

Enjoy!

Laurie VanderPloeg
Director, Office of Special Education Programs

Annie Hsiao
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Programs
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education


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Project Spotlight

University of Kansas Department of Special Education logo

Global Learning Opportunities Build Early Education Leaders

Global Learning Opportunities Build Early Education Leaders is an OSEP-funded leadership development grant offered by the University of Kansas Department of Special Education. The project is preparing seven scholars to receive their doctoral degrees in early childhood special education with a particular focus on leadership in teacher education with a global perspective. The project is based on the belief that in order to be an effective teacher educator, faculty must possess skills and knowledge that allow them to work effectively within a culturally and linguistically diverse global community and to effectively convey this knowledge to others. Scholars have engaged in teaching courses and supervising students, scholarship through professional presentations and publications, and service activities at the state and national levels through participation in professional organizations in early intervention and early childhood special education.  Listen to the director of the project, Eva Horn, talk about preparation in early childhood special education at the University of Kansas.


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Early Learning Updates from ED

IDEAs That Work logo

Notices of Proposed Priority and Requirements for Technical Assistance on State Data Collection

ED recently published two Notices of Proposed Priority and Requirements and is accepting comments until May 20 on: 

  1. Technical Assistance on State Data Collection: National Technical Assistance Center to Improve State Capacity to Collect, Report, Analyze, and Use Accurate Early Childhood IDEA Data (CFDA No. 373Z); and
  2. Technical Assistance on State Data Collection: National Technical Assistance Center to Improve State Capacity to Collect, Report, Analyze, and Use Accurate IDEA Part B Data (CFDA No. 373Y).

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Resources for You

This Month's Recommended Resources

Institute of Education Sciences (IES) header

Looking for Research in Early Childhood Education?

ED’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has a topic page on Early Childhood Education that brings together the research in education and special education, evaluation, and survey data collection that IES supports to improve the school readiness skills of young children and examine children's early learning and development. Early childhood initiatives at IES include evaluation studies and technical assistance programs; grant programs to fund research on infants, toddlers, and young children birth through five with or at risk for disabilities; and cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Take some time to check out the resources!

Learn the Signs - Act Early Ambassadors (pictures of young children)

Meet the New Cohort of Learn the Signs. Act Early. Ambassadors!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities with support from the Health Resources & Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, are pleased to announce the new cohort of Act Early Ambassadors. There are now ambassadors in 47 states, D.C., and three territories.

Act Early Ambassadors work with CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. (LTSAE) program to improve early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, including autism, in the following ways:

  • Promoting the adoption and integration of LTSAE resources and materials to support developmental monitoring in systems that serve young children and their families
  • Serving as a state or territorial representative of CDC’s national LTSAE program
  • Supporting the work of Act Early Teams and other state/territorial or national initiatives to improve early identification of developmental delay and disability

Click to view CDC’s 2019–21 Act Early Ambassadors

ACF's Children’s Bureau logo

Attend the National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect

The Children’s Bureau’s Office of Child Abuse and Neglect within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is sponsoring the 21st National Conference of Child Abuse and Neglect April 24–26 in Washington, D.C.  The conference brings together practitioners, researchers, policy makers, parents, and volunteers from a wide variety of disciplines to gain new knowledge and understanding, build new skills, and re-energize for the challenging work.


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Featured Webinar

Developing Effective Infographics ―
Webinar Series

The OSEP-funded DaSy Center will host interactive virtual workshops on April 4 and May 16 that will equip participants with resources and tools to develop an effective infographic. In the first workshop, facilitators will review best practices, share resources, provide a how-to on using tools, and share exemplary infographics. In the second workshop, participants will share infographics they created after the first session for feedback and support. Participants must register for the workshops.


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New Forecasted Funding Opportunity

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation logos

Head Start and Child Care Graduate Student
Research Grants

The Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families, HHS, has recently published two discretionary research funding announcements titled “Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Head Start Graduate Student Research Grants” and “Early Care and Education Research Scholars: Child Care Research Scholars.” The Early Care and Education Research Scholars grants support doctoral dissertation research addressing issues related to Head Start and child care. Both funding announcements support work that informs policy and practice decisions and solutions, particularly for underserved and understudied populations, uses the most rigorous research methodology, and promotes mentor-student relationships that support students’ independent lines of research. 


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Voices From the Field

Sandra Schefkind

Sandra Schefkind: Blending Arts and Therapy

This month, we interviewed Sandra Schefkind, the pediatric practice manager at the American Occupational Therapy Association. Schefkind discusses the importance of occupational therapy practitioners in supporting young children with disabilities and their families. We invite you to read the full interview on the OSERS Blog.

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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!