Early Learning Newsletter | July 2019 | Early Childhood Resources to Share


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

Early Childhood Resources to Share

July 2019

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In This Issue:

From the Directors

Directors Laurie VanderPloeg and Annie Hsiao

Hello, Early Learning Leaders!

We hope that you are enjoying your summer. We know that we are! This month the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) hosted the 2019 OSEP Leadership Conference. Laurie had the opportunity to meet with Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C and Part B, section 619 coordinators and participate in sessions where she learned about innovative work states are engaged in to serve young children with disabilities and their families. Check out the conference website for more information on the presentations, topics discussed, and more. 

We are excited to introduce you to Molly of Denali™, a new television series developed by the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Ready to Learn grant program. We hope you take the time to follow the adventures of Molly and introduce her to the young children whom you work with.

There are also links to several resources including those on the cost of childcare, evaluating the implementation evidence-based practices, and understanding the long-term impacts of Zika. You will also not want to miss information on funding announcements by the Institute for Education Sciences (IES).

Lastly, our Voices from the Field interviewee, Eric Elmore, discusses how he strives to advance his knowledge in the field and to support others who want to work with young children and their families.

Thank you, as always, for reading Early Learning!

Laurie VanderPloeg
Office of Special Education Programs

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


Project Spotlight

Molly of Denali

Ready to Learn Television:
Introducing Molly of Denali!™

ED’s Ready to Learn Television (RTL) program is designed to fund telecommunications entities to develop, produce, and distribute educational and instructional video programming for preschool and elementary school children and their parents in order to facilitate student academic achievement and promote school readiness. With funds from the RTL program, PBS KIDS launches a new program titled Molly of Denali™. Molly of Denali is an action-adventure comedy that follows the adventure of feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl. Molly of Denali is the first nationally distributed children’s series in the U.S. to feature an Alaska Native lead character.

The show aired its first episode on July 15. Click on the link to see a preview of a future episode.

Early Learning Updates from ED

The Costs of Childcare: Results From the 2016 Early Childhood Program Participation Survey

The Costs of Childcare: Results From the 2016 Early Childhood Program Participation Survey

The National Center for Education Statistics within the Institute of Education Sciences at ED recently released The Costs of Childcare: Results From the 2016 Early Childhood Program Participation Survey. This publication uses data from the 2016 Early Childhood Program Participation Survey of the National Household Education Surveys Program to provide data about the importance of a variety of factors, including the cost to parents when choosing childcare, the types of assistance received for childcare, and the mean out-of-pocket costs for relative, nonrelative, and center-based childcare arrangements. The full report can be found here.

Resources for You

This Month's Recommended Resources:

Dasy Center and ECTA Center logos

Evaluating the Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices

The ED-funded Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center and the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems developed tip sheets, which provide concise guidance for collecting and analyzing high-quality data to evaluate the implementation of evidence-based practices. The tip sheets address four key topics: What to Measure, Characteristics of a High-Quality Measurement Tool, Establishing a Fidelity Threshold, and Summarizing Data for Decision-making.

Louisiana School and Center Finder icon

Striving to Ensure High-Quality Early Childhood Education Programs in Louisiana

The ED-funded Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes recently highlighted how Louisiana developed the Louisiana School and Center Finder, a first-of-its-kind online reporting system that provides a detailed look at accountability metrics for programs and schools spanning birth through grade 12. The system gives users information about childcare, pre-kindergarten, and Head Start sites, unifying early childhood information with K–12 and postsecondary education results. The early childhood performance ratings system can be used to drive quality improvement efforts. You can read about the Louisiana School and Center Finder at the following link.


Sharing New Resources on Zika

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supported the development of a trio of resources on Zika by the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs and the March of Dimes. These resources provide state experiences and lessons learned from the Zika response and highlight implications for the long-term needs, opportunities for improvement in services and systems of care, and areas to prioritize during future public health threats to maternal and child health. The resources include the publication, "Preparing for the Future: Zika & Long-Term Implications for Systems of Care," an issue brief, “Beyond Zika: Preparing Maternal and Child Health Programs for Future Threats to the Health of Families and Communities,” and the fact sheet “The Value of Title V in Emergency Preparedness and Response: Lessons Learned from Zika and Tips for Ensuring Ongoing MCH Involvement.


Featured Webinars

Within the Framework Webinar Series logo

The Pyramid Model Goes to
Family Child Care Homes!

The ED-funded National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations is hosting a webinar on Aug. 19 at 3 p.m. EDT on the implementation of the Pyramid Model in family childcare homes. The Pyramid Model is a conceptual framework of evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s healthy social and emotional development. The panelists will describe how Pyramid Model practices are used in family childcare homes, discuss how they coach and support family childcare providers, and share examples of the use of Pyramid practices by family childcare providers. You can register for the webinar at this link.


New Funding Opportunities

Institute of Education Sciences (IES) logo

The National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) in IES recently released funding announcements for fiscal year 2020 grant competitions. These include grant competitions in education and special education research, research training programs in education and special education, and research grants focused on systematic replication. More information about the NCER and NCSER research programs, the application process, and deadlines are available on the IES Funding Opportunities web page. Pre-recorded webinars that describe the grant programs, application procedures, and grant writing procedures will be available in the coming weeks.


Voices From the Field

Eric Elsmore

Advancing in the Early Childhood Field

We interviewed Eric Elmore, a doctoral scholar in early childhood special education at the University of Denver Colorado. Elmore discusses what he has done to enhance quality in early childhood programs and support personnel going into the profession. 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. 

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!