Early Learning Newsletter | August 2019 | Celebrating Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

blank

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

Celebrating Children’s
Eye Health and Safety Month

 
August 2019


Forwarded this email? Click here to subscribe.


In This Issue:


From the Directors

Laurie VanderPloeg and Christopher Rinkus

Hello, Early Learning Leaders!

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. To honor this designation, our Voices in the Field interview with Donna Fishman, director of the National Center for Children’s Vision & Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (Prevent Blindness), highlights the importance of vision health to childhood development and learning readiness, and how the organization promotes children’s vision health. According to Prevent Blindness, more than one in five preschool-age children enrolled in Head Start have a vision disorder. Although early detection can lead to an effective intervention and help to restore proper vision, parents and early care and education staff cannot always tell when a child has trouble seeing. Therefore, we’ve spotlighted resources that states and local programs can use to promote children’s vision health. Information about those resources are featured in the Project Spotlight and Resources for You sections.

We are also excited to introduce new funding opportunities published by the Office of Special Education Programs and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Learn about these opportunities under New Funding Opportunities and spread the word!

Enjoy reading the rest of the newsletter to find out about recent developments and resources to support our youngest learners, their teachers, caregivers, and families.

Thank you, as always, for reading Early Learning!

Laurie VanderPloeg
Director
Office of Special Education Programs

Christopher Rinkus
Acting Deputy Director
Discretionary Grants and Support Services
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
 


blank

Project Spotlight

national center on deaf blindness

National Center on Deaf-Blindness

The National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) is a national technical assistance center funded by the Department of Education (ED). NCDB works to improve the quality of life for children who are deaf-blind and their families. One of their products is a series of profiles that uses a family-centered approach to provide information about key educational practices for children who are deaf-blind. Told mostly through video, these Families Matter Stories will help you discover how individuals who are deaf-blind learn, develop, and live their lives.
 


Early Learning Updates from ED

blankblankblank
Effective Personnel for ALL: Attract, Prepare, Retain

Effective Personnel for All:
Attract, Prepare, Retain

OSEP is engaged in a concentrated effort to support states in their work to address personnel shortages. Toward that end, OSEP recently finished its 2019 Symposia Series — Effective Personnel for ALL: Attract, Prepare, and Retain. This series focuses on three critical areas: attracting new personnel to serve children with disabilities, preparing these personnel for a successful career, and retaining them longer term. Each symposium explores what is known from existing evidence and establishes best practices, as well as innovative approaches used throughout the country, that are making a difference. OSEP has a blog post to further these efforts by soliciting feedback on how OSEP can best support states in their work to attract, prepare, and retain effective personnel. Please take the time to share your challenges and successes that can make a difference for others who are addressing shortages in personnel!

Part B and Part C 2019 determinations

OSEP recently issued Part B and Part C 2019 determinations. You can read how ED made determinations under IDEA section 616(d) and review individual state's State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Reports on OSEP's GRADS360° page.
 


Resources for You

This Month's Recommended Resources:

Logo: Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center

Impact of Prenatal Substance Exposure on Young Children
and Their Families

In partnership with the IDEA Infant & Toddler Coordinators Association, the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center developed a new web page that contains key research, policy, state guidance and examples, and evidence-based practices to support families and their young children exposed prenatally to harmful substances. You can find this web page here.

Guide to Vision Health for Your Newborn, Infant and Toddler

Guide to Vision Health for Your Newborn, Infant, and Toddler

To help educate parents and in celebration of Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, the HRSA-funded National Center for Children’s Vision & Eye Health at Prevent Blindness is offering the newly revised A Guide to Vision Health for Your Newborn, Infant, and Toddler. This comprehensive resource offers information on a variety of topics, including common milestones for visual development, how to help a baby’s vision to develop, warning signs of possible vision problems, and more.

Logo: ED’s Institute for Education Sciences-funded Early Learning Network

Optimizing Learning Opportunities for Student Observation System

The Early Learning Network, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at ED is developing and testing a web-based observational tool for practitioners in pre-K through third grade classrooms to help improve student outcomes and strengthen student-teacher relationships. Using electronic assessments and observation, the Optimizing Learning Opportunities for Students Observation System, known as OLOS, provides real-time feedback on children’s academic progress and teachers’ instructional practices. It also offers recommendations on how to best meet students’ individual learning needs. The tool is still in the pilot phase but shows promise in becoming a practitioner-friendly comprehensive measure in early learning programs.
 


blank

Featured Webinars

Logo: The Partnership Center

Finding the Facts in the Vaccine Debate

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)-funded Partnership Center broadcasted the webinar, Finding the Facts in the Vaccine Debate on August 7. Tune in to hear the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control  Director, Dr. Robert Redfield, Jr. and other experts as they discuss vaccine safety and efficacy, as well as the best ways to keep your children healthy.

Head Start icon

Improving Outcomes for Families Affected by Opioids

On August 22, the HHS-funded Office of Head Start hosted the first webinar of its three-part series, Improving Outcomes for Families Affected by Opioids. This webinar series discusses ways to support children, especially exposed infants, and families impacted by opioid and other substance use disorders. You can view and register for upcoming webinars here. You can also read some key information early childhood program staff need to know about to support young children and families affected by substance misuse.
 


blank

New Funding Opportunities

IDEAs That Work logo

OSERS

OSERS released two Notices Inviting Applications for new funding opportunities:

  • Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities — Leadership Development Programs: Increasing the Capacity of Leaders to Improve Systems Serving Children With Disabilities (CFDA 84.325L). Applications are due on Sept. 9. Information about the application can be found here.
  • 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. 84.373Z). Applications are due on Sept. 11. Information about the application can be found here.
Logo: HRSA

HRSA

HRSA in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the opportunity to apply for funding for three grant competitions in its Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program. These competitions include the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program, Early Hearing Detection and Intervention National Technical Resource Center, and Family Leadership in Language and Learning Center. The closing date for applications is Nov. 8.

 


blank

Voices From the Field

Donna Fishman

Promoting Young Children’s Vision Health

We interviewed Donna Fishman, director of the National Center for Children’s Vision & Eye Health at Prevent Blindness. Fishman discusses the importance of vision health to childhood development and learning readiness, and how the organization promotes children’s vision health in various early childhood systems. We invite you to read the full interview on the OSERS Blog.

blank
blank

blank

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!