Early Learning Newsletter | November 2019 | Celebrating Family Engagement Month!


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

Celebrating Family Engagement Month!

November 2019

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In This Issue:

From the Directors

Laurie VanderPloeg and Christopher Rinkus

Hello, Early Learning Leaders!

The season of festivity has started! This is the time when families gather to celebrate traditions and create new memories. In education, November is marked as National Family Engagement Month. Family shapes a child’s life from birth through well into the adulthood. Therefore, collaborative partnerships between family and professionals are encouraged across all age levels for positive educational and developmental outcomes. This month, Early Learning recognizes and celebrates the crucial role family plays in education. Many resources are featured that help families and educators work together to support young children’s education and development.

For our Voices From the Field blog, we interviewed Yetta Myrick, who is the mother of a son with autism spectrum disorder. She shares how she became a strong advocate for her son’s education and services. Yetta also shares her words of wisdom to help other parents and educators.

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

Thank you, as always, for reading Early Learning!

Laurie VanderPloeg
Office of Special Education Programs

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



Project Spotlight

Logo - Community Inclusion and Development Alliance (CIDA)

Community Inclusion and Development Alliance

The U.S. Department of Education (ED)-funded Community Inclusion and Development Alliance (CIDA) is a Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC). CIDA’s CPRC programs assist parents with information and training on disabilities, their rights under federal laws, and resources in the community, state, and nation to support their children. CIDA specializes in supporting families within immigrant communities in New York. Check out CIDA’s Programs page to learn about how they are empowering families of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.



Early Learning Updates from ED

Early Childhood Program Participation

Early Childhood Program Participation

Every three years, ED’s Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Educational Statistics, conducts the Early Childhood Program Participation (ECPP) component of the National Household Education Surveys Program to answer questions about young children’s care and education before starting kindergarten. The ECPP survey reported that 60 percent of children under age 5 who were not yet in kindergarten participated in at least one weekly nonparental care arrangement in 2016. When asked what factors influenced their choice of child care arrangements, 51 percent of parents ranked the cost as “very important.” A summary of the survey findings and the link to the full report can be found on this recent blog post.



Voices From the Field


The Power of Parental Engagement

We interviewed Yetta Myrick, the mother of a son with autism spectrum disorder. She talks about her journey to become a strong advocate for her son’s education and services. Yetta also shares her words of wisdom to help other parents and educators actively engage in their children’s education.

We invite you to read the full interview on the OSERS Blog.



Resources for You

This Month's Recommended Resources:

Download: Factsheet: Estimates of Child Care Eligibility & Receipt for Fiscal Year 2016 (PDF)

Fiscal Year 2016 Child Care Eligibility and Receipt Fact Sheet Now Available

Estimates of child care eligibility and receipt for Fiscal Year 2016 are now available in a fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The fact sheet discusses who is eligible for child care subsidies, who receives subsidies, and more!

A Tale of Two Conversations

A Tale of Two Conversations

The ED-funded Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) works to increase the nation’s capacity to prevent and resolve special education and early intervention disputes by fostering productive home/school/provider partnerships and the use of collaborative processes to improve outcomes for children and youth with disabilities. One of their many popular resources is a two-part video series, “A Tale of Two Conversations,” and the accompanying study guide. This series features two contrasting videos of interactions between a parent of a child with a disability and a school administrator. If you are interested in more in-depth study of the effective communication skills shown in the second video, please check out their A Tale of Two Conversations Study Guide.

Go to the Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center's series of eight training modules

Supporting Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness

HHS’s Office of Head Start, Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center has a series of eight training modules for early care and education providers on supporting children and their families who are experiencing homelessness. Learn the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act's definition of "homeless" and best practices for working with partners and families, including conducting community outreach.



Featured Webinar

YouTube image: Webinar on What Works in Reducing Suspensions: The Pyramid Model

What Works in Reducing Suspensions: The Pyramid Model

The ED-funded National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations hosted a webinar on Nov. 18 that focused on reducing suspensions in early childhood programs. Panelists on this webinar shared their experiences in implementing the Pyramid Model, with a specific focus on addressing equity. The webinar includes resources for providers such as the Behavior Incident Reporting System and the Pyramid Model Coaching Equity Guide. A recording of this webinar is available here.



New Funding Opportunities

logo - Administration for Children & Families (ACF)

Secondary Analyses of Data on Early Care and Education

We are excited to announce that the HHS’s Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) plans to solicit applications in 2020 for Secondary Analyses of Data on Early Care and Education grants. This funding opportunity aims to support researchers addressing key early care and education questions that are relevant to the goals and outcomes of ACF programs. Please visit grants.gov for additional information, to view the estimated application due date, and to subscribe to email notifications regarding this funding opportunity.

Logo - HHS’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC)

Funding Opportunity for Ambassadors to Work with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” Program.

HHS’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, with support from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, announce a funding opportunity for act early ambassadors to work with CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." program. Its mission is to improve early identification of developmental delays and disabilities, including autism. Applicants from the following states are eligible to apply for two available ambassadorships: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, and West Virginia. Those interested in applying can request an applications here. Applications are due Dec. 16.



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.