Early Learning Newsletter | March 2022 | Hello, Spring!


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

Hello, Spring!

March 2022

Children playing in a field of tulips

Forwarded this email? Click here to subscribe.

In This Issue:

From the Directors

Valerie Williams and Jamila Smith

Hello, Early Learning Leaders!

Spring is on the way! The start of a new season brings opportunities to experience activities that may have been limited by the weather for the past months. We would like to share new and updated resources as we continue to support our youngest learners, their families and providers. Women’s History Month, which is celebrated in March, is a time to recognize the valuable contributions of women, including those in early childhood education. We want to acknowledge and thank you for your hard work and dedication.

Thank you for your continued dedication to early childhood and our youngest learners.

Thank you for reading “Early Learning”!

Valerie C. Williams
Director, Office of Special Education Programs
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

Jamila Smith
Director, Innovation and Early Learning Programs
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education


Early Learning Updates

Department of Education Logo

Fact Sheet: Rights During COVID

The Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a fact sheet to remind public schools of their obligations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to provide appropriate evaluations and services to students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, including schools’ responsibility to provide compensatory services.


Leaders in the Department Out and About

ESEA Conference icon

Neas Participates in 2022 National ESEA Conference

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Katherine Neas participated on a panel at the 2022 National Elementary and Secondary Education Conference in February. The panel provided updates related to accelerated learning, social emotional learning, supports to meet the needs of school staff, accountability, and equity and resource allocation.


This Month’s Recommended Resources

baby playing

Updated and New CDC Resources on Developmental Milestones

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a revised version of its developmental milestones and tips to support child development. The new materials are available online, or printed versions can be ordered. The milestone tracker app will also be updated.

QUICK GUIDE: QUARANTINE | COVID-19 | What to do when a child in your early care and education program (ECE) might have been exposed to COVID-19

Making Decisions for Children With COVID-19

The CDC has a new "Quick Guide: Quarantine. What to do when a child in your early care and education program (ECE) might have been exposed to COVID-19" to help make decisions about isolation and quarantine in early care and education programs for a child who may have COVID-19.

Mother telling story to child

Scripted Stories

The ED-funded National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) developed a resource to support children’s social and family engagement. “I am a Super Friend” is a scripted story that includes strategies to support children’s social emotional skills. Scripted stories can be used to help children follow the expectations of activities, routines, and social situations. NCPMI has resources for developing scripted stories for use in early childhood education and care environments and in homes.

National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) logo

Supporting Children Who Are Deaf-Blind

The ED-funded National Center on Deaf-Blindness website has an extensive section on Educational Practices that is updated on an ongoing basis. It consists of a series of "Info Topics" containing information and resources developed over many years by practitioners and researchers in the field of deaf-blindness. Topic categories include: foundations of learning, assessment, educational services, and communication and concept development.


Featured Webinars & Conferences

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

Helping Childcare Programs with Policies and Procedures

Policies and procedures that are informed by evidence-based science help ensure the health, safety, and wellness of children, families and staff members in childcare programs. The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center is holding a webinar on March 10, at 2:00 p.m. ET, as part of the Child Care Health Consultation series. Recordings of previous webinars are available.

toddler balancing on log

Building Social and Emotional Development Outdoors

As part of its Front Porch series, HHS’ Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center is hosting a three-part series on how social and emotional development can be supported using outdoor activities. The first webinar is scheduled for March 17, at 3:00 p.m., and will have English and Spanish captioning.

Mental Health

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Conference

The HHS-funded Center of Excellence for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation is hosting a free virtual conference, Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: Equity from the Start, on March 21–23 with on-demand access available through May 30. Sessions will include information on implementing infant and early childhood mental health consultation and supporting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for infants, children and families.


Funding Opportunities

Department of Education Logo

Early Childhood Systems Technical Assistance Center

ED has also issued a notice inviting applications for new awards for FY 2022 for an Early Childhood Systems Technical Assistance Center, Assistance Listing Number 84.326P. The purpose of this priority is to fund one cooperative agreement to establish and operate an early childhood systems technical assistance center that will support state and local capacity to improve and sustain equitable systems that support full participation of young children with disabilities.

The application deadline is: May 06, 2022.

Department of Education Logo

Technology Implementation

ED recently issued a notice inviting applications for new awards for FY 2022 for Stepping Up Technology Implementation, Assistance Listing Number 84.327S. The purpose of this priority is to fund three cooperative agreements focused on supporting early childhood and K-12 educators of English learners with disabilities and English learners at risk to deliver literacy instruction based on the science of reading.

The application deadline is: April 25, 2022.

MCHB logo - Maternal and Child Health Bureau

Evidence to Impact

HHS’ Maternal and Child Health Bureau is accepting applications for the FY 2022 Early Childhood Developmental Health Systems: Evidence to Impact. This funding is to establish an early childhood evidence to impact center. The goals of the center are to increase the implementation and evaluation of evidence-informed, equity-focused strategies among states and support the implementation, evaluation and evidence base in early childhood development systems.

Applications are due May 10, 2022.

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

Secondary Data Analysis

HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation is accepting applications for the FY 2022 Secondary Analyses of Data on the National Incidence of Child Maltreatment grants. These grants aim to support researchers conducting secondary analyses of data to inform the ongoing and accurate national surveillance of child abuse and neglect. 

Applications are due April 4, 2022.

Logo: HRSA

Infant-Toddler Court Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration is excited to share a new notice of funding opportunity for the Infant-Toddler Court Program (ITCP) for FY 2022. The purpose of the ITCP is to continue and expand research-based infant-toddler court teams to change child welfare practices and improve the early developmental health and well-being of infants, toddlers and their families. Applications are being accepted for up to eight state awards and one national resource center award.

Applications are due May 4, 2022.


Connect With Us Online!

Check out the Early Learning newsletter archive.


Twitter Logo Blue

Be sure to follow us on Twitter — @Ed_Sped_Rehab — and tell your friends.


OSERS Blog icon 96x96

Check out more early learning stories, including "Voices From the Field" posts, on OSERS Blog.