Archive for January, 2020


    Technical Assistance for Early Childhood Intervention Providers

    Chioma Oruh, PhD January 06, 2020

    Providing services to young children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families requires the consideration of many factors. Support, in a variety of formats, is needed to ensure that early childhood learning environments and providers are equipped to support children and families experiencing atypical behaviors, traumatic or stressful living situations, or other adverse conditions. Without support, programs and providers may see unfortunate consequences ranging from children not being identified for intervention supports as early as possible to families not being empowered through effective early intervention services to positively support their children to transition to the PreK-12 education system.

    To strengthen provider and program capabilities to support vulnerable children and their families, the federal government has established a variety of technical assistance (TA) centers that are available to early childhood practitioners including teachers, aides, administrators and other providers such as PTs, OTs, and SLPs. These TA centers support providers and programs to use contemporary evidence-based practices. The TA centers have robust, informative websites that describe a range of services including webinars, training events, research opportunities, and provide useful data and tips useful for early childhood special educators and early interventionists.

    Depending on the nature of the services offered, there are primarily three (3) federal government programs that support the centers most applicable to early childhood interventionists:

    These agencies provide funding and oversight for their affiliated TA centers that focus on early intervention and/or early childhood special education services. These early childhood related TA centers provide at least one of three categories of service ranging from: a) general/universal; b) targeted/specific; and c) intensive/sustained technical assistence. For many of the TA centers, the degree of service delivery of the TA centers is determined by the level of support federally funded service programs need to fulfill their mission and US government requirements.

    General or universal TA services are open source information shared widely via newsletters, reports, etc. Much of this TA is delivered through robust websites. Targeted or specific TA services entail short-term or one-time consultation services or presentations; and the intensive or sustained TA level of support includes hands-on and ongoing TA services designed to reach an outcome by the program, grantee, or state agency.

    Programs request from the TA Center the type of service they require. The TA centers often reach out to various entities inquiring about needs. The federally funded TA Centers are required to let state/local entities know about their services and will make direct contact.

    The websites that contain a great deal of helpful information can be accessed by a wide audience including early care and education and/or preschool administrators, teachers, families and other early intervention and early childhood education providers, families, and the general public. States are advised to share this information with families so they can be empowered to participate in decision-making. For states and providers needing guidance in how to provide this level of supports for families, there TA centers like the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) and the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR).

    The following describes some pertinent TA centers that are available to service providers, service systems, state and local agencies.

    Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Bureau Funded Centers

    There are several programs and initiatives by the MCH, funded through the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support (CARES) Act as well as Title V block grants and the Affordable Care Act. Here are some TA centers affiliated with the MCH:

    TA Center and Website

    Scope of Services

    National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health (NCEMCH) https://www.ncemch.org/about.php

    Provides national leadership to the maternal and child health community in three key areas: systems-wide program development, education, and
    state-of-the-art knowledge, on a national, state and local level.

    Home Visiting – Improvement Action Center (HV-ImpACT) https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/home-visiting/home-visiting-program-technical-assistance


    Administers high-quality program implementation according to home visiting models, strengthen early childhood systems coordination, and improve program outcomes.

    Design Options for Home Visiting Evaluation (DOHVE) https://mchb.hrsa.gov/maternal-child-health-initiatives/home-visiting/home-visiting-program-technical-assistance Expands knowledge and evidence for home visiting, build capacity to collect and report performance measures, make data-informed decisions to strengthen program quality, and spread new knowledge to the broader field.


    Office of Special Education and Related Services (OSERS) TA Centers

    OSERS is a division within the US Department of Education and works to improve results and outcomes for people with disabilities across the lifespan. Here are some TA centers affiliated with OSERS that target early childhood intervention supports:

    TA Center and Website

    Scope of Services

    Preschool Development Grants Technical Assistance (PDG TA) Program https://pdg.grads360.org/#program

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    Office of Head Start

    Here are some of the Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) centers in the Office of Head Start:

    TA Center and Website

    Focus

    Current Awardees

    Preschool Development Grants Technical Assistance (PDG TA) Program https://pdg.grads360.org/#program

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