Critical Developments Influencing the Creation of Early Head Start Advances in developmental research Advisory Committee on Head Start Quality and Expansion Social and Political Forces
The Beginnings of Early Head Start 1994 reauthorization of The Head Start Act Creation of the Advisory Committee on Services for Families with Infants and Toddlers
Primary Goal of Early Head Start To support families in their efforts to ensure that infants and toddlers served in Early Head Start Programs have access to comprehensive services that promote healthy outcomes across all domains of development.
The EHS Vision …all children from birth to age three need early child development experiences that honor their unique characteristics and provide love warmth and positive learning experiences …all families need encouragement and support from their community so they can achieve their own goals and provide a safe and nurturing environment for their young
The Four Cornerstones Child development Family development Community development Staff development
Program Structure & Head Start Performance Standards: A Framework for Quality Child Development and Health Services Family and Community Partnerships Program Design and Management
Early Head Start Infant/Toddler Child Care: Philosophy & Policies
Babies are… Born competent and able to think, learn, and feel. Born to communicate with the external world. Influenced by: parent education, income, and environmental influences.
Babies need… Strong, caring, and continuous relationships Closeness Security Responsiveness Childcare regulations that promote nurturance Solid educational foundations and quality of services
Relationships: Right from the Start Group Size of 8 Small Adult/Child Ratio (1:4) Primary Caregiving Continuity of Care Qualified Teachers
Babies are part of their culture which is… "the shared way of life of people, including their beliefs, their technology, their values and norms...transmitted down through the generations by learning and observation." Meredith F. Small (1998). "Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent." p. 72
Babies deserve… Support for their home language Care responsive to their family and cultural background Programs that welcome their families Family participation in program planning
Quality Head Start Performance Standards Training and Technical Assistance Monitoring Evaluation
Training and Technical Assistance National training contracts Materials development Building the work force Raising the awareness and knowledge about unique needs of infants and toddlers EHS/Child Care partnership training
Monitoring for Implementation of Performance Standards “The purpose of program monitoring is continuous program improvement.” Raising the bar for child care partners
Child Care Partnerships Need for center based child care Impact of community based child care serving EHS children Head Start polices supported collaboration
Early Head Start National Evaluation Studied both EHS operated child care centers and community based centers Provided ongoing feedback to programs and the child care field Continuous program improvement: Research to Practice papers
Dissemination of Promising Practices Infant/Toddler Mental Health Kith and Kin (Non-Regulated Care) Serving Children in the Child Welfare system Research to Practice Papers Second Language Acquisition/CRADLE
Early Head Start and Its Impact on Large Systems
State Child Care Partnerships Kansas and Missouri Head Start Collaboration Offices State Supplements
Important Activities 20 years of PITC!! Establishment of Infant/Toddler Specialist Networks National Infant/Toddler Child Care Initiative Early Learning Guidelines Philanthropic Investments
Infant/Toddler Specialist Networks First appeared in 1986 in CA 17 States have Networks in place Public (CCDF) and private funds support these Networks Many utilize CCRRA as managing agency Responsibilities of Specialist vary from state to state: –Training, consultation, program assessment, technical assistance, mentoring, training for parents, resource materials, health and safety consultation and support, accreditation, starting infant/toddler care programs, etc.
First Steps: Ohio Example Funded through infant/toddler quality earmark Managed by OCCRRA Components of approach: –12 Infant/Toddler Specialists (PITC certified) –900 providers recruited –Pilot focused on understanding current quality and impact of TA provided at various levels of intensity –Utilizing ITERS & FDCERS to measure quality –Testing 3 different levels of contact intensity –Currently analyzing data from their pilot test
National Infant/Toddler Child Care Initiative Operated by ZERO TO THREE Phase I: (2002-2005) –Worked with 20 states –Supported state strategic planning activities –Developed materials Phase II: (2005-2007) –Targeted work related to: quality rating systems, infant/toddler credentials, infant/toddler specialist networks –Tracking activities at the state level (investments, child care supply, initiatives) –Responding to TA requests
Early Learning Guidelines Activity in 17 States and one territory as of April 2006 State vary in how guidelines are being used Challenges reported associated with work in this area: –Rapid variation in development –Alignment issues (academic vs. developmental) –Relational context in which development unfolds –Cultural considerations
Important Philanthropic Investments BUILD Initiative Birth to Five Policy Alliance Thrive by Five Educare Expansion
Continuing Challenges and EHS as a Catalyst for Quality Care Collaboration at the national and state levels Funding Developing a qualified infant/toddler work force Family Child Care regulations Unregulated Care: Family, Friend & Neighbor
How can you help keep the spotlight aimed on the needs of infants and toddlers?
Because all babies & toddlers need: Good Health Strong Families Positive Early Learning Experiences You can Join the ZERO TO THREE Policy Network! And Be a Voice For Babies!!
Who Should Join? Providers of infant- toddler care & services –Child care –Mental health –Medical –Child welfare –Early Intervention Researchers studying infant-toddler development & related issues
The Baby Monitor: ZERO TO THREE Policy & Advocacy News
How Will the Policy Network Make an Impact? Members of the ZTT Policy Network will: Be Informed Be Connected Be Active