News & Events

Preschool Development Grant

February 26, 2020

The Early Childhood Center served as the evaluator for the federal Preschool Development Grant that was awarded to the Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning for the coordination of Hoosier Early Education Resources from January of 2019 through February of 2020. The grant funded 23 projects to build a unified birth to five system with a special focus on understanding the needs and best practices for infants and toddlers, vulnerable populations, preschool children, and children in rural areas. Through the grant funding a needs assessment was conducted of the birth-five landscape, a strategic plan was developed to address the findings of the needs assessment, best practices were identified, and recommendations were developed for a data roadmap. Of the 23 funded projects, 18 projects engaged with 2,511 early childhood stakeholders.

ECC Staff Present at ICASE Conference

February 13, 2020

Early Childhood Center's Sally Reed Crawford and Michael Conn-Powers presented with Jessica Tomasino, IDOE Special Education, at the ICASE Conference, 2/13/2020. The title of the presentation was, Inclusive preschool programs: Innovative practices of successful schools and will increase awareness of evidence-based practices employed by school districts that serve a majority of their preschoolers in general early childhood settings and demonstrate positive child outcomes. This session introduced the models and practices that successful Indiana corporations are now using to effectively address preschool LRE. These are practices identified in the literature as effective and provide useful models to Indiana early childhood special education programs.

ECC Completes Fall Review

December 23, 2019

The Early Childhood Center (ECC) along with the First Steps state team just completed its fall collection of First Steps child/family data from the nine regional System Points of Entry (SPOE) offices in Indiana. The team of 11 staff reviewed the records of 1,854 children and families receiving early intervention services. The Items reviewed are both compliance indicators that are reported to the Office of Special Education (OSEP) through the submission of the Annual Performance Report (APR) as well as quality items that look at how services coordinators and providers work with eligible infants/toddlers and their families. The SPOEs are required to write a continuous quality improvement plan (CQIP) for any compliance indicator they did not meet using the implementation science cycle of Plan, Do, Study, Act. The SPOE collaborates with their stakeholders to get input on the CQIP and discuss areas of improvement that can affect the quality of services to the families served. These plans are updated on a quarterly basis as new data is collected and reviewed.

First Steps Early Intervention National Speaker Webinar: Cultural and Linguistic Competence for Home Visitors

December 12, 2019

As part of our work with the Indiana First Steps Program, the Early Childhood Center is hosting a series of webinars in 2019, 2020. Sally Reed Crawford from ECC will host the first two webinars featuring Wendy A. Jones, M.Ed., a bilingual early childhood special educator and social worker. Ms. Jones has been faculty at Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development for more than two decades, and has worked with the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) since its inception. Ms. Jones has also worked as home visitor for parents with limited English proficiency and with teen parents, and as a parent educator for parents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Ms. Jones will present on the topic of Cultural and Linguistic Competence for Home Visitors. Part 1 will be on November 13, at noon: What Every Home Visitor Needs to Know; and Part 2 will be presented on December 20, at noon: Essential Skills for Home Visitors. The links to join both webinars is: URL:

ECC Staff Present at ICC

November 19, 2019

ECC staff facilitated a subcommittee presentation and discussion at the November 13th First Steps Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) meeting. The state is considering adoption of an evidence-based early intervention model. Over the last few months, Research Associates Janet Ballard, Katie Herron and Sally Reed Crawford have researched the efficacy and usability of three evidence-based early intervention models. They spoke with Part C Directors in other states who have adopted the models. At the meeting, Ballard, Herron and ICC subcommittee chair Jessica Tomasino presented the findings and facilitated a discussion. The subcommittee will work with ECC staff over the next few months to compile a January presentation to the full ICC. The ICC will then use the information provided to make recommendations to the state regarding a model for adoption.

Herron Presents on Fostering High Expectations

November 19, 2019

ECC Research Associate Katie Herron presented at the 2019 Indiana Conference on Disability in Indianapolis. Herron's presentation was titled Working with Families of Young Children with Disabilities to Foster High Expectations: What Does the Research Say and What Should We Do? This presentation focused on introducing the concept of high family expectations and making the argument that developing and supporting high expectations needs to happen early and extend across the life course. Specific strategies were shared regarding how to do this in early intervention and preschool.

Promoting Positive Outcomes: Early Childhood Special Education Conference

Save the Date!

November 9-10, 2020

Monroe County Convention Center, Bloomington, IN

Indiana University, Purdue University, and the Indiana Department of Education are partnering to offer two days of professional development. Four tracks will be available to conference attendees: Social Emotional, Language, Literacy, Transition, Inclusion, Family Engagement, and Supporting Children from Diverse Backgrounds. Dr. Rose Marie Allen, president of the Institute for Racial Equity, Excellence and Dr. Laura Justice, executive director of the Sophie Rogers School for Early Learning at The Ohio State University will be keynote speakers for the conference.

Crawford Presents at Family Voices Conference

October 17, 2019

Early Childhood Center's, Sally Reed Crawford, presented at the 2019 Family Voices Conference, Heart to Heart. Reed Crawford's presentation title, Our Child's Education: Creating Universally Supportive Environments, provided an overview of the three essential features of inclusion: Access, Participation, and Supports. The presentation included examples of the following strategies that illustrate how these features are implemented in an educational setting: Universal Design for Learning, Individualized Instructional Supports, Intentional and Supported Interactions between Peers with and without Disabilities, Family Involvement, Team Collaboration, and Social Skills Outcomes, and Administrative Supports; In addition, the audience shared their own experiences of how those strategies have been implemented for their children.