News & Events

Herron Presents Research at DEC

October 2021

Katie Herron, Assistant Research Scientist at the Early Childhood Center (ECC), presented at the Division for Early Childhood's 37th Annual International Conference on Young Children with Disabilities and Their Families on September 23rd. Her presentation, titled “Dream Big: What Research Tells Us About High Family Expectations”. Dr. Herron shared existing research as well as preliminary findings from a recently concluded study conducted at the ECC. In addition to sharing research findings, Dr. Herron emphasized the importance of supporting families of young children with disabilities to: identify long-term goals, learn about options/pathways to reach those goals and to build the confidence and capacity to work effectively with systems.

Call for Proposals at First Steps Conference

October 2021

Indiana First Steps is partnering with Indiana University's Early Childhood Center to bring together national and local experts on early intervention. To submit a proposal to present your evidence-based research or innovative ideas at the conference please complete. Submissions will be accepted until January 4, 2022.

Call for Proposals for Early Childhood Conference

September 2021

The Early Childhood Special Education Conference Promoting Positive Outcomes: Shaping a Better Future Through Effective Inclusion, Collaboration, and Transition will be held in person in Bloomington, Indiana on April 19 & 20, 2022. We invite you to submit a proposal for a traditional session or a poster presentation. For more information please visit our conference page!

Join Our Team!

August 2021

We are seeking an individual with experience and expertise in early intervention services to work with a team dedicated to improving early intervention outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. As part of our long standing partnership with Indiana’s First Steps program, this position will help us provide training and ongoing support to First Steps agencies and providers as Indiana adopts home visiting practices that reflect a routines-based family coaching model. Telecommuting may be possible. For more information, please apply in the IU Job Portal. Please contact Michael Conn-Powers at if you have any questions.

Child Impact Project Launch

July 2021

We are excited to share the launch of the Child Impact Project Website: A Roadmap to Quality Special Education Services for Young Children. The Early Childhood Center, part of Indiana University’s Institute on Disability and Community, developed this website in partnership with the Indiana Department of Education’s Office of Special Education.

Technical Assistance for New Inclusive Classrooms

June 2021

The Early Childhood Center is engaged in providing technical assistance to a northern Indiana school district around the vision of creating an effective, fully inclusive preschool program. Using implementation science, we have completed the exploration phase and are currently beginning to plan their initiative with them for the piloting of two classrooms to be put into place this coming school year. For more on technical assistance please contact Sally Reed Crawford at

Ballard Elected Board Member At Large for IN-DEC

June 2021

Janet Ballard has been elected to the IN-DEC board as a member at large. Her term will begin July 1, 2021. She is looking forward to using her 29 years of early childhood experience to promote positive change to the field. The Indiana Division for Early Childhood is a non-profit, promoting policies and advancing evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children (0-8) who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities in Indiana.

ECC Welcomes Christopher Staton

March 2021

Christopher Staton, MA, has 10 plus years of direct service experience in early intervention and early childhood special education as an early childhood special education behavior interventionist, early intervention specialist, and early childhood adjunct professor and professional development grant coordinator. Christopher is a father of three, who in his spare time enjoys outdoors activities and sports.

Stanton holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Hampton University, a Master's degree in Special Education and Human Development from The George Washington University, and a Graduate Professional Certificate in Early Intervention from Georgetown University.

ECC Welcomes Nancy Simmons

March 2021

Nancy Simmons joins the Early Childhood Center at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community as a Research Assistant. She has worked as an occupational therapist with both children and adults, practicing for most of her career with infants and toddlers enrolled in the early intervention system. She recently relocated to Bloomington from the southern Illinois area. Nancy holds a Bachelor's Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern Indiana and a Master's of Health Sciences Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Indianapolis. In her spare time, Nancy enjoys gardening, travel, and planning adventures with her husband and three children

ECC Welcomes Antonieta Barces

March 2021

Antonieta Barces started her career working with adults with disabilities as a medical assistant for two years. Later, she spent 13 years working with young children in the Early Childhood Intervention program in Texas. Barces found her passion working with children and families from diverse backgrounds, assuming different roles as a service coordinator and developmental therapist/early intervention specialist. Moreover, Barces worked extensively conducting assessments to determine eligibility for early intervention services and lead a group of children to support their transition into the preschool program. It has always been her focus to provide services grounded on evidence-based practices.

Barces holds a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine from the University San Martin de Porres in Lima, Peru and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Texas.

ECC Presents at ICASE Conference

February 2021

On February 10, 2021 Michael Conn-Powers, Director of the Early Childhood Center, Sally Reed Crawford, Research Associate, Lynne Hall, Research Associate, and Susan Dixon, Research Associate presented at the Indiana Council of Special Education Administrators (ICASE) conference. The session provided an overview of the Early Childhood Center and the Indiana Department of Education Office of Special Education partnership by highlighting its Preschool Inclusion and Early Literacy projects. Best practices in preschool inclusion and early literacy were outlined and universal and targeted resources developed by ECC and available to support districts in navigating change were showcased (e.g., Least Restrictive Environment Decision Tree, the Online Directory of Preschool Inclusion Models, data dashboards to inform district decision-making).

ECC Welcomes Dr. Lauren Padesky

February 2021

Lauren Breckenridge Padesky is a recent Bloomington transplant, coming to IU from the University of Wyoming. Dr. Padesky holds a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction with a literacy concentration. She researches early literacy professional development, literacy coaching, school equity, and how teachers and children use language to make meaning during classroom literacy events.

Governor's Report

December 2020

The Early Childhood Center provides administrative support for the First Steps Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) where members are appointed by the Governor. Part of the responsibility of this council is to provide an annual report each November to the Governor’s office to highlight what has been happening in Indiana’s early intervention program. This report is also part of the state’s federal annual performance report (APR) that is submitted to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in Washington D.C. each February. Click here to find the highlights of the program.