The Early Childhood Center (ECC) has received a grant from the State to monitor the quality of First Steps, Indiana's early intervention system. This project has several components. First, our staff is charged with ensuring program compliance with state and federal requirements. We will promote compliance with these requirements and report data to both the state and federal government. In addition to monitoring and promoting compliance, we will identify and encourage best practice. Although compliance with regulations is important, we would like to shift the quality review process toward a focus on outcomes. What practices result in high quality services for eligible children and families?
We will complete on-site quality review visits with each Cluster System Point of Entry (SPOE) annually. These visits will provide baseline data for the year. These visits will utilize new technology (iPads) and focus on compliance indicators as well as issues of quality (e.g., quality of outcomes written, clinical documentation). As we identify issues and analyze data, we will share our findings with system trainers as well as the State Team to ensure clear and consistent communication.
We will also assist the Cluster SPOEs to write Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs) in which they will detail strategies for improvement in identified areas. We will provide technical assistance as needed and re-visit Cluster SPOEs later in the year to verify that they are in compliance.
In addition to working in collaboration with Cluster SPOEs to monitor the quality of early intervention in Indiana, we also work with provider agencies to gather data and observe procedures.