The Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC) was established in January 2013. Funded by the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, our Center serves as a national, multi-functional resource to address the challenges faced in the Early Childhood (EC) workforce. These include but are not limited to:
- Discrepancies with state adherence to national competencies and standards
- Shortages of personnel
- A lack of training at both the pre-service and in-service levels
- Inequities of preparation and compensation among those providing services
Therefore, the ECPC was designed to provide Knowledge Generation, Technical Assistance (TA) & Dissemination, and/or Leadership & Coordination for states in addressing these concerns and challenges of the EC workforce. Specifically, we operate using evidence-based practices that assist in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) systems for children ages birth to five years old who qualify for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Our mission is to facilitate the development, implementation and evaluation of integrated and comprehensive systems of personnel development (CSPD) for the early childhood workforce serving infants and young children with disabilities eligible for Part C and Part B(619) programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (IDEA).
The purpose of the Early Childhood Personnel TA Center is to support States in developing, implementing and evaluating integrated and comprehensive ECI systems of personnel development so that all infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families receive effective early childhood intervention.
- Infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families make optimal progress when all interventions are delivered consistently with fidelity across early childhood providers from different professional disciplines and settings.
- The early childhood workforce must be provided high quality learning opportunities and materials through coordinated pre-service and in-service programs that focus on the implementation of recommended intervention practices for infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families.
- A common set of evidence-based, measurable, and authentic early childhood intervention (ECI) personnel standards across professional disciplines is a necessary component of effective systems of personnel development for those serving infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families.
- Personnel preparation and professional development agencies that provide training, licensure, and evaluation of the early childhood workforce must have knowledge and skills in evidence-based practices in both early childhood intervention and adult learning.
- A comprehensive system of personnel development for the ECI workforce is a necessary and integral quality indicator of an early childhood service system.
Our Center’s Programs & Framework
Our Center is focused around the awareness that an integrated, comprehensive system of personnel development for the EC workforce in every state - one that is cohesive with the state and national personnel standards, competencies, and recommended practices, will produce the most successful outcomes for children and families with disabilities.
Our Center has four main objectives:
- Serve as a national resource on personnel standards, competencies, and recommended practices (Knowledge Generation)
- Assist states in aligning personnel standards to national professional organization standards for personnel who serve children with disabilities and their families, integrating those standards with standards for EC personnel of all children, and linking those standards to state competencies and certification or licensure requirements (Leadership & Coordination & Technical Assistance programs)
- Assist state agencies and IHEs (Institutes of Higher Education) in partnering to align pre-service and in-service training for personnel serving children with disabilities and their families (Leadership & Coordination & Technical Assistance programs)
- Assist states to integrate EC professional development systems to ensure that IDEA Part C and Part B programs and personnel in each state are included in the state’s professional development initiatives (Technical Assistance)
Our Knowledge Generation component is completed by ECPC staff & faculty renowned in the field of Early Childhood Education. Our Technical Assistance and Leadership & Coordination programs are structured to operate at the state level, being guided by an ECPC trained Leadership and/or Technical Assistance Consultant. These programs require a diverse set of state participants in order to ensure all perspectives are being considered when forming a CSPD.
In the Framework Model below, our program participants are displayed across the bottom, with our three main programs and evaluation across the top. The left hand side of the model portrays the areas in which all three programs are centered. Each participant’s discipline is a key component in working through all focus areas to ensure an integrated, comprehensive system of personnel development is established.
• U.S. Department of Education & OSEP
• UConn UCEDD & Neag School of Education
• ECPC Faculty & Staff
• PBIS, CEC/DEC Association Support
• Advisory Partnership & Support (AUCD, CEC, DEC, NAEYC, Part C & B/619, CBER, PBIS, HECSE, ITCA, NASCSE, NASTEC, CCSSO, DaSy, NAECSSDE, NHSA, NRCP, Consortia, & others)
• External Evaluators
• Knowledge Development
• Technical Assistance & Dissemination
• Leadership & Coordination
• Project Evaluation
• Short Term – knowledge & skills obtained
• Intermediate – implementation and integration of aligned standards & CSPD reported
• Long Term – positive outcomes are reported for children and families with disabilities