Preschool Preschool Preschool EC Title 1 Head Start Foundations Support Literacy Resources The Department of Public Instruction’s Preschool Exceptional Children’s Program promotes the development and successful participation of North Carolina’s preschool-age children with special needs in a broad range of activities and contexts, including their homes, early learning programs, and communities. In order to accomplish this goal, the Preschool Exceptional Children’s Program must maintain strong collaborations with a variety of partners. First, cross- division collaboration with the Exceptional Children Program is essential to ensure that all services are compliant, reliable and responsive to family and child needs. The preschool program also plays a part in the Exceptional Children State Systemic Improvement Plan. Second, the program is situated within the Office of Early Learning to facilitate strong collaborations with other early childhood programs operated by the Department (Title I Preschool and Head Start) in order to facilitate inclusive opportunities for preschoolers with disabilities. Finally, collaborations outside the Department include two divisions within the Department of Health and Human Services (Division of Child Development and Early Education for the NC Pre-K program and the Division of Public Health for the Infant Toddler Program) and the North Carolina Partnership for Children. All professional development and technical assistance information can be found at the Early Learning Network website. EC Preschool Coordinators can access resources on Early Childhood Discipline, Early Childhood Enrollment, Hearing/Vision Screening, Early Childhood Least Restrictive Environment, and Early Childhood Transitions on the Early Learning Network EC Coordinator Resource page. For more information: Visit our Google Site Information for Families Information for Healthcare Professionals If you are concerned about your child’s development, you can access some helpful resources to see what children should be doing at various ages during normal development. The CDC's webpage, Learn the Signs. Act Early., provides a wealth of information on child development from birth to 5 years. Your child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. There is even an app you can download to help you track your child’s development and act early if you have a concern. The North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development provides in-depth explanation of child development from birth through 60 months of age and is considered to be NC’s early learning standards. Birth To Five: Watch Me Thrive! is a coordinated federal effort to encourage healthy child development, universal developmental and behavioral screening for children, and support for the families and providers who care for them. The CDC has some great information available to learn about what the differences are between Developmental Monitoring, a Developmental Screening, and a Developmental Evaluation. This website also explains why these are important. Each local school system has an Exceptional Children’s Program that is responsible for conducting screening and evaluations for children starting at age 3. If you are concerned about your child’s development, including speech, please contact your local Exceptional Children’s Coordinator to gain assistance. The name and contact information for each local Exceptional Children’s Coordinator can be found here. Learn more about the referral process. Already receiving services? If your child is currently receiving services through the NC Infant-Toddler Program and will turn three in the near future, you may want to access these resources at the following website: North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program Parent Handbook – (English) North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program Parent Handbook – (Spanish) Guiding Practices in Early Childhood Transition – Outlines activities, timelines, and recommended practices to facilitate a child's transition from the Infant-Toddler Program (Part C) to the Preschool Program (Part B). If you are a health care professional and want to know how to contact your local Preschool Exceptional Program to notify them of a child with a potential disability, please refer to the following contact list. If you wish to notify the program, please use the form listed here: Physician Notification to Exceptional Children Preschool Program, Form to be completed by physician and sent to the Exceptional Children Preschool Program Please provide a signed two-way release of information form with the notification form so that the Preschool Program can send you the follow-up to your notification. Medical Home Feedback Form,- Template for providing feedback to referring provider/agency at completion of child's assessment If you wish to understand the process that the Exceptional Children’s Program must follow upon receiving your notification to them, please read: Referral Flow Chart Physician to Preschool Program - Summarizes physician to preschool notification process for children age 3 through 5 Notification Flow Chart Legend and Notes,- Explains initial evaluation process for children ages 3 through 21 as well as action steps for children age through 5 What are Title I Preschool Programs? Title I preschool programs are designed to improve cognitive, health and social-emotional outcomes for eligible children below the grade at which an LEA (Local Education Agency) provides a free public elementary education. Children enrolled are provided with opportunities to prepare them with the prerequisite skills and dispositions for learning that will enable them to benefit from later school experiences. Although Title I allows preschool programs to serve children from birth up to age five, most North Carolina Title I preschools serve four-year-olds. Children must be age eligible by August 31 of the new school year. No child who is age eligible (5 years old on or before August 31 of the new school year) for kindergarten may be enrolled. Title I preschool programs usually follow the school calendar and school day, and are staffed with both a licensed teacher and qualified teacher assistant. Curricula used in Title I preschools must be comprehensive, research-based, and aligned with North Carolina's early learning standards. The learning experiences offered in a Title I preschool promote growth in all developmental domains. Children’s progress is monitored by teachers in an ongoing manner. This process of formative assessment includes multiple means such as observing, collecting work samples, and talking with families, which provides a picture of the whole child. Teachers use this data to guide teaching and learning in order to meet the individual needs of every child. Family engagement is an integral component of all Title I preschool programs. Communication between home and school strengthens the family's knowledge and understanding of their child's development and allows parents and teachers to work together to plan appropriate learning experiences. Teachers use a variety of methods to involve parents in the education of their child, including home visits, conferences, and written/electronic communication. Eligibility Children living within the local program's designated attendance area are eligible to apply for enrollment in the Title I preschool program. Selection is based on academic need. To identify those with the greatest need, local programs design a selection process that utilizes multiple criteria, such as parent interviews, teacher observations, and developmentally appropriate measures of child development (developmentally appropriate measures of child development – the most commonly used in NC are the Brigance Early Childhood Screen or DIAL- Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning). Family income may also be used to determine eligibility, but not as the sole determinant. Guidance/Regulations Monitoring ESSA - Early Learning in the Every Student Succeeds Act Recommendations for Early Learning Additions to CCIP Title I Pre-K NC Standards and Procedures Head Start Performance Standards - Performance Standards Applicable to Title I Preschool Programs Department of Education Letter-Dual Eligibility for Title I and More at Four Children Cross Program Monitoring Title 1 Preschool Student Trace Title 1 Pre-K Monitoring Checklist Head Start is the federally funded, comprehensive preschool program designed to meet the emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs of children aged 3 to 5 and their families. Head Start helps develop social competencies in children and promotes self-sufficiency through a comprehensive family-focused approach. The Early Head Start program – established in 1994 – is the companion program created to address the same needs of children birth to age 3, expectant mothers, and their families. NC Head Start-State Collaborative The Office of Early Learning houses the NC Head Start-State Collaboration Office (NC HSSCO) through a federal grant from the Office of Head Start, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Head Start recognizes that the States play an important role in the formulation and implementation of policies and initiatives that affect low income children and their families. As such, the NC Head Start-State Collaboration Office and its connection to education in the State is viewed as vital to such policy development and application. Use the Head Start Center Locator to find a center near you. Six Federal Priorities for Head Start-State Collaboration Offices Since 1990, the Office of Head Start has supported collaboration through grants to States to create greater visibility of Head Start at the State level, leading to the development of multi-agency and public/private partnerships that enhance early childhood services for low-income and other at-risk children and families. Head Start-State Collaboration Offices pursue six federal priorities that focus on coordinating Head Start services with other State and local initiatives including: Partner with state child care systems emphasizing the Early Head Start – Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnership Initiatives Work with state efforts to collect data regarding early childhood programs and child outcomes Support the expansion and access of high quality, workforce, and career development opportunities for staff Collaboration with State Quality Rating Improvement Systems (QRIS) Work with state school systems to ensure continuity between Head Start and Kindergarten Entrance Assessment (KEA) Any additional regional priorities such as health services, disability services, and children and families experiencing homelessness. Overview and Unpacking Guides Overview NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development describes goals for all children’s development and learning, no matter what program they may be served in, what language they speak, what disabilities they may have, or what family circumstances they are growing up in. The document provides age-appropriate goals and developmental indicators for each age level - infant, toddler, and preschooler. Foundations is also intended to be a guide for teaching – not a curriculum or checklist that is used to assess children’s development and learning, but a resource to define the skills and abilities we want to support in the learning experiences we provide for children. Foundations outlines the standards for children from birth through age 5. The K-12 Standards webpage has information regarding North Carolina's Standard Course of Study for older students. Supporting Documents and Unpacking Guides for the NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development The North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five are an expansion of the North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development (2013). Learning progressions were developed for each identified goal in four developmental domains, and show the steps through which children develop skills from birth to five years. Unpacking Guides In the Classroom: Foundations Unpacking Guides can be accessed below. The purpose of the unpacking guides is to provide support for teachers, coaches, and administrators. Resources include clarification of developmental indicators, support for CORE instruction, and support for formative assessment practices. Learn more about the unpacking guides by viewing this recorded webinar. The transcript can be accessed here. The slides are linked here. Developmental Domain Links to Unpacking Guides APL- Approaches to Learning Curiosity, Information-Seeking, and Eagerness (Goals 1-2) Play and Imagination (Goals 3-4) Risk-Taking, Problem-Solving, and Flexibility (Goal 5-6) Attentiveness, Effort, and Persistence (Goal 7-9) ESD- Emotional Social Development Developing Sense of Self (Goals 1-2) Developing a Sense of Self with Others (Goals 3-5) Learning About Feelings (Goals 6-7) HPD- Health and Physical Development Physical Health and Growth (Goals 1-3) Motor Development (Goals 4-5) Self-Care (Goals 6-7) Safety Awareness (Goal 8) LDC- Language Development and Communication Learning to Communicate (Goals 1-7) Foundations for Reading (Goals 8-12) Foundations for Writing (Goals 13-15) CD- Cognitive Development Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning (Goals 1-3) Creative Expression (Goals 4-5) Social Connections (Goals 6-9) Mathematical Thinking and Expression (Goals 10-13) Scientific Exploration and Knowledge (Goals 14-15) As Paulson and Moats (2018) state, "Early literacy is not about learning to read in preschool; it is about building the important foundations needed for a smooth transition into early reading and writing in the primary grades" (p.1). Resource Description NC Pre-K Crosswalk Document The crosswalk shows alignment among skilled reading strands from Scarburough’s Rope, NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development, Teaching Strategies GOLD® objectives and dimensions, and Kindergarten standards that are supported with early literacy instruction. PlaytoRead: Activities for Literacy Development in the Pre-K Classroom This resource is intended to support teachers as they intentionally support children’s development of literacy concepts and skills that are aligned to the Science of Reading. Similar activities should occur throughout the learning environment, providing multiple opportunities for children to authentically practice literacy skills. PlaytoRead: Activities for Literacy Development with a Caregiver This resource is intended to support caregivers as they support literacy development while engaging with young children. Teachers are encouraged to share the resource with caregivers and then highlight particular activities as the skills align to classroom activities. Teachers are invited to create more activities based on needs/interests in their classroom. Read Aloud Support for Pre-K Intentional planning for read alouds is essential. Templates and completed examples below demonstrate how each reading of a book focuses on specific literacy skills. In-Depth Interactive Read Aloud Guide (template) Read Aloud Example (Fiction) Read Aloud Example (Nonfiction) Abbreviated Interactive Read Aloud Guide and Planner (template) In the Classroom: Foundations Unpacking Guides for Language Development and Communication This resource unpacks NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development indicators for Language Development and Communication. Unpacking Guides are available for three subdomains: Learning to Communicate, Foundations for Reading, and Foundations for Writing. Early Childhood Education and the Science of Reading: Recipes to Last a Lifetime This blog post by Lucy Hart Paulson, author of LETRS for Early Childhood Educators, describes recipes for learning to read, oral language development, optimal learning, and learning through play. Do you have a child getting ready to attend Kindergarten? Check out our "Let's Get Ready" guide and accompanying resources on the Early Learning Info for Families page.