OEC awarded $750,000 Federal grant to improve outcomes for children with disabilities

Last updated October 20, 2020

The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) has been awarded a $750,000 three-year federal grant to improve services and results for children with disabilities by increasing retention of special education teachers and early intervention personnel. The grant is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), an office that is part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS).

Research has shown that staff satisfaction and retention directly impact family support and family satisfaction. To promote retention of Early Intervention Services (EIS) practitioners, the Birth to Three system will use the grant funds to collect workforce data to track retention over time and make linkages between existing professional development opportunities to create a career path.

“Family and child outcomes are directly tied to a knowledgeable and competent Birth to Three workforce. OEC is committed to supporting everyone working with families in our 19 contracted Early Intervention Service (EIS) programs through aligned professional development opportunities and a clear career pathway,” said OEC Commissioner Beth Bye.

Increased confidence and competence, active engagement, career advancement opportunities to maximize potential, professional recognition, mentorship, and a comprehensive system of professional support are critical components linked with retention of knowledgeable staff.

Workforce data collected will track and analyze staff demographics, employment and turnover, completed competencies/certificates, and career advancement. Data outcomes and trends will inform the need to modify existing educational and advancement opportunities. Professional development opportunities to be connected into one comprehensive system include: Initial Certificate, Service Coordination Certificate, Infant Toddler Family Specialist credential, Family/Mentor Coaching, and ECI Leadership.

For more information, email Maggie Adair or call her at 860-878-8936.