The Kentucky LEADS (Leading, Educating, Advocating-Directors of Special Education) Academy grant from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) focuses on leadership development, recruitment and retention. In partnership with UK’s Human Development Institute, Kentucky’s Part C, Early Intervention Services, Morehead State University, Western Kentucky University, and Murray State University, the Kentucky Parent Training and Information (PTI) center along with regional and National Technical Assistance Centers, the Kentucky LEADS Academy will address three goals: Goal 1(Recruit): Increase the number of persons who attain the state’s initial level of Advanced Educational Leader- Director of Special Education certification to ensure that there is an adequate pipeline of eligible applicants to serve as state, regional, and local special education leaders to promote high expectations and improve early childhood and educational outcomes for children with disabilities and their families, Goal 2 (Retain): Increase and nurture the number of persons whose job description includes supervising, directing, administering, or coordinating special education programs who have attained the state’s highest level of Advanced Educational Leader- Director of Special Education certification, Goal 3 (Increase Capacity): Expand and enhance the existing state network to ensure that state, regional, and local leaders have the knowledge, skills, and access necessary to improve early childhood and educational outcomes for children with disabilities and their families through the systems that serve them.
Contact Dr. Mike Abell at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Dr. Caroline Gooden, Disability Program Administrator at the UK Human Development Institute, will serve as a Co-Investigator for the “Services for Children of All Abilities in Libraries: An Exploration (SCALE) project”. She will collect and analyze state-wide child data to measure child progress; consult with and coach local, state, and national staff that serve young children with disabilities, and conduct focus groups to guide technical assistance.
Dr. Maria Cahill, Associate Professor at UK’s School of Information Sciences in the College of Communication and Information and the Department of Educational Leadership Studies in the College of Education, will serve as Principal Investigator for the project which will research the value of libraries as community resources for young children with disabilities and developmental delays.
The research team will consist of six researchers representing the University of Kentucky, University of Missouri and Emporia State University. They will partner with state education and library agencies in their respective states to investigate the effectiveness of library services, practices, and behaviors for serving children with disabilities and/or developmental delays from infancy to five years old. The team will also develop webinars and instructional materials that address program management, engagement strategies, and tools that enable librarians to tailor programs and services that better meet the needs of this community.
Anticipated outcomes include increased public library programming; improved public library outreach to preschools serving children with disabilities and developmental delays; and increased awareness among families, caregivers, and service providers of educational and social opportunities available through public libraries.
Contact Caroline.Gooden@uky.edu for more information.
The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) with support from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has selected Mary Howard, HDI Research and Development Associate for Early Care and Education, as a Children’s Mental Health Champion. Mary is one of six people selected for this opportunity to serve as a state liaison to the CDC’s Children’s Mental Health program. She will act as community champion change agent to increase awareness activities and improvement of positive parenting practices; develop and test strategies for building partnerships to promote identification, screening, referral, and intervention; and implement effective strategies for mental health promotion, prevention supports, and creation of networks (e.g., school, healthcare, and community) and promote better connections between these systems.
Mary serves as the Director of Child Care Aware of Kentucky and has a network of potential partners who serve children and their families across the Commonwealth.
Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones, HDI’s Executive Director, says “We’ve known Mary as a champion for early childhood for many years. This new role is so important in bridging mental health needs for our little-ist Kentuckians. Having an opportunity for dialogue at a national level will help strengthen families in the Commonwealth.”
In addition to Kentucky, individuals were selected to represent California, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, and Washington D.C. You can learn more about the CDC’s Children’s Mental Health Program at https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/index.html and AUCD at www.aucd.org.
Project Contact: Mary.Howard@uky.edu
HDI is a community that deeply cares about the growth, development, and well-being of all people by ensuring they have resources and supports for high quality of life.
Bethany Davis – Child Care Administrator
How did you come to know HDI?
I learned about HDI after being hired with Child Care Aware.
How long have you been at HDI and what is your role?
4 years as a Child Care Administrator for The Lakes region
During your time at HDI, of which accomplishments are you most proud?
Partnering with community leaders, workforce development, and area businesses to increase awareness of high quality child care in the region.
Do you have any advice for current and future staff and students at HDI?
HDI has a wide reach and many experts of which you can access.
What do you think the future holds for HDI?
Even more research and resources for families across the life span.
The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has awarded the UK Human Development Institute (HDI) the Innovative Community of Practice (CoP) on Parenting, Behavioral Concerns & Strategy grant. HDI will partner with the KY-Statewide Parent Information & Training Network (KY-SPIN) and the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities (CCDD) to utilize Centers for Disease Control (CDC) resources for families with children who have behavioral issues. Kentucky is one of three states to receive this funding that will support early care and education (ECE) providers with evidence-based training and resources to promote quality in the family engagement domain of the statewide ECE quality rating and improvement system.
HDI, KY-SPIN, and CCDD have a long-standing history of providing services and advocacy on behalf of children in the Commonwealth. These partners will work together to develop a state-level CoP to support parents with young children (birth to age 8) who have been identified or are at risk of having behavioral concerns by increasing workforce capacity through training. Joanne Rojas, PhD, Associate Director of Child Care Aware, is the principal investigator for this effort.