The U.S. Department of Education today announced a $3.69 million grant to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to create an Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center to improve services and results for America’s children with disabilities.
The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center will partner with states to provide a framework for high-quality, effective and efficient early childhood and preschool technical assistance and intervention services for young children with disabilities.
“This center will serve as a national resource for information and intervention on helping America’s infants, toddlers and preschool children with disabilities,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “It will improve the infrastructure of state services for these children, as well as helping upgrade local systems and practices.”
Key areas of focus for the center include:
- Providing general, targeted and intensive technical assistance to states to improve their capacity to drive better outcomes for infants, toddlers and children with disabilities; an
- Providing technical assistance on research-based interventions for infants, toddlers and children with disabilities.
The grant is being awarded by the Office of Special Education Programs.
Today’s announcement comes in advance of Secretary Duncan’s participation Thursday, Sept. 20 in a roundtable discussion with local and state early learning stakeholders at Elk Elementary Center in Charleston, W.Va. There, he will be joined by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning Jacqueline Jones and Office of Special Education Programs Director Melody Musgrove to discuss the importance of early learning. The event is being held as part of the “Education Drives America” Bus Tour.