Elevating Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Communications

(Published July 2015) | Useful to Parent Centers in SSIP work and in promoting effective communication for stakeholder engagement.

To date, 39 states have implemented quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) to rate and improve child care and early education programs for children birth to age five. The success of a state QRIS depends on effective outreach and engagement with a range of stakeholders.

This report, Elevating Quality Rating and Improvement System Communications: How to Improve Outreach to and Engagement with Providers, Parents, Policymakers, and the Public, provides examples of what some states are doing to market their QRIS and provides recommendations for other states. Its purpose is to provide a QRIS communications framework and examples that can be used to support and improve communications with providers, parents, partners, policymakers, and the public.

Find the report here:

Supporting Parent Engagement in Linguistically Diverse Families to Promote Young Children’s Learning: Implications for Early Care and Education Policy

(Published July 2015) | Useful for Parent Centers in advocating for parent engagement strategies that are appropriate for linguistically diverse families with young children. 

There is wide agreement that early care and education programs should support parent engagement linked to early learning for all families, including families from diverse language and cultural backgrounds. This brief highlights research that can inform policies to expand the capacity of early care and education programs to promote parent engagement in linguistically diverse families with young children. Policy initiatives that could strengthen the capacity of early care and education programs to support parent engagement in these families include:

  • establishing program requirements and quality standards that specifically address the needs and interests of families whose home language is not English;
  • providing educational opportunities to individuals who can increase the linguistic diversity and cultural competency of the early care and education workforce;
  • providing resources to support programs’ use of parent engagement practices and activities that are most promising for linguistically diverse families; and
  • using data to understand the participation of linguistically diverse families in parent engagement activities and inform efforts to strengthen programs’ capacity to engage diverse families. (Author abstract)

Find the brief here:

Assessment of Preschool Early Literacy Skills: Linking Children’s Educational Needs with Empirically Supported Instructional Activities

(Published September 2012) | Useful to Parent Centers in working with families of young children with disabilities and in addressing the “Early Learning” priority.

This resource explores how early childhood assessment informs instruction and intervention, highlighting screening, diagnostic, and progress monitoring assessments. The authors, experts in the field of early childhood education and assessment, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each type of assessment. An appendix provides psychometric information on various diagnostic assessments of oral language, phonological processing, and print knowledge.

Find the resource here:

Parent Engagement from Preschool through Grade 3: A Guide for Policymakers

(Published September 2013) | Useful to Parent Centers in advocating for effective parent engagement policies at the state and local levels.

This guide provides a discussion of research, policy, and practice regarding the role of parental involvement in children’s early education and schooling.  In addition to overviews of several promising initiatives from across the country, this report from the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) outlines:

  • key findings and summaries of research regarding the impact of parental behavior on a child’s learning and achievement, evaluation of interventions, and factors affecting parental involvement;
  • models designed for culturally diverse, low-income families; and
  • opportunities for states to advance parent engagement polices and practices.

Find the report here:

The Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework 2015

(June 2015) | Useful to Parent Centers in helping families understand the developmental expectations for children birth through age 5 and in supporting parental involvement with and advocacy for their young child. Also useful in staff training and professional development with respect to early learning and developmentally appropriate practices.

In June 2015, the Office of Head Start released the newly revised Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five. This new Framework replaces the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework issued in 2010. It provides Head Start and other early childhood programs with a description of the developmental building blocks that are most important for a child’s school and long-term success. As in prior versions, the new Framework outlines the essential areas of development and learning that are to be used by Head Start programs to establish school readiness goals for their children, monitor children’s progress, align curricula, and conduct program planning.

The new Framework is grounded in a comprehensive body of research regarding what infants, toddlers, and preschoolers should know and be able to do. It is intended to assist programs in their efforts to create and impart stimulating and foundational learning experiences for all young children and prepare them to be ready for school.

Getting Started with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework

Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework

A Nuts & Bolts Guide: Transition Planning Information and Strategies for Students Considering College

(Published 2011) | Useful to Parent Centers working with youth who are deaf or hard of hearing and interested in going to college; Youth who are deaf or hard of hearing; and Parents and transition specialists of youth who are deaf or hard of hearing.

This publication provides information for students who are deaf or hard of hearing during the transition to postsecondary education, including:

  • developing self-advocacy skills,
  • communication strategies,
  • pre-college timelines,
  • financial aid basics,
  • accessing appropriate accommodations,
  • academic issues,
  • documentation of disability, and
  • other useful topics.

It serves as a companion document to other PEPNet resources

Find the publication here:

A Framework for Coherence: College and Career Readiness Standards, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, and Educator Effectiveness

(February 2015) | Useful to Parent Centers in SSIP work and in advocacy for systems reform.

Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), such as Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavioral Supports (PBIS), are crucial to early identification of learning and behavioral challenges and timely intervention for students at risk for poor learning outcomes. When aligned and coherently implemented with other key education reforms (such as college and career readiness standards and educator effectiveness systems), multi-tiered systems of support have the potential to create lasting and meaningful changes to instruction and to provide support for at-risk learners.

In this Special Issues Brief, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders outlines a framework for coherence that supports states in connecting these three initiatives by capitalizing on their shared goal: improving instructional quality to enhance educational outcomes for students. The framework suggests 3 distinct opportunities to strengthen coherence and alignment across the initiatives:

  • Create a shared focus: College and career readiness standards are an opportunity for state education agencies, educators, and education stakeholders to create a shared focus on instruction that helps all students, including those at risk for poor learning outcomes, to achieve college and career readiness.
  • Create better instructional supports for students: MTSS offers an instructional framework that creates opportunities for students to access college and career readiness instruction through tiers of services and supports that vary in intensity.
  • Create better professional learning supports for teachers: Educator effectiveness systems that provide targeted feedback on standards-based, multi-tiered instruction and create opportunities for professional learning and continuous instructional improvement that drive student growth.

Find the brief here:

A Comprehensive Approach to Transition

(Published April 2014) | Useful to Parent Centers working with youth in transition and involved stakeholders.

Members of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) have produced this paper because they want to help people to work together to support the self-determined transition of youth to adulthood and community life. Self-determination means that people have a say in the important decisions of their own lives. Transition means moving from one place or stage of life to another. For youth, this includes:

  • moving from school to work or more training or education after high school;
  • moving from a family home to community living; or
  • moving from child-oriented health care to adult care.

Youth should be able to expect the support they need from family, community, professionals, and agencies to direct their own transitions. There are four important ideas to think about:

  1. Self-determination, or a student having a say in the important decisions of his/her own life, is at the heart of transition planning.
  2. Everyone should understand the culture of the youth and his/her family when making and carrying out a transition plan.
  3. Everyone involved with the youth needs to work together.
  4. Transition planning should include all the perspectives and organizations that will affect the transitioning student.

Read the paper here:

Achieving Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Information Dissemination Activities

(Published October 2013) | Useful to Parent Centers when developing and disseminating materials

When creating a new publication or posting information, there are several aspects to keep in mind during the development phase to ensure the publication fully takes into consideration cultural and linguistic differences and representations, regardless of the methods by which that publication or piece of information is being produced and disseminated.

The guidelines, developed by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) in 2013, are not intended to be either requirements or a checklist that guarantees a product or piece of information is appropriate to all audiences. Rather, AUCD hopes that this document will serve as a point of reference and stimulate careful consideration for anyone writing or producing information for any audience.

Find the guidelines here:

Nothing about Youth with Disabilities without Youth with Disabilities: A Guide to Legislative Advocacy

Published 2007 | Available in English and SpanishUseful to Parent Centers working with youth with disabilities

The National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth (NCLD/Youth) is a technical assistance center working with youth-led coalitions around the country, working to have disability history and awareness integrated as part of K-12 public education for all students. To date, seven state laws have passed (WV, ID, NC, WA, and FL) with many more to come.

This guide is a result of the work NCLD/Youth has done in preparing youth with disabilities, in those five states and beyond, to be effective legislative advocates and to create policy change on the local, state, and national level. Users of this guide will learn:

  • how to determine a good issue
  • how to create an effective strategy for change;
  • how to decide what type of campaigns is most useful; and,
  • how to build and sustain relationships with people in power, in position to enact the change you want!

English PDF

English Word document

Spanish PDF

Spanish Word document