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New Award for FPG's Early Childhood TA Center

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New Award for FPG's Early Childhood TA Center

September 21, 2022

The UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) will continue to provide high quality technical assistance (TA) to improve services and results for children with disabilities and their families through a new award for the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center. The award, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, U. S. Department of Education, builds on ECTA's current work of supporting programs that serve young children with disabilities, birth to 5 years, and their families.

The purpose of the new award is to increase the capacity of state early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE) coordinators and programs to improve and sustain equitable and effective systems that support young children with disabilities and their families. This will help improve young children with disabilities and their families' access and participation in effective programs and services resulting in positive and equitable outcomes for children and families.
"We are excited to continue FPG's long history of providing effective TA to state EI and ECSE programs, and to take on some new challenges to meet the needs of the field," said Christina Kasprzak, principal investigator on the project.

"There is a growing number of children under the age of 6 years old in the U.S. who need equitable and inclusive early intervention and preschool special education services," said Kasprzak. "While our knowledge of brain science and research has vastly increased in the last few decades, states continue to grapple with implementing equitable state and local systems that support the best possible services for these children and their families. This new funding will allow us to build the capacity of state leaders, support improvement of state and local infrastructure, address barriers to equity and inclusion, and support local implementation of evidence-based practices with fidelity."

Kasprzak, who is also the director of the ECTA Center, has formed a national team of researchers and TA providers to implement this project. Nine nationally renowned entities will be sub-granting with FPG:

  • Children's Equity Project (CEP) at Arizona State University;
  • Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC);
  • National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE);
  • Pacific Institute for Research on Evaluation (PIRE);
  • Parent to Parent of Georgia;
  • SRI International (SRI);
  • University of Denver (UD);
  • University of South Florida (USF); and
  • Walsh Taylor.

"Our team of national partners has unmatched expertise and experience related to building equitable and effective state and local capacity to implement quality programs for infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families," said FPG's Megan Vinh, co-principal investigator. "We have a team that understands EI and ECSE systems and evidence-based practices, appreciates the current context and barriers that state and local leaders face, has established relationships with state partners, and is skilled in providing effective TA."

Kasprzak and Vinh have a team of highly experienced and capable national experts that will collaborate to lead the Center, including: FPG's Schatzi McCarthy, Katy McCullough, Thomas McGhee, Catasha Williams, and Sherri Britt-Williams as well as USF's Lise Fox, SRI's Kathleen Hebbeler, and UD's Alissa Rausch.

The $27 million dollar project is for five years and begins October 2022.

Visit the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center website to learn more about the incredible work they do.