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Strategic Plan

This Strategic Plan represents the steps needed within the State of California to implement the statewide vision of achieving quality inclusive child care for all children.

While much still remains to be accomplished for the statewide vision to becomea reality, this strategic plan provides a road map for organizations, agencies, and individuals committed to inclusive child care.

Outcome 1:  A statewide infrastructure exists to support inclusive child care options.
Indicators Strategies
1. There is an ongoing coordinating body with active representation from key stakeholders that promote the mission of inclusive child care
  • Maintain state level MAP team.
  • Identify subcommittees needed.
  • Hold quarterly meetings.
  • Maintain ongoing communication of information through e-mail, fax, and written correspondence.
2. A funding mechanism is in place that promotes inclusive practices. (See Policies and Regulations Section.)
  • Identify ongoing sources of funding that promote inclusive child care and includes onsite support services and technical assistance.
3. Families can access quality inclusive child care services for their children who have disabilities and other special needs that meet their individual needs.
  • Identify the components of a statewide system that families of children with special needs can easily access.
  • Review the role and function of and explore options within the existing resource and referral system.
  • Identify allocations and resources necessary to provide “one-stop shop” information and access for families.
  • Identify and/or develop written materials for families in a variety of languages identify the characteristics of quality inclusive child care.
  • Disseminate materials to those agencies working with families of children with disabilities, including regional centers, family resource centers, special education, resource & referral agencies, etc., on how to access the various service delivery systems, costs, subsidies available, and eligibility criteria.
  • Identify access to funding sources for families and providers.
  • Identify eligibility criteria, ongoing subsidies, supports, and personnel needs for children with disabilities to maintain services in inclusive placements.

4. Data collection systems are in place to identify:

  • the number of children with special needs served by each funding stream;
  • the need for child care for families with children who have disabilities;
  • the availability of inclusive child care by community;
  • access to funding or subsidies as needed;
  • ongoing issues and barriers for families and providers.
  • Improve cross-agency teaching and training in data collection.
  • Provide guidance to local communities in accessing information.
  • Explore options for collaborative data collection efforts using existing mechanisms by Head Start, regional centers, special education, health departments, and other agencies.
  • Review both quantitative and qualitative data to identify community needs.
  • Prepare and consolidate statewide data collection efforts in guidance to local child care planning councils, Prop. 10 Commissions, other required advisory councils/boards, and resource & referral agencies.
Outcome 2:  Local/regional infrastructures exist to support inclusive child care options.
Indicators Strategies
1. There is an ongoing local or regional coordinating body with active representation from key stakeholders that promote the missions of inclusive child care.
  • Identify characteristics and requirements for local implementation.
  • Provide guidance and direction to local communities to establish structures with representation similar to the State MAP team.
  • Explore options and models of expanding Local Child Care Planning Councils to ensure representation from disability community.
Outcome 3:  Successful models of inclusive child care, intervention, and support systems are identified and promoted.
Indicators Strategies
1. Program administrators, child care and specialized intervention providers have access to model programs for training and replications purposes.
  • Develop standard through which mentoring is a part of technical assistance.
  • Demonstration sites are identified and supported for observation.
  • Examine and promote existing successful models of collaboration.
2. Best practice guidelines are available to support the development of inclusive programs.
  • Develop a program/ administrative manual that includes working models, contact agencies, funding strategies, local resources, and step-by-step guidelines for communities to replicate and adapt.
3. Collaborative practices exist to support inclusive child care.
  • Strengthen existing efforts with Head Start Collaboration Project and other key groups to develop material, share information and resources, and link the Head Start and child care communities.
  • Maintain the issue of inclusive child care on the agendas of stakeholder groups, i.e., CDPAC, ICC.
4. A range of options exists for a family to best meet the educational and child care needs.
  • Promote and provide information on a continuum of service and support options for families.
  • Information and contacts are identified and provided to families, R&Rs and other service providers that includes services, costs, and eligibility criteria.
Outcome 1:  Barriers to inclusive child care are eliminated.
Indicators Strategies
1. Legislation, regulation, and policies exist to create, expand, and promote inclusive child care.
  • Educate legislators, policy makers, professional organizations, and the public at large.
  • Establish linkages with existing public awareness campaigns regarding child care to ensure inclusion of children with special needs (e.g., Early Start, Prop. 10, EESD).
2. Policy, regulations, licensing, and other barriers, inconsistencies, and interpretation differences are clarified.
  • Review all licensing and system implementation policies and regulations to identify specific systems barriers to inclusive child care.
  • Make recommendations for policy and regulatory changes as may be needed.
  • Define and clarify definition and application of “natural environment” in Part C, IDEA.
3. Legislation and policies authorize the delivery of services and supports within child care settings, including incidental health procedures, health, and mental health consultation.
  • Review applicable statutes and regulations to identify barriers to inclusion, including fire, health, licensing, and education departments.
  • Review Title 5 and Title 22 to determine those regulations that prevent or discourage full inclusion of children with disabilities ages birth to eighteen.
  • Develop cross agency collaborative plans among those responsible for oversight and regulation to correct inconsistencies and eliminate barriers.
  • Sponsor, support and/or recommend legislation and policies that eliminate barriers to inclusive care.
  • Identify and promote guidelines for implementation.
4. Consistent, high quality child care is available for children with disabilities to the age of eighteen, or as needed
  • Review policies and regulation that limit the age of a child with disabilities.
  • Identify program models and inclusive service delivery options for children with disabilities over 13 years of age.
  • Review transition policies and practices that limit continuity of child care because of a child’s age.
Outcome 2:   A reimbursement system and funding structure is in place to support children with disabilities and other special needs in child care.
Indicators Strategies
1. CDE/Child Development Division funded programs are accessible to children with disabilities and other special needs.
  • Explore establishment of a waiver system in State Preschool and other EESD-funded programs to allow children with disabilities to participate without regard to income, if no other form of child care is available.
  • Establish new reimbursement structure for EESD-funded programs to bring into equity with Head Start.
  • Provide incentives for providers to take children with special needs, including access to reimbursement factors that support additional services, staff, and other needed supports for children with special needs and their families.
  • Review the existing subsidized reimbursement rate system to determine if funding is sufficient to serve children with disabilities.
  • Explore option of 10% enrollment mandate of children with disabilities, similar to Head Start.
  • Establish and fund a state preschool “search and serve” component to ensure a 10% enrollment of children with special needs.
  • Explore option of building in an additional factor for afternoon care for children in state preschool.
2. Regional Centers have conditional policies and practices statewide that support access to quality child care for families who have children with disabilities.
  • Review, identify inconsistencies, and make recommendations regarding policies and practices in the use, reimbursement, and support for child care.
  • Identify and clarify Regional Center and DDS child care options for children under Part C Services.
3. A funding mechanism is in place that promotes inclusive practices.
  • Identify ongoing sources of funding that allow:
  • Provider/teacher attendance at a child’s individualize family/service education plan (IEP/IFSP) meeting;
  • Provider/family participation in training activities;
  • Provision of on-site support and technical assistance to child care provider.
4. Funding exists to increase access to quality child care for families of children with special needs.
  • Compare actual costs paid for child care by Regional Centers, Local Education Agencies, or families to the regional market rates identified by the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network and other child care reimbursement rates and/or subsidies established by the California Department of Education, Early Education & Support Division.
  • Establish consistent rate policies, practices, and supports for families across systems using multiple sources of funding (Education, Regional Center, Child Care, family fees) based upon family and child need.
  • Identify practices and clarify policies, procedures, and guidelines for accessing and using increased subsidies or other rate adjustments for children with special needs.
  • Explore tiered reimbursement options for providers with specialized training.
5. Roles and partnerships with business in financing child care services along with families and government is expanded.
  • Evaluate the responsibility of parents with children who have special needs in financing inclusion of their children in child care and the full costs to the community-at-large of including children with special needs.
6. Clear, consistent guidelines exist to facilitate family and provider access to information and services for children with special needs.
  • Identify cost barriers, including all available subsidies and reimbursements with clear eligibility criteria for each and a continuum of service options.
  • Explore options for school age child care supports, including review of specialized EESD-funded programs.
AREA III:   CAPACITY BUILDING means increasing the numbers of children who have access to child care as well as the number and skill of providers in meeting the needs of children who have special needs and their families
Outcome 1:   Local communities have the capacity to meet the needs of children with disabilities and other special needs and their families in child care and development programs.
Indicators Strategies
1. A comprehensive, integrated delivery system that supports children with special needs and their families is formalized among providing agencies.
  • Provide technical assistance to local communities to identify key stakeholders, expand and/or utilize existing local child care planning councils, Prop. 10 commissions, and/or other local groups.
  • Develop local linkages and liaisons through written interagency agreements, memoranda of understanding, shared resources and training, etc.
  • Develop service maps and service delivery strategies by county or region to ensure local needs are identified, documented and addressed.
  • Improve private child care access to support systems including early intervention and special education through information dissemination and training.
2. Provider capacity, consumer knowledge, and systems coordination are improved.
  • Assist local communities to develop effective strategies to increase public awareness and mobilize resources through outreach and training.
  • Explore funding options for development of local teams that link the expertise of regional centers, special education, and family resource centers with the child care/child development communities.
  • Identify “search and serve” efforts that utilize a community-based approach and disseminate models and materials for replication.
  • Explore options to increase funding to resources and referral agencies to hire specialist staff to offer support to the community through improved tracking and training, and health consultant/specialists available to child care programs and providers.

3. Child care providers understand the early intervention/special education system and early intervention/special education providers understand the child development system.

  • Promote inter– and intra–disciplinary partnerships among all agencies and programs serving children with disabilities and other special needs and their families through outreach, education, and training mechanisms.
  • Identify existing and needed interagency responsibilities, policies, program staffing patterns, and training and technical assistance activities with regard to child care for children who have or are at risk for disabilities.
4. Incentives or reimbursement rates are available to providers to include children with special needs in their programs including family child care homes.
  • See Policies and Regulations section.
Outcome 2:   Family and provider support is enhanced.
Indicators Strategies
1. Parent-to-parent support is available for families with children with special needs in child care programs.
  • Coordinate efforts with parent training, information centers, and other existing programs, networks, agencies, and providers throughout the state.
2. Child care services will be available at a site and time appropriate for the child and his/her family.
  • Ensure that timely and accurate information regarding child care resources is readily available.
  • Increase the number of child care providers trained in caring for children with disabilities.
  • Develop a system and outreach efforts to best secure hard to reach families including migrant families across California.
3. Child care providers and parents are part of the professional team.
  • Explore funding options and program models that enable providers to participate in IEP/IFSP meetings.
  • Guidance and technical assistance are available to specialized service and child care providers in collaborative service delivery for children with special needs in child care programs.
AREA IV:  PERSONNEL DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING includes child care providers and personnel working within specialized service delivery systems.
Outcome 1:  A comprehensive, statewide system of personnel development and training is in place.
Indicators Strategies
1. Training and technical assistance needs of persons working in inclusive settings are assessed regularly.
  • Identify training and technical assistance needs of all personnel working in child care settings including child care providers, early intervention, special education and other specialized service delivery providers including health, mental health, etc.
2. Systems are in place to provide services, consultation, and technical assistance based upon identified needs, including access to on-site support.
  • Expand access to statewide training and technical assistance opportunities.
  • Develop interagency agreements and/or memoranda of understanding among local education, regional centers, and resource & referral agencies for support to providers.
  • Establish clearinghouse to catalogue and disseminate date, information and models.
  • Explore development of “child care consultation” teams of mental health, special education, early intervention specialists to link families and providers with services.
3. Community College early childhood education programs reflect inclusive practices throughout the curriculum, program, and preparation of personnel.
  • Expand local training opportunities for child care providers in working with children with special needs through courses offered at California Community Colleges.
  • Review and revise existing competencies and curriculum in all early childhood education courses to include information regarding meeting the needs of children with disabilities and other special needs.
  • Explore option of requiring supervised field experiences with children with special needs.
  • Identify means to increase opportunities for children with disabilities and other special needs to participate in campus child development programs.
  • Review and revise, as needed, existing training materials and curriculum, and disseminate to community college child development programs.
  • Community College Child Development Advisory Committees include representatives of the disability community, including families, service providers and policy makers
4. Certification systems are reviewed and revised to ensure issues related to children with special needs are included as part of the framework.
  • Key stakeholders, including the Child Development Training Consortium, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Institutions of Higher Education and other interested groups review the requirements for the Child Development Permit and Early Childhood Special Education credential to ensure that holders are competent in serving children with special needs in inclusive settings.
  • Explore option to require units on working with children with special needs and their families, that include current research and relevant laws, in the Child Development Permit Matrix requirement for teacher level and above.
Outcome 2:  Child care providers are competent, knowledgeable and sensitive to individual needs to serve all children in their care, including those with disabilities and other special needs.
Indicators Strategies
1. Base level knowledge of all providers is improved.
  • Review Child Development Personnel Standards.
  • Identify pre- and in-service issues, existing training programs and experts available statewide by using current resource information.
2. School Age child care programs have access to special education and related support services for those eligible children.
  • Develop school age child care training plan andsupport services for children.
  • Improve access to community based programs byensuring provision of adequate support services.