Four children using magnifying glass to examine objectsAssociations, organizations promoting knowledge, information and best practices, research based organizations and newsletters on topics related to early education, child care and disability topics for children birth to age 21 are found here.

2018 California Children’s Report Card

This report from Children Now uses statistics to evaluate how children fare in California in the areas of education, health and child welfare. As the 2018 California Children’s Report Card shows, the vast majority of our state’s children face extraordinary challenges to reaching their full potential. Yet, the success of California’s economy and civil society ultimately depends on policies that tear down these barriers and give all kids access to the quality support they need to succeed- from quality, affordable child care to a rigorous education to health coverage to safety. Public policy change is the fastest and most efficient way to scale innovative, high-impact programs, and secure the needed resources and reforms.

A Day Without Child Care

This 10 minute video produced by the Humboldt County Local Child Care Planning Council uses a humorous approach to show the impact of budget cuts to child care on the entire community.

Alliance for Early Success

The Alliance for Early Success (formerly the Birth to Five Policy Alliance) is a catalyst for putting vulnerable young children on a path to success. As an alliance of state, national, and funding partners, our goal is to advance state policies that lead to improved health, learning, and economic outcomes for young children, starting at birth and continuing through age eight.

  • Multimedia: Waves for Change (in Early Childhood)
    The Alliance for Early Success is a catalyst for bringing state, national, and funding partners together to improve state policies for children, starting at birth and continuing through age eight.

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

AAPD is the largest national nonprofit cross-disability member organization in the United States, dedicated to ensuring economic self-sufficiency and political empowerment for the more than 56 million Americans with disabilities. AAPD works in coalition with other disability organizations for the full implementation and enforcement of disability nondiscrimination laws, particularly the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (formerly the American Association of University Affiliated Programs for Persons with Developmental Disabilities) is a nonprofit organization that promotes and supports the national network of university centers on disabilities, which includes University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD), Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Programs, and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (DDRC).

There are currently two UCEDDs in California: Tarjan Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of California, Los Angeles Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, Los Angeles, and the USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Childrens Hospital, Los Angeles.

  • Tuesday’s with Liz: Sara Luterman
    Published on Mar 14, 2016 This week Liz Weintraub, AUCD’s advocacy specialist and host of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All, interviews Sara Luterman, AUCD program assistant, on how to include people with autism in the workforce.
  • AUCD Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit
    The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (administered by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities or AIDD), the Division of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Workforce Development Strategic Plan for 2012-2020, and the 2015-2016 Strategic Map for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) all address elements of diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural competence. This Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit provides concrete objectives, strategies, and resources to help these audiences realize their goals in this area. It also provides a foundation for future efforts, including developing a blueprint for AUCD’s network to collectively make progress in diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence.

Build Initiative

Helping States Help Children Thrive. The BUILD Initiative works with early childhood leaders within states and nationally to better prepare young children to thrive and succeed. We support state leaders from both the private and public sectors as they work to set policy, offer services and advocate for children from birth to age five.

Specifically, the BUILD Initiative helps state leaders develop an early childhood system – programs, services and policies tailored to the needs of the state’s unique young child population. This work focuses on connecting programs and services that may have functioned in isolation, been redundant, lacked resources to meet critical needs and/or operated at cross-purposes.

California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAEYC)

The purpose of CAEYC is to serve and act on behalf of the needs and rights of young children with primary focus on the provision of educational services and resources to adults who work with and for children from birth through age eight.

California Childcare Resource and Referral Network

The Network is proud to be celebrating our 30th year helping all families in California to have access to information that enables them to make the best child care choices from an array of high quality, affordable options.

Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University

Early childhood is a time of both great promise and considerable risk. Assuring the availability of responsive relationships, growth promoting experiences, and healthy environments for all young children helps build sturdy brain architecture and the foundations of resilience.

  • Select link to show Center on the Developing Child Resources


    • Brain Hero
      In 2009, the Center launched a collaboration with the Interactive Media Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California to develop and test new ways of communicating the science of early childhood development using interactive media. The “Brain Hero” video, depicting how actions by a range of people in the family and community impact child development, is the first product of this collaboration. This 3-minute video adapts the visual sensibility of interactive game models to a video format.
    • Interactive Features: Key Concepts in the science of early childhood development made simple
      These Web-based interactive features describe and explain key concepts in the science of early childhood development and early childhood program evaluation research. Using an easy-to-follow slideshow format, these features illustrate core scientific concepts as how early experiences shape brain architecture, the importance of early childhood to the learning, behavior, and health of later life, as well as the relevance of program evaluation research to policy decisions.

    Social-Emotional & Behavior

    • Training Module: Talk with Me Baby
      Learn how to empower and support families so that they can engage in meaningful conversations with their young children and advance their language and lifelong learning. The eight-session “Talk With Me Baby” course, which includes multimedia content from the Center on the Developing Child, is open to the public and available through Cox Campus and Read Right from the Start, a program of the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy.
    • 5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve and Return
      Child-adult relationships that are responsive and attentive—with lots of back and forth interactions—build a strong foundation in a child’s brain for all future learning and development. This is called “serve and return,” and it takes two to play! Follow these 5 steps to practice serve and return with your child.
    • 8 Things to Remember About Child Development
    • The Spectrum of Neglect: Four Types of Unresponsive Care
      Using science as a guide, this interactive chart delineates four types of diminished responsiveness and their consequences in order to provide a useful framework for developing more effective strategies to protect vulnerable children from this complex challenge. The four short video clips below, each under a minute in length, are excerpts from the 6-minute video InBrief: The Science of Neglect. The chart is based on a graphic from The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain, a Working Paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

      • Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence
        Executive function and self-regulation (EF/SR) skills provide critical supports for learning and development, and while we aren’t born with these skills, we are born with the potential to develop them through interactions and practice. A new 16-page guide describes a variety of activities and games that represent age-appropriate ways for adults to support and strengthen various components of EF/SR in children. Each chapter of this guide contains activities suitable for a different age group, from infants to teenagers. The guide may be read in its entirety (which includes the introduction and references) or in discrete sections geared to specific age groups.
      • Downloadable resources including 8 Working Papers
      • Tipping the Scales: The Resilience Game Have fun while testing your knowledge of the most effective ways that communities can build resilience in children.
      • Building Core Capabilities for Life (PDF)
        This report combines research from the biological and behavioral sciences with practical, on-the-ground knowledge from working with adults and families to provide effective solutions for helping individuals develop more effective skills for coping with adversity.

Child Care & Early Education Research Connections

Child Care and Early Education Research Connections, a free comprehensive collection of online resources, promotes high-quality research in child care and early education. Launched in 2004, Research Connections is a partnership of the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan, and is funded by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Preschool Inclusion: Key Findings from Research and Implications for Policy (April 2016), highlights research on preschool inclusion relevant to the following three questions:
    1. What are the effects of inclusive preschool on children’s early learning and development?
    2. What is known about the quality of inclusive preschool programs?
    3. What is known about how to improve the quality of inclusive preschool?

Child Trends

Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center that provides valuable information and insights on the well-being of children and youth. For more than 35 years, policymakers, funders, educators and service providers in the U.S. and around the world have relied on our data and analyses to improve policies and programs serving children and youth. Our team of experts brings together a range of educational, work, policy and cultural experiences to provide cutting-edge research on issues affecting children from birth to early adulthood. Our work is supported by foundations; federal, state and local government agencies; and by nonprofit organizations. – See more at:

Children’s Collabrium

The Children’s Collabrium, formerly the Child Development Policy Institute Education Fund,works to transform research and information on early learning and development into sound policy and excellent practice. The organization sponsors child care policy institutes and workshops on Preschool for All.

CLASP’s Child Care and Early Education

CLASP’s Child Care and Early Education work is dedicated to promoting policies that support both child development and the needs of low-income working parents. CLASP conducts policy analysis, research, and technical assistance to expand access to and resources for highquality, comprehensive child care and early education; build effective child care and early education systems including child care, Head, pre- and other early education initiatives; and ensure these systems can be responsive to the developmental needs of all children, in particular infants and and children in immigrant families. CLASP’s child care and early education work highlights state-by-state data where available.

Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities

The consortium is a coalition of approximately 100 national disability organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, advocates for individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.

Disability Scoop

Disability Scoop is an on-line resource that provides reliable, recent and relevant information concerning individuals with disabilities. Topics covered include disability policy, heath, lifestyles, funding and education.

Division for Early Childhood (DEC)

The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) is an organization designed for individuals who work with—or on behalf of—children with special needs, birth through age eight, and their families. DEC, a subdivision of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), is dedicated to promoting policies and practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of children. Children with special needs include those who have disabilities or developmental delays, are gifted/talented, or are at risk of future developmental problems.

Evaluating California’s System for Serving Infants and Toddlers with Special Needs

Published: Jan 4, 2018 | Legislative Analyst’s Office
In 2015 16, California provided early intervention services to about 41,000 infants and toddlers with special needs. These infants and toddlers either have a disability (such as a visual or hearing impairment) or a significant developmental delay (such as not beginning to speak or walk when expected). California’s early intervention system consists of three programs administered by two types of local agencies-schools and regional centers for persons with developmental disabilities. This report provides the first comprehensive analysis of this system since it was established in 1993. The report has three main sections. We first provide background on California’s early intervention system, then assess this system, and conclude by recommending several ways to improve the system.

Evaluating California’s System for Serving Infants and Toddlers With Special Needs by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office

Published: Jan 2018
In 2015-16, California provided early intervention services to about 41,000 infants and toddlers with special needs. These infants and toddlers either have a disability (such as a visual or hearing impairment) or a significant developmental delay (such as not beginning to speak or walk when expected). California’s early intervention system consists of three programs administered by two types of local agencies-schools and regional centers for persons with developmental disabilities. This report provides the first comprehensive analysis of this system since it was established in 1993. The report has three main sections. We first provide background on California’s early intervention system, then assess this system, and conclude by recommending several ways to improve the system.

For Our Babies

For Our Babies is a national movement promoting healthy development in U.S. children from conception to age 3. They advocate for the types of environments, experiences, and relationships that infants and toddlers need in order to thrive. Visit the website to see how you can get involved.

Future of Children

The Future of Children is a collaboration of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. The mission of the Future of Children is to translate the best social science research about children and youth into information that is useful to policymakers, practitioners, grant-makers, advocates, the media, and students of public policy.  The project publishes two journals and policy briefs each year, and provides various short summaries of our work. Topics range widely – from income policy to family issues to education and health – with children’s policy as the unifying element. The senior editorial team is diverse, representing two institutions and multiple disciplines. 

  • Starting Early: Education from Prekindergarten to Third Grade Journal Vol 26 Number 2 | Fall 2016
    The latest issue of the journal, conveniently available for free download at the link above, addresses the importance issues around education for children from pre-kindergarten to third grade. You may be interested in the entire journal. Two of the eleven articles that specifically address special needs are:

    • Supporting Young Children with Disabilities by Kathleen Hebbeler and Donna Spiker
    • Supporting Young English Learners in the United States by Lisa Barrow and Lisa Markman-Pithers

Harvard Family Research Project

The Harvard Family Research Project has helped stakeholders develop and evaluate strategies to promote the well being of children, youth, families, and their communities. They work primarily within three areas that support children’s learning and development—early childhood education, out-of-school time programming, and family and community support in education. Underpinning all of their work is a commitment to evaluation for strategic decision making, learning, and accountability. Below are some useful publications and links to areas on the Harvard Family Research Project that are directly related to family engagement.

IDEA Infant Toddlers Coordinators Association

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association is organized as a not-for-profit corporation to promote mutual assistance, cooperation, and exchange of information and ideas in the administration of Part C and to provide support to state and territory Part C coordinators. They provide an online link to the resources that are helping to improve the lives of infants and toddlers with special needs.

IDEA: Building the Legacy of IDEA 2004

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.

Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.

Indispensable Policies & Practices for High-Quality Pre-K (PDF)

This September 2017 report examines recent research and studies regarding preschool programs and quality standards, and summarizes those policies and practices essential for sustaining high-quality pre-K education. There are six core themes covered in the report: Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment, Family Engagement, Funding, P-3 Alignment, Program Improvement and Workforce Support.

Infant Development Association of California (IDA)

P.O. Box 189550
Sacramento, CA 95818-9550
Telephone: 916-453-8801
Fax: 916-453-0627

The Infant Development Association of California (IDA) is a multidisciplinary organization of parents and professionals committed to optimal developmental and positive social and emotional outcomes for infants, birth to three, with a broad range of special needs and their families. IDA advocates improved, effective prevention and early intervention services while providing information, education, and training to parents, professionals, decision makers, and others.

National Academies for Science, Engineering and Medicine

  • Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation
    The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC) were commissioned to explore the implications of the science of child development for the professionals who work with children birth through age 8. In the resulting report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation, the committee finds that much is known about what professionals who pro¬vide care and education for children need to know and be able to do and what professional learning supports they need. However, that knowledge is not fully reflected in the current capacities and practices of the workforce, the settings in which they work, the policies and infrastructure that set qualifications and provide professional learning, and the government and other funders who support and oversee these systems. The report offers recommendations to build a workforce that is unified by the foundation of the science of child development and early learning and the shared knowledge and competencies that are needed to provide consistent, high-quality support for the development and early learning of children from birth through age 8.
  • Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8
    Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8 reviews research on parenting practices and identifies effective practices. The report, sponsored by a collaborative of federal agencies and highly respected private foundations, also recommends ways agencies and others can support interventions that help more parents learn about effective parenting practices.
    This 386 page publication is free to download in its entirety or by chapter. You may be interested in Chapter 5, Targeted Interventions Supporting Parents of Children with Special Needs, Parents Facing Special Adversities and Parents Involved with Child Welfare Services.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

1313 L Street NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: 202-232-8777 or 800-424-2460
Fax: 202-328-1846

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the nation’s largest organization of early childhood professionals and others dedicated to improving the quality of early childhood education programs for children birth through age eight. NAEYC’s primary goals are to improve professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education and to build public understanding and support for high-quality early childhood programs.

National Head Start Association (NHSA)

The National Head Start Association is a private not-for-profit membership organization dedicated exclusively to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families. It represents more than 1 million children, 200,000 staff and 2,700 Head Start programs in the United States. The Association provides support for the entire Head Start community by advocating for policies that strengthen services to Head Start children and their families; by providing extensive training and professional development to Head Start staff; and by developing and disseminating research, information, and resources that enrich Head Start program delivery.

National Public Radio (NPR): Why Preschool Can Save The World

On this episode, we meet a self-described robber baron who decided to spend his billions on finger paint and changing tables. We revisit decades-long studies that found preschool made a huge difference in the lives of poor children. And we talk to a Nobel prize-winning economist who says that spending public money on preschool produces a huge return on investment.

Ounce of Prevention

Children born into poverty begin life with the odds stacked against them. That’s not just unfortunate for them. It’s a problem for all of us – one that can and must be solved.

The Ounce is demonstrating effective solutions every day. Our work is anchored in a growing body of scientific evidence about early brain development. We use private dollars to apply that science in developing innovative programs, and then leverage public funding to support their implementation and replication.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

These two briefs are part of a series of issue briefs commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Forward Promise Initiative.

Transforming the Early Education Workforce: A Multi-Media Guidebook

Published: Jan 2018
In 2015, the national Transforming the Workforce for Children from Birth through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation report laid out principles for effective preparation, ongoing professional learning and practice for the early education field. New America recently published Transforming the Early Education Workforce: A Multimedia Guidebook, an interactive resource designed to make key takeaways from that 2015 report more digestible and actionable.

Understanding California’s Early Care and Education System

Published: Jun 2017
Early care and education (ECE) can have a positive effect on many aspects of children’s development, including the language, literacy, mathematics, executive functioning, and social emotional competencies needed for a smooth transition into kindergarten and later life success. But for many families, high-quality ECE is out of reach. For a family of three earning $40,000 a year, child care costs roughly 20% of household income; for a single parent earning the minimum wage, that number is 50%. California has established a range of programs to support the development of children from birth to age 5, but these programs are uncoordinated, insufficient in scope, and of variable quality. This report from the Learning Policy Institute provides California policymakers with a comprehensive overview of the state’s ECE system, describing its administration and funding, access to care, program quality, and data limitations.

Zero to Three

Zero to Three is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated solely to advancing the healthy development of babies and young children. Zero to Three disseminates key developmental information, trains providers, promotes model approaches and standards of practice, and works to increase public awareness about the significance of the first three years of life.

  • Public Policy Center
    A research based, nonpartisan program that brings the voices of babies and toddlers to public policy. They offer the opportunity to join the Public Policy Network and the e-newsletter, The Baby Monitor.

Select link for more information on ZERO TO THREE

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