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  • DOCUMENT RESUME

    ED 297 859 PS 017 487

    AUTHOR Anthony, Margaret; And Others TITLE Serving Connecticut's Four-Year-Old Children and

    Their Families: Establishing the infrastructure. A Report of the Committee on Four-Year-Olds, Their Families and the Public Schools.

    INSTITUTION Connecticut State Degt. of Education, Hartford. PUB DATE Sep 86 NOTE 66p. PUB TYPE Reports Descriptive (141)

    EDRS PRICE MF01/PC03 Plus Postage. DESCRIPTORS Advocacy; Agency Cooperation; *Data Collection;

    *Demonstration Programs; *Educational Needs; Family School Relationship; *Preschool Education; Program Iescriptions; State Programs; *reacher Certification; Technical Assistance; *Training

    IDENTIFIERS *Connecticut

    ABSTRACT In 1985-1986, the mission of Connecticut's Committee

    on Four-Year-Olds, Their Families, and the Public Schools was to develop strategies to alLeviate structural and systematic problems that could diminish the success of expanded early intervention efforts in the state. This report of the yearlong effort begins with a review of the committee's work in 1984-1985. A description of the committee's mission and organizational structure follows. Work of the committee is described in terms of problems that need analysis and problems that are ready for action. Problems needing analysis include: (1) the establishment of early childhood demonstration programs throughout the state; (2) an assessment of training and technical assistance capacities and needs; (3) credentialing; and (4) effective strategies for promoting home-school communications. Problems ready for action are public information and advocacy, interagency collaboration, and the development of an early childhood data base. The report concludes with a synopsis of recommendations directed to the State Department of Education in conjunction with other agencies serving young children and their families. Appended are facts and principles of the 1984-1985 report, lists of committee membership and contract consultants, the model employer report, the training and technical assistance report, and, extensively, plans for credentialing-retraining and home-school linkage. (RH)

    3000006.300000000(**X***3000000000000000000(*KM30000(*)00000000000000( * Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be made * * from the original document. 3( )0000000000000000000000(****30000000WM3000000000000000i100000000000000(**

  • U S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of Educahonai Research and improvement

    EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES INFORMATION CENTER (ERIC)

    XThts document has h eh reproduced as recerved ifORI the person Or organttaton onchnatIng rt

    O Mrnor changes nave been made to improve feprOdUCIIOn aUafitY

    Pomts ot view or oprmons stated rn Pus docu ment co not necessarily repstsent offictai 0E41 posthon or polity

    SERVING CONNECTICUT'S FOUR-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES:

    ESTABLISHING THE INFRASTRUCTURE

    A Report of the Committee on Four Year Olds, Their Families, and the Public Schools

    Margaret Anthony Vijaya V. Bapat, M.D., M.P.H. Irene Barry George Coleman Barbara Coulibaly, Ph.D. Elizabeth Davenport Muriel Hamilton-Lee, Ed.D. Barbara Hamlin

    Sharon L. Kagan, Ed.D. Chairperson & Editor

    Contract Consultants

    Judith Hurle Regina Miller, Ph.D.

    Claudia Shuster Andrea Urbano

    James Kennedy, Ph.D. Mavis LaBossiere Vincent Mazzotta Evelyn Mitchell Dade Moore Nan Streeter Irene Weiss

    "PERMISSION TO REPRODUCE THIS MATERIAL HAS BEEN GRANTED BY

    C..OVNYV2CkQ Skake. L izoc5k-. 4

    TO THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES INFORMATION CENTER (ERIC)."

    Connecticut State Department of Education

    Jean Rustici Virginia Volk, Ph.D.

    Dianne Warner

    Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy

    Leslie Branden

    Septeaber, 1986

    BEST CON AVAILABLE

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    I. INTRODUCTION 2

    II. BACKGROUND 3

    A. Four Year Olds: Who is Responsible?

    (1984-1985) 3

    B. Committee Mission and Structure

    (1985-1986) 7

    III. ANALYSIS TOPICS 9

    A. Early Childhood Demonstration Efforts 9

    B. Training and Technical Assistance 10

    C. Credentialing 13

    D. Home/School Linkages 16

    IV. ACTION TOPICS 18

    A. Public Information and Advocacy 18

    B. Interagency Cooperation 19

    C. Data Base 20

    V. REVIEW OF 1985-1986 RECOMMENDATIONS 21

    APPENDICES

    A. Four Year Olds: Who is Responsible?, Concluding Facts and Principles A-1

    B. Committee Membership, 1985-1986 A-4

    C. Contract Consultants, 1985-1986 A-5

    D. Model Employer Report A-6

    E. Training and Technical Assistance Report A-9 F. Credentialing an A-17

    G. Home/School Linkage Plan A-35

  • I. INTRODUCTION

    In June of 1985, the Committee on Four Year Olds, Their Familias and

    The Public Schools submitted a report, Four Year Olds: Who is

    Responsible?, to the Connecticut State Board of Education. This report

    outlined the developmental needs of young children and their families,

    assessed the availability of services in Connecticut, and propose...

    recommendations and an action plan. The report was accepted by the State

    Board of Education, and modest funding was granted so that the Committee

    could continue its work in 1985-1986.

    Taking the recommendations from the 1985 report, the Committee, in

    1985-1986, did extensive analysis, developed a work plan, and established

    the structures necessary to fulfill its goals. This document:

    1) chronicles the mission and work of the Four Year Old Committee during 1985-

    1986; 2) reports the Committee's findings; and 3) makes recommendations

    regarding the development of an, infrastructure to enhance Connecticut's

    services for young children and their families.

    Specifically, this report begins with a review of the Committee's work

    in 1984-1985, thereby setting the context for 1985-1986 efforts. A

    description of the Committee's mission and organizational structure

    follows. Work of the Committee, divided into Analysis and Action Topics,

    is described. Analysis topics include the preparation of an R.F.P. for the

    Early Childhood Demonstration Effort, an assessment of training and

    technical assistance capacities and needs, a review of credentialing, and

    an analysis of effective strategies to promote home-school communications.

    Action Topics are public information and advocacy, interagency

    collaboration, and data base. The report concludes with a synopsis of the

    recommendations for the State Department of Education (S.D.E.) in

    conjunction with other agencies serving young children and their families.

  • II. BACKGROUND

    A. Four Year Olds: Who is Responsible? (1984-1985)

    Fueled by recent positive research findings and parental needs for

    early care, interest in early childhood education has accelerated rapidly.

    This interest, coupled with Connecticut's long-standing commitment to

    children, led the Connecticut State Board of Education, through

    Commissioner Gerald Tirozzi, to convene a study committee on fcur-year-old

    children and the public schools. Established during the 1984-1985 academic

    year, the Committee was asked to:

    (1) establish a conceptual foundation supporting developmentally appropriate programs and services for four-year-old children and their families;

    (2) assess existing services, identify served and unserved populations, providers of services, and gaps in services;

    (3) identify methods of coordinating existing services and new services needed by the population, and assess the costs, personnel and training needs, and the impact of new services on the current structure of kindergarten and primary grades; and

    (4) make recommendations regarding the above to the State Board of Education.

    Broadly composed, the Committee included early childhood

    practitioners, heads and representatives of state and local agencies

    serving young children, members of local boards of education, legislators,

    researchers, school administrators, faculty members, and parents. Working

    throughout the 1984-1985 year, the Committee grappled with three major

    themes:

    (1) what is an appropriate role for the State Department of Education (S.D.E.), given that so many programs and services for young children occur outside its aegis? (Of four year olds in Connecticut who are receiving services, 95% are in programs not affiliated with public schools);

    (2) is it developmentally appropriate to isolate four year olds, or any group, from a continuum of developmental services for young children?; and

    3

    5

  • (3) in a time of limited resources and inconsistent ideologies, can

    universal access to a given set of programs, although justified,

    be realized?

    The Committee felt that the S.D.E. had an important role with regard

    to four-year-old children, but it underscored that the S.D.E. must be

    sensitive to the critical functions of other state agencies and private

    sector service providers. The Committee did not recommend a "kindergarten-

    type" program within the public schools, but instead, advocated a flexible

    open approach to serving four year olds, one that would encourage

    experiential learning and the existence of multiple forms of programs and

    services.

    Second, the Committee acknowledged that while four-year

Recommended

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