Children and families with disabilities are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the Early Learning Program. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable children with disabilities to maximize their early childhood experience to the greatest extent possible. If a child with mobility concerns is enrolled at a site that does not meet all ADA requirements, the Disabilities & Mental Health Coordinator will make arrangements for the child to participate at the next closest site that is accessible for children and families with disabilities. The Early Learning Program supports children with special needs by providing accommodations and modifications within our inclusion classrooms.
Developmental screenings are completed for all children to help staff to individualize the program for each child. Screening results and teacher observations are used to identify children that may need further evaluation or referrals for specialized services and identification of children with special needs. A child with a diagnosed disability and a School District Individual Education Plan (IEP) has the right to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.
The Early Learning Program requires screenings for all newly enrolled children in the areas of developmental; behavior; speech and language; and sensory (vision and hearing) within 45 days of entry into the program and each subsequent program year. All children, including a child with an IEP, are screened each year utilizing an Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) and Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA P2). ASQ-3 screens for communication, gross and fine motor skills, problem-solving, and personal social skills. DECA-P2 screens social and behavioral skills. The results of these screenings will be shared with you at which time the staff will discuss if there is any concern that might need further assessment.
We collaborate with several agencies for Mental Health Services to meet the needs of the children and families. A mental health professional is scheduled throughout the year for providing classroom observations, and available for parents and staff. The Disabilities & Mental Health Coordinator provides follow-up regarding children suspected or having identified special needs to ensure & review classroom intervention planning and also team meets with the guardian for providing linkage to appropriate services to assist a child with needs.
We utilize the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) tool. Children are observed by their teachers for at least four weeks to obtain information regarding social, emotional, and behavioral skills. After four weeks, teachers and parents answer a DECA questionnaire for each child. Questions are given a value and the DECA assessment is scored. The DECA results aid teachers, professionals, and parents to have and understand about the current skills of children, and the class as a whole, and then individualize learning strategies for assessing the progress of the children. Scores are shared with every parent and strategies are discussed regarding the child’s needs and strengths.
If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).