Child Welfare Credential Pilot Project

In partnership with the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, we’ve developed and launched a pilot training program in “Understanding Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.”

In partnership with the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW), we’ve developed and launched a pilot training program in “Understanding Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.”

The program includes online and in-person coursework that draws on infant and mental health principles. Coursework aims to help individuals understand early social and emotional development and work with parents with special considerations. The program also includes online reflective consultation.

Funding

This partnership is funded, in part, under the auspices of Federal Title IV-E Funding, Minnesota Department of Human Services (Contract # 439481), the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work.

Project staff

Mary Harrison, Ph.D., LICSW, IMH-E® (III-C), Research Associate

Christopher Watson, Ph.D., IMH-E®[IV], Research Associate

Related resources

Reflective Supervision/Consultation in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education

We’re exploring how reflective supervision can support early interventionists, decrease burnout, and increase the skills necessary to work with diverse families.

In 1996, the Minnesota Department of Education funded a pilot study to explore the effects of reflective supervision, including how it may support early interventionists, decrease burnout, and increase the skills necessary to work with diverse families.

Two school-based early intervention teams working in urban public schools engaged in reflective supervision. Interviews with participants showed positive feedback about the effectiveness of reflective supervision. At the end of the first year, participants continued to pursue reflective supervision professional development opportunities.

We conducted a follow-up study of these participants. We sought to learn how they approach challenging situations and how their work has changed. As a comparison, we surveyed practitioners who haven’t participated in reflective supervision.

Related publications

Parent Aware

The purpose of Parent Aware is to create a quality rating system for child care centers and family child care providers in Minnesota.

Parent Aware is Minnesota’s Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS), which began offering ratings to all 87 Minnesota counties on January 1, 2015. Parent Aware contracts Pre-K Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) observers through the University of Minnesota’s Center for Early Education and Development (CEED). This management system has three observers and one anchor to conduct Pre-K CLASS® observations.

About CLASS® Observations

The CLASS® is an observational instrument designed to assess the quality of classroom interactions. Research suggests that the interactions between children and adults are directly tied to learning. The dimensions in the CLASS® tool are based only on interactions between children and interactions between teachers and children. Parent Aware uses the Pre-K CLASS®, but other versions of the CLASS® exist that are designed for other age groups.

CEED’s Pre-K CLASS® observations help determine if child care programs meet the criteria to receive a Parent Aware rating. They also provide child care programs with information about how to improve care and early education for young children.

Click to download the following PDFs for more information about CLASS® observations:

Before your CLASS® observation

CLASS® observation information for sites

Observer Reliability

CEED’s CLASS® observers are certified through Teachstone and follow the live observation procedure found in the Teachstone Pre-K Classroom Assessment Scoring System Manual (Pianta, La Paro, & Hamre, 2008, p. 9-12).

All anchors and observers must achieve certification with Teachstone’s reliability standards. (Teachstone defines reliability as follows: “80% of your codes must be within one of the master code, and within each dimension, at least 2 [out of 5] codes must be within one of the master code.”)

  • Additionally, to complete independent observations, CEED’s Pre-K CLASS® observers must complete an in-person classroom observation with an anchor and achieve:
    • 85% of their codes within one point of the anchor’s codes (percent reliability)
    • 50% of the codes within each dimension must be within one of anchor’s codes (dimension reliability)
  • To ensure ongoing reliability, each observer completes an in-classroom, dual-coded observation with the anchor every 10 observations or 3 months (whichever comes first). The anchor and observer score four observation cycles and meet afterwards to compare codes and discuss discrepancies. Reliability is achieved when:
    • The observer’s percent reliability is at least 85% concurrent with the anchor
    • The observer’s dimension reliability is at least 50% concurrent with the anchor
  • Anchors and observers attend quarterly Pre-K CLASS® coding events and code one cycle-length video
    • Observers’ percent reliability must be 85% concurrent with the anchor
  • Anchor and observers complete Teachstone Pre-K CLASS® Calibrations bi-annually
    • One cycle-length video is coded and compared to Teachstone’s master code
  • Anchor and observers maintain certification with the Teachstone’s Pre-K CLASS® tool (annual recertification)

Download the following PDF for more information about our CLASS® observers’ reliability protocol:

CEED CLASS® observation reliability protocol

Download the following PDF for a copy of the CEED CLASS® Reliability Observation Cover Sheet.

CEED CLASS® reliability observation cover sheet

Observation Feedback Reports

A feedback report is generated after a reliable observer conducts a Pre-K CLASS® observation. This report which will be available in the program’s Develop account. You will also have a chance to talk about your scores and feedback with your Quality Coach. The feedback will serve as a basis for determining areas for program improvement.

For a more thorough explanation, take a look at this short webinar.

Trainings

Find out about relevant trainings and professional development opportunities from CEED.

Project Staff

Ann Bailey, PhD
CEED Director

Kristina Erstad-Sankey, MSW
Associate Director of Program Quality

Ashley Midthun, MS
Program Quality Manager

Margarita Milenova, PhD
Program Quality Specialist

Hannah Riddle de Rojas, MA
Program Quality Specialist

Karen Trewartha-Weiner
Relationship-based Professional Development Manager

Funding

This project is funded by the Department of Human Services Department of Human Services, Child Care Services Division.

Child Development in Child Welfare

We partner with the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare to offer online training and reflective consultation, publications, and events that apply child development research to the child welfare system.

We partner with the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) to offer online training and reflective consultation, publications, and events that apply child development theory to professional development and services within the child welfare system.

Ongoing work includes:

  • Development, launch, and evaluation of a pilot training credential program for professionals in the field. The program focuses on understanding infant and early childhood mental health.
  • Annual Experiential Learning event for child welfare students at Lifetrack Families Together Therapeutic Preschool.

Partners include the University of Minnesota Extension Children, Youth, and Family Consortium and the Center for Leadership Education in Maternal & Child Public Health.

Funding

This partnership is funded, in part, under the auspices of Federal Title IV-E Funding, Minnesota Department of Human Services (Contract # 439481), the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work.

Project staff

Mary Harrison, Ph.D., LICSW, IMH-E® (III-C), Research Associate

Christopher Watson, Ph.D., IMH-E®[IV], Research Associate

Related resources

Reminders for Readiness

Researchers at CEED are part of an interdisciplinary work group that is working to ensure that parents have access to essential information and resources that will help them support their child’s growth.

We’re working to close racial and ethnic gaps in accessing information about young children’s health and development. Through Reminders for Readiness (R4R), we’ll develop, pilot, and study a culturally relevant text messaging system for parents of infants and toddlers.

In partnership with community-based organizations in Minneapolis serving the Somali community, we will:

  • develop culturally appropriate, desired messages;
  • form the infrastructure for effective parent recruitment;
  • analyze the implementation of the partnerships and text messaging system; and
  • analyze the initial impact of the messages.

We hypothesize that infants and toddlers of parents receiving text messages will increase their use of services, such as well-child visits, immunizations, and screenings.

Embedding messages about appropriate service use in a stream of useful, culturally responsive content will help generate engagement in child development. Partnerships between the University of Minnesota and stakeholders will improve the effectiveness of the platform and messaging.

Funding

University of Minnesota

Centers of Excellence Professional Development System

We’re helping the Minnesota Department of Education’s early intervention and early childhood special education programs maintain and grow an accessible, evidence-based professional development system for Minnesota.

We’re helping the Minnesota Department of Education’s early intervention and early childhood special education programs maintain and grow an accessible, evidence-based professional development system for Minnesota.

The Minnesota Centers of Excellence For Young Children with Disabilities maintains a website and oversees professional development facilitators throughout the state. Facilitators work directly with the leaders of local programs to determine what type of professional development will best serve their needs. Professional development efforts focus on improving program quality and implementing the three state-supported innovative practice models:

  1. The Pyramid Model: Strategies and supports regarding the social and emotional development of all young children.
  2. Family-Guided Routines-Based Intervention: Resources to support early interventionists in providing functional intervention with natural environments.
  3. Classroom Engagement: Improving child outcomes in classrooms by increasing child engagement.

Funding

Minnesota Department of Education

Project staff

Deborah Ottman, Principal Investigator

Karen Anderson, Program/Project Specialist

 

Subsidy Utilization and Impact on Early Care and Education of Low-income Children with Special Needs

We’re examining the nature and impact of child care subsidy use by low-income families eligible for subsidies who have children with special needs.

Through this project, we aim to describe the nature and impact of child care subsidy use by low-income families eligible for subsidies who have children with special needs.

Children with special needs represent a substantial proportion of the general population under age 5, including those served by child care subsidies.

Poverty increases the risk for developmental delays and disabilities, and is negatively correlated with school readiness. Young children with special needs in low-income families are at a higher risk for poor outcomes.

For this project, we’re examining the following questions:

  • Do patterns and predictors of subsidy use among children with disabilities or delays differ from those of typically developing children within the population of subsidy-eligible low-income families?
  • Are there differences in care types and quality and predictors thereof between children with special needs and typically-developing children from low-income families who do and do not receive subsidies?
  • How are subsidy receipt, care type, and care quality related to school readiness of children with special needs who come from subsidy-eligible families?

Funding

Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), 9/30/2015 to 02/28/2017

Related resources

Early Childhood Assessment Project

We developed training materials on authentic assessment practices for the early care and education community.

During the three-year Early Childhood Assessment Project (ECAP), we developed training materials on authentic assessment practices for the early care and education community. We completed the project in December 2016.

For the project, we:

  • surveyed early care and education teachers, family child care providers, and trainers to document gaps in assessment training;
  • developed 12 training modules to address those gaps;
  • trained trainers to conduct trainings; and
  • evaluated the success of the training.

Authentic assessment trainings are available through DEVELOP, Minnesota’s Quality Improvement and Registry tool.

Relationship-based Professional Development Protocol

We helped develop guidance on using relationship-based professional development (RBPD) to promote use of authentic assessment.

This guidance provides a protocol for coaches, mentors, or other RBPD providers who support teachers’ use of authentic assessment. RBPD techniques include observation, feedback, reflection, mutual planning, and tracking goals.

Funding

Minnesota Department of Education, through December 2016

Project staff

Ann Bailey, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Related resources

CLASS® learning modules

Get an introduction to the Classroom Assessment Scoring System. Learn how the concepts measured by the CLASS® apply to Minnesota quality initiatives.

Now What Exactly is CLASS®?

Get an overview of the CLASS®. Gain an understanding of the areas and dimensions captured by the Pre-K CLASS®, why the CLASS® is used in Minnesota’s Quality Improvement efforts, and the CLASS® observation process.

View the learning module on the CEED YouTube site

Learning Opportunities During Book Reading

Learn how to use the CLASS® to identify interactions that help expand children’s learning during book reading activities. Obtain strategies to promote such interactions.

View the learning module on the CEED YouTube site

2016 Assessing Trainers of Early Childhood Practitioners: A Review of Current Literature

This review summarizes research and best practices on assessing early childhood trainer skills and competencies.

This literature review was completed under contract with Child Care Aware of Minnesota and made possible with a grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services using federal funding.

The review summarizes research and best practices on assessing early childhood trainer skills and competencies.

Assessing Trainers of Early Childhood Practitioners: A Review of Current Literature (PDF)