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Louisiana's UCEDD (HDC) seeks to build capacity and inspire change to improve the lived experience of individuals with disabilities and families. The state serves over 50,000 children (birth to 4-years) in publicly funded childcare. HDC's Early Childhood Initiatives staff build the capacity of current and future developmental surveillance, screening and referral efforts by early childhood care and education providers by collaborating with local Early Head Start programs through an Office of Head Start funded Community Childcare Partnership project.  Additional partners in this effort include the New Orleans Early Education Network (NOEEN), Agenda for Children, and the Tulane Infant Mental Health Consultation program (TIKES).  So far this year, our collaborative effort has resulted in more than 600 children ages birth to 4-years receiving developmental screening (i.e., Ages and Stages Questionnaire - 3rd Edition, and the Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social Emotional, 2nd Edition).

In addition, HDC staff provided training on developmental screening and surveillance to over 100 early childhood teachers in 25 early learning centers in New Orleans. HDC also provides training and consultation to childcare centers on effective inclusion practices. A secondary pilot of universal M-CHAT-R screening (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised) is being conducted in Early Head Start programs with 200 toddlers.  Finally, this collaborative effort enhances the capacity for future developmental surveillance, screening and referral efforts by providing opportunities for LEND Scholars to learn about and participate in applications of strategies for scalable implementation of accurate screening and referral programs in childcare centers. For more information, contact [email protected].