Act Early Response to COVID-19

 

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The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has expanded its National Center on Disability in Public Health efforts with an investment of over $8M in the Act Early Network through an Act Early Network-wide Response to COVID-19 made possible by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC's Act Early Initiative promotes collaboration among early childhood programs in states and territories so children with autism or other developmental delays and disabilities can be identified early and referred to appropriate services and supports. The Act Early Ambassador Program is a collaborative effort of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and AUCD.

Funding of the Act Early Response to COVID-19 (hereafter Act Early/COVID-19) Response Teams
State and Territorial Act Early/COVID-19 Response Teams have been awarded a two-year grant opportunity for Support for Early Childhood State Systems Through the Act Early Network. Through this national initiative, Act Early Ambassador-led/co-led Response Teams are providing support for early childhood state systems through the Act Early Network to support recovery and strengthen resilience skills, behaviors, and resources of children, families, and communities during COVID-19 response, mitigation, and recovery efforts. 

Act Early Response to COVID-19 Year 1 (2020-2021)

Act Early Response to COVID-19 Year 2 (2021-2022)

Coordinated and Integrated Data System for the Early Identification (CIDSEI) of Young Children with Developmental Delays or Disabilities
This project will develop, implement, and evaluate activities to support states and territories to improve the collection, management, interpretation, and dissemination of data to guide their decision-making related to the four steps of early identification of young children with developmental delays or disabilities. The purpose of this project is to address system coordination and enhance the ability to track and monitor children with and or at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (DD). This project will support work to investigate and leverage existing successful models (e.g., Help Me Grow) to produce tools and resources for communities to implement promising practices related to a CIDSEI. Emphasis will be on the successful use of tools within systems in under-resourced communities.

Act Early Ambassador Program Expansion
AUCD has also expanded the footprint of the Act Early Ambassador Program with seven new "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Ambassadors: Angela Scott (Arkansas), Elaine Eclavea (Guam), Lori Orr (Illinois), Synthia Britton (Michigan), Sharon Loza (North Carolina), Claire Niday (Texas), and Jackie Newson (West Virginia). Sixty Act Early Ambassadors now represent every state in the nation in addition to several territories. Act Early Ambassadors expand the reach of the "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Program and support their respective state/territory's work toward improving early identification. They serve as a regional point of contact and promote the adoption and integration of "Learn the Signs. Act Early." resources into systems that serve young children and their families.

Find the Act Early Ambassador in your state/territory!


Please contact Danielle Webber at [email protected] with any questions.

 
 

News

 

11/17/2021

Coordinated and Integrated Data System for the Early Identification (CIDSEI) of Young Children with Developmental Delays or Disabilities

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) has expanded its National Center on Disability in Public Health efforts with a one-year project to identify states or territories with coordinated and integrated data systems for the early identification (CIDSEI) of young children with developmental delays or disabilities and to use this information to develop and pilot tools, materials, and resources to support additional states and territories in the development of a CIDSEI.

 
 

10/6/2021

State and Territorial Act Early/COVID-19 Response Teams Receive a Second Year of Funding to Support Early Childhood Systems

State and Territorial Act Early/COVID-19 Response Teams have been awarded a second year of funding for the grant opportunity for Support for Early Childhood State Systems through the Act Early Network. This second year, beginning 9/1/2021, has been made possible by an infusion of funding to support an Act Early Network-wide response to COVID-19 through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).

 
 

2/25/2021

Act Early/COVID-19 Response Teams Complete Rapid Needs Assessment

In Fall 2020, 43 State and Territorial Response Teams and their identified key informants who lead early childhood programs, organizations, or systems (i.e. Part C, WIC, Home Visiting) conducted a rapid needs assessment as part of the Act Early Response to COVID-19 project. This needs assessment aimed to 1) measure engagement in each of the four steps of early identification and 2) understand the emerging strengths, needs, barriers, and opportunities related to the four steps of early identification of developmental delays and disabilities among children birth to age five during the COVID-19 pandemic, across early childhood systems and programs.

 

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