The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $1.6 million to a research team from the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools focused on helping infants and toddlers who are not developing typically.
The team will use the grant to support early intervention services provided by the Nebraska Early Development Network to families with infants and toddlers with disabilities. Nearly 400,000 infants and toddlers receive these services nationally.
The team is led by Lisa Knoche, research associate professor in the center and director of the Nebraska Academy for Early Childhood Research. Rachel Schachter, Susan Sheridan and Gwen Nugent are the other researchers working on the project.
“We have been working in partnership with the Nebraska Early Development Network, co-led by the Nebraska Department of Education and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, to implement early childhood interventions and to use a coaching model of professional development to support high-quality visits for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families,” Knoche said.
The main focus of the project is coaching of early intervention service providers in communities throughout the state. The team will refine, implement and evaluate evidence-based practices to guide coaches who then work with the early intervention staff members who provide early intervention visits. The coaching process will ultimately lead to high-quality services for infants, toddlers and their families.
“Early intervention is critically important and service providers need support to implement the highest quality of services,” Knoche said. “This will strengthen work we’ve developed over the last several years by focusing on the people who are working directly with children and families.”