WI-IN Partnership to Evaluate Use of LTSAE in Childcare Settings

Gail Chodron, PhD-Candidate, Principal Investigator, Joan Ershler, PhD, Co PI, University of Wisconsin-Madison. (Funded 2014-2016) In order to be meaningful, effective, and sustainable, any attempt to improve developmental monitoring in childcare settings must take into account the combination of local, state, and federal factors that shape provision of childcare, and be conducted in coordination with stakeholders so as to align relevant systems and work in tandem with existing efforts. The CDC has developed and evaluated “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” (LTSAE) to support parents’ knowledge of developmental milestones, conversations with providers about child development, and awareness of what to do when there is a developmental concern. There is a need to evaluate LTSAE implementation in childcare systems, particularly in the context of everyday childcare operations within local, state, and national systems that provide infrastructure for licensing and regulation, professional development, and quality rating and improvement systems. The Wisconsin-Indiana (WI-IN) Partnership addresses this need through demonstration and evaluation of LTSAE use in daily operations across diverse childcare settings and integration through professional development and QRIS infrastructure. A partnership of three Centers in two states will be used to maximize capacity to address inter- and intra-state diversity. The WI-IN Partnership includes the Waisman Center University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities, the Early Childhood Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the Riley Child Development Center at the University of Indiana Medical School. In order to address the need to determine acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of LTSAE integration, and to develop and disseminate a model for implementation, in childcare systems across the country, the WI-IN Partnership will solicit input from cross-sector stakeholders, conduct and evaluate LTSAE integration in the following three demonstrations: 1) Offer LTSAE training through state professional development infrastructure; 2) Implement a Learning Cohort with Head Start/Early Head Start sites to develop a train-the trainer model; and 3) Integrate LTSAE in daily childcare operations in a diverse set of public and private childcare sites.