COrona VIrus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE)
Anyone with concerns about the development of an infant or toddler can make a referral right now. Birth to Three evaluations and supports are being effectively completed online and in person. Here is an informational flyer on family supports and comprehensive evaluations supported by an online format in English and Spanish.
As of March 29th Family Cost Participation fees were waived as were any new suspensions of services due to nonpayment. This was authorized by the Governor’s Executive Order 7 O (like Oscar) and implemented by OEC Commissioner Beth Bye’s Memo #14.
The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) has a new fact sheet with a list of trusted organizations offering support to families during the emergency. The resources — which were provided by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) — include links and contact information for behavioral health support, community resources, crisis hotlines, and more. Read the “promoting well-being” fact sheet here
OEC Memo #11 was revised on June 5, 2020 to allow In-Person visits when needed. Guidance was developed for the Family Support Division with input from providers. The most recent version of the guidance is available here in English CTOEC-B23 and HV-In Person Guidance and here in Spanish. As this is an evolving process, updates will be posted a quickly as possible. If you are interested or have questions, please talk with your Service Coordinator or ask for an IFSP meeting.
Families, if you would like an in-person visit please talk with your IFSP team. You and your team must ensure that the in-person guidance above can be met. This means that in-person visits may not happen in your home but may happen at child care or outside or in another open space. All the programs in Connecticut have agreed to offer in-person visits as needed, if you are told this is not an option for your family, please first talk with your service coordinator or call the director of your program as listed on your IFSP or referral letter. You may also call Child Development Infoline at 1-800-505-7000 to explore other programs that might be better able to support your request. Finally you can always call our family liaison at 1-866-888-4188 for assistance.
For all COVID-19 guidance memos from the OEC visit https://www.ctoec.org/covid-19/.
The US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has published three guidance documents:
a Question and Answer document about IDEA supports,
a Supplemental Fact Sheet, and
NEW 10/21: Part C Provision of Services Q&A.pdf
SpecialEdConection recently began a series titled “Bright Spots of Innovation” series. The June 26, 2020 issue highlights Jennifer Michael, developmental therapist (KIDSTEPS, div. SARAH inc) for her innovative supports of families during the PHE. Read the full article highlighting Jennifer Michael support of families during the PHE here
The Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center has helpful information including the videos highlighted below.
On ECTA’s “Provider Use of Technology” webpage when you scroll down you’ll see a series of video’s by Larry Edelman including these three.
Una visita en el hogar con la familia de Liam
In Spanish with English sub-titles Ohio occupational therapist Marta Gonzalez delivers an early intervention home visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video illustrates how home visits delivered through video conferencing can continue to support children and their families when in-person visits are not possible. The story is shared through insightful observations offered by Marta and Liam’s mother, Yinna.
Supporting Grayson’s Family
In this video, Grayson’s parents Niki and Matt describe how home visits they receive via video conferencing engage and support the entire family during stresses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Early interventionist Jenny Seuntjens highlights key strategies including focusing on all family members, embedding intervention in typical everyday routines, and following the family’s lead.
A Home Visit with Ares’ Family.
Ohio speech-language pathologist Lindsay Miketa delivers an early intervention home visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video illustrates the experience of a family new to early intervention that has only received home visits via video conferencing. The story is accompanied by insightful observations offered by Lindsay and Ares’ parents, Jacqueline and Daniel.
A Home Visit with Sam’s Family.
This video illustrates an early intervention home visit delivered by Ohio occupational therapist Angela Spano via video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video shows how home visits support the entire family and features insightful observations offered by Sam’s mother Kayla and Angela.
A Home Visit with Zander’s Family.
This video illustrates an early intervention home visit delivered by Ohio physical therapist Paula Clark via video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic and features insightful observations offered by Zander’s mother Margaret and Paula.
Supporting Families During the Pandemic: Four Therapists Share Their Wisdom. In this video, early intervention practitioners from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Ohio) share their experiences and advice about using video conferencing to deliver home visits.
These were produced collaboratively with the teams at the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities; the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities; the Desired Results Access Project, Funded by the California Department of Education, Special Education Division; and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center at the FPG Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill.
Using the SS-OO-PP-RR: Guiding Home Visiting during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This video discusses the use of the SS-OO-PP-RR framework for guiding home visits through video conferencing, and also reviews general considerations when delivering home visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was produced with with Jenny, Grayson’s family, and the teams at Florida State University, Communication and Early Childhood Research and Practice Center; Iowa Department of Education Early ACCESS; and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center at the FPG Child development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill.
>This is another video about what a remote early intervention visit can look like:
Here is another early childhood resource: https://developingchild.harvard.edu/guide/a-guide-to-covid-19-and-early-childhood-development/
A 20 minute video from State Department of Ed with tips for supporting your preschool aged child at home. https://youtu.be/YqFATLgG27U
If you have questions about the COVID-19 PHE in CT, please visit https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus.
You can also text “CTCOVID” to #898211.
If you have question about your Birth to Three supports, please contact the program that is listed on your IFSP front page.
If you don’t have an IFSP, you can call 800-505-7000 for help connecting to your program.
If you have not yet been referred to a program, call 800-505-7000 talk with one of our intake coordinators.
Governor Lamont encourages residents to sign up for the state’s CTAlert notification system
Governor Lamont is encouraging Connecticut residents to sign up for CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system, which provides text message notifications to users. To subscribe, text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.
Over the summer Executive Order 7 DD authorized and joint OEC /SDE memo #19 implemented continued Birth to Three supports for families if their child turned three after 3/16/20 and because of the COVID-19 PHE the school was not able to complete an evaluation. This is link to guidance for LEAs. Payment for EIS over 3 was only approved through August 31, 2020.
We will continue to update this as new information comes available.