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Child Care Plus – The Center on Inclusion in Early Childhood
The University of Montana Rural Institute
Child Care plus+ is a federally-funded project (US Dept of Education, Early Education Programs for Children with Disabilities) at the University of Montana Rural Institute: Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, and Services. CC+ staff conduct training sessions and interactive workshops across the country that carefully combine new skills with familiar information to increase both the confidence and competence of participants. Whether in northern Alaska or the deep South, these presentations are designed to be relevant and provide practical information that directly relates to participants' needs. OUR MISSION is to share knowledge, foster skills, and encourage attitudes that promote inclusion as a core component of excellence in early childhood. To accomplish this mission, we: strive to expand child care options for children with disabilities and their families; provide training and technical assistance for child care providers and other early childhood professionals (including specialists in early intervention and special education); seek to improve the quality of the child care experience for all children. Project Activities: training and technical assistance for child care providers through e-mail/telephone consultation, formal training sessions, and self-study course activities; training and technical assistance for professional development specialists on embedding inclusion in existing training events; education for families, child care providers, and family support specialists about how to include child care services in Individualized Family Service Plans and Indvidualized Education Programs; collaboration with child care resource and referral programs to insure that referral services are available to families of children with disabilities throughout the state and that Best Beginnings scholarships (Special Needs Subsidy) are readily available to eligible families; collaboration with other service providers and resources who work with children with disabilities and their families within Montana as well as throughout the country; consultation and training for child care providers to help them implement—and sustain the spirit of—the Americans with Disabilities Act; innovation to Montana's child care system by monitoring national trends, resources, and products; collaboration with state level partners in the development and implementation of policies and practices that promote inclusive child care environments; increased access to inclusive child care resources; information about the project, inclusive child care, and related issues via statewide Tip Sheets, the project's web site, and dissemination of; inclusion products; tracking progress and document lessons learned to verify the need for future support of inclusive child care efforts.