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EITP Fall 2016 Newsletter
Fall 2016 Early Intervention Training Program Newsletter
News and Updates
Practice Makes Perfect: Supporting the Principles of Early Intervention

The Principles of Early Intervention should guide every aspect of our work.  Every interventionist, regardless of their respective title, can easily support the principles in their work with families and other team members.

What do these principles look like in practice?

  • Engaging the family early by gathering information about family-identified strengths, needs and priorities and using that information to inform the evaluation, assessment and IFSP planning
  • Talking with the family about activities they enjoy and activities they want to do and think together about how EI may be able to support them
  • Partner with the family to achieve their intended outcomes in their daily life without disrupting the family system or routines
  • Build interventions together with the family around natural motivations and learning opportunities
  • Celebrating all progress, big or small, and acknowledge family competence and their ongoing efforts to support their child’s development.
  • Share resources with the family about how children learn through play and practice in naturally occurring activities.
  • Everyone has a role in monitoring progress – this can be done during scheduled intervention visits, monthly contact, or team meetings
  • As a professional, keeping up to date on current research and relevant regulations is key and can help to inform your discussions with families

This short clip "Early Intervention Visits Support Daily Routines and Interactions" may help guide your work:

Expertise and Needs in Illinois’ EI System
Who responded to the survey

Annually, EITP distributes a survey to nearly 5,000 early interventionists in Illinois to gather information regarding their professional development needs.  1086 respondents consented to have their responses shared and there was an expected distribution across the state and from various professions.

Purpose of the survey

The "Expertise and Needs Assessment" survey assists EITP and the Bureau of Early Intervention in the planning for upcoming professional development opportunities and in monitoring the changing needs of the state over years. In 2016, the survey changed to reflect the information learned from previous years’ surveys as well as a need to gather information specifically related to the State Systemic Improvement Planning (SSIP) process in Illinois. The FY17 survey focused on 2 primary areas – 1) the child outcomes process and 2) family-centered practices.

In each newsletter, we will highlight key findings from the survey. This time, we focus on the respondents and key pieces of data related to the child outcomes process. The information gathered regarding child outcomes helps us to understand how the process is viewed and implemented throughout our state and how the SSIP strategies can support interventionists. It also will guide future professional development that is offered through EITP.

What respondents said about Child Outcomes

When determining child outcomes, are we considering the child’s strengths and needs in multiple settings and with multiple caregivers?

Respondents reported that they “often” (average of 4.19 on a 5-point scale) confirmed that there was information about the child’s current functioning across settings and situations.

Does child outcomes process lead to better IFSP outcomes?

The responses clustered around the middle of a 5-point scale at 3.15, or “neither agree nor disagree.” This is important for us to know as we think about how to better connect the child outcomes process with IFSP outcome development.

Is there an explanation for the families regarding how and why this data is collected?

The responses were between sometimes and often, with an average of 3.18 for how outcomes and used and 3.48 for why data are collected.

Is the COSF Decision Tree (pdf) used to guide child outcomes discussions during IFSP meeting?

The average rating for the use of the decision tree was 3.25, or just above the “sometimes” rating. Interestingly, 24% of respondents answered that they “always” use the decision tree, while 31% answered that they use it “never” or “rarely.”

Where to go from here

As a state, we have an established early childhood outcomes (accountability) system which enables the lead agencies (DHS Bureau of Early Intervention and the US Office of Special Education Programs) to monitor children’s development in order to support effective intervention, demonstrate system impact, and inform decisions about program improvement.  While we are collecting and using child outcomes information, we know that there is a need to deepen the understanding of the rationale for and the process of determining child outcomes ratings as a team. Supporting individual team members understanding of the child outcomes process as well as supporting the team process used to have a meaningful child outcomes discussion will be one area of focus for EITP and the EI system, specifically the SSIP work, throughout the year.

There is an online training focusing on the child outcomes process titled Child Outcome Summary (COS) Collecting & Using Data to Improve Programs. This is a new offering, and is in collaboration with the ECTA Center and DaSy.  Watch EITP’s calendar for face-to-face trainings on child outcomes, including “Measuring the Success.”

Resources You Can Use
New EITP Resource page on "Working with Interpreters and Translators"

EITP has created a resource page devoted to resources around "Working with Interpreters and Translators" in early intervention.  Included on the page are links, a video and resource modules to help collaborate with and understand the roles of interpreters and translators.

New Videos in the Desired Results Access Project Video Library

California’s Desired Results Access Project Video Library just posted eleven new videos, described below. These videos of toddlers and preschoolers participating in typical routines and activities were produced to be used in professional development activities to provide early interventionists, early childhood special educators, and other early care and education practitioners’ opportunities to practice skills such as observation, documentation, and assessment. They are posted in the Practice Clips section of the library and include videos featuring toddlers AND preschoolers.

Clips Featuring Toddlers:

  • Tania Playing in the Yard (3:33) Tania demonstrates a variety of gross motor, communication, and social skills.
  • Ben at Dinnertime (3:04) Ben demonstrates a variety of social, communication, and mealtime skills.\
  • Nicholas at Story Time (2:39) Nicholas demonstrates a variety of fine motor, social, and early literacy skills.
  • Crystal Moving Around (3:26) Crystal demonstrates a variety of movement, social, and communication skills.
  • Max at Mealtime (3:41) Max demonstrates a variety of social, communication, and self-feeding skills.
  • Severina Plays Knock Knock (1:31) Severina demonstrates a variety of social, communication, and fine motor skills.
  • Alec's Morning Routine (3:53) Alec demonstrates a variety of self-help, social, and communication skills.
New ACF Report: Developmental Foundations of School Readiness for Infants and Toddlers

A new report from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), shares a review of the research on the developmental foundations of school readiness during the first 3 years of life. The research suggests that the groundwork for school readiness actually begins with infants and toddlers.

It highlights research in domains that are foundational for later school readiness and success, including:

  • perceptual, motor, and physical development
  • social and emotional development
  • approaches to learning
  • language and communication
  • cognition

Programs can use this information as a guide to inform their practices and policies and to help them think about their theories of change and what outcomes they are focused on improving for young children.

Child Outcome Summary Form (COSF) Rating Scale Descriptor Statements

This tool includes the child outcomes ratings with culminating statements of IFSP present levels of development descriptions in the respective outcome areas.  A color-coded key with a "bucket list" is included as a visual aid to help teams consider how the child's array of age-expected, immediate foundational, and foundational skills are impacting the ratings that are selected for each child outcome.  The PDF is available for download from: 

For more information on Child Outcomes, please visit the EITP resource page on "Child Outcomes" at

SSIP Updates

EITP has created a new resource page focused on the State Systematic Improvement Plan (SSIP) to help the field stay up-to-date on news and information related to the important work being done relating to the SSIP.

Additionally, there is a new EITP Online Training: Illinois State Systemic Improvement Plan. This training allows participants to learn more about the Illinois SSIP for EI credit (1.0 hour in Working with Families).  This short presentation provides highlights from Phase 1 of the Plan, describes the work completed during Phase 2, and outlines what will be occurring during Phase 3. Also discussed are the identified coherent improvement strategies, partners involved, supports for implementation and goals of the evaluation plan.

SSIP Workgroup Updates

The Leadership Teams Workgroup created a one-page document that identifies the why, the who and the how of Leadership Teams to recruit its members, as well as a Benchmarks of Quality document to help Leadership Teams ensure excellence and high team performance.

The Professional Development/ Technical Assistance Workgroup developed a Rubric which will be used with existing and new curricula to guarantee  consistency, quality and cohesiveness.

The Performance Support Workgroup began the process of creating policies and procedures for the Child Outcomes Summary (COS) process and  drafted an initial COS brochure that will be shared with EI families as they begin the EI journey to better understand the COS.

A Messaging Workgroup was formed and selected its members by reaching out to the 3 pilot CFCs/IZs. They started working on the identification of the Messaging Rubric that will be used with all EI materials and on the review of the EI brochure, “Do You Have Questions About Your Child’s Development?”   

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events from EITP and others

To view upcoming events sponsored by EITP only, please visit

For a list of online trainings offered by EITP, please visit our EITP Online Events Calendar.

For a list of events sponsored by other entities (non-EITP events), please see the Non-EITP Events Calendar.