Foundation for Inclusive Early Intervention and Education

Tuesday, July 24
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Location: Grand Ballroom D

According to the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, “Children with disabilities and their families continue to face significant barriers to accessing inclusive high-quality early childhood programs and too many preschool children with disabilities continue to receive special education services in separate settings.” Child care centers in our area find that they are just not equipped to handle a child who may have behavioral problems, or a child who is not walking; talking; or potty-trained by age three. There is also a greater need for these parents to stay employed so they may provide for the added costs and/or health insurance necessary to raise a child with disabilities.

Come hear how one organization has been leading the way for inclusive high-quality early child development programs since 1987.
The Children's Division of The Arc Caddo-Bossier includes Goldman School Child Development and Early Head Start Center. We serve children ages two months through five years with and without disabilities in an inclusive environment. Goldman School is the only child development center in our state with our numbers and ratios providing services to children with disabilities in the inclusive setting. These costs include the salaries for assistant teachers who are in each classroom providing added support; specialized equipment; and current professional training. Our three major outcomes:

1.Children with disabilities who enroll in Goldman School will receive high-quality childcare services. The early years of brain growth development are crucial for each child to grow to their potential and serving children with disabilities takes commitment, planning, and support with the parents, therapists, and staff. Very few accept children with disabilities, and if they do, staff have very limited training to handle the delayed development, disruptive behaviors, specialized equipment, and the constant collaborating with the early interventionists and therapists who work within their classrooms.

2.Children with disabilities who enroll in Goldman School will progress in their development. Each child is assessed using HELP (Hawaii Early Learning Profile). HELP objectives determine approximate developmental levels; identify strengths and needs of development; conduct family-directed assessments; recognize environmental factors and caregiver interactions; and support the goals of the children with disabilities that are listed in their IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan) or their IEP (Individual Education Plan).

3.Parents of children with disabilities who enroll in Goldman School will maintain their employment. According to the Report on Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) 2011, one out of five families (20%) report that someone in the family had to quit their job to stay home and support the needs of their family member. This affects the long-term economic stability of families, as well as their ability to have adequate health insurance. We currently serve three children with significant disabilities that are being raised by their grandparents. They have had to stay in the workforce for income and health insurance needs due to the impact of the expenses of raising a grandchild with disabilities.

A one-of-a-kind program in the state of Louisiana, Goldman School is a licensed, child development and Early Head Start Center. In Northwest Louisiana (1) there is a shortage of high quality childcare and educational programs that address the needs of (2) typical developing children, children with disabilities, and children from low-income families who are at-risk environmentally for having a developmental delay.

Janet Parker

Executive Director
The Arc Caddo-Bossier

Janet Parker, Executive Director of The Arc Caddo-Bossier, has been advocating and supporting people with disabilities for almost forty years. She has been the ED for twenty years and is the representative of several groups, such as: The Arc of the United States, The Arc of Louisiana; National Council of Executives of The Arc/US; The Council of Louisiana Arc Executives;The Community and Residential Services Association; The Advocacy Center and United Way of Northwest Louisiana

Presentation(s):

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Cheryl D. Taylor

Director Policy and Planning
The Arc Caddo-Bossier

Cheryl D. Taylor, MS CNP is passionate about advocating for individuals with disabilities. She received a Bachelor's and Master of Science degrees in Human Services Administration from Louisiana State University at Shreveport. Cheryl serves as Director of Policy and Planning for The Arc Caddo-Bossier and is on the executive committee for Louisiana Conference of Executives. She has worked in the social services field for over thirty years, twenty of which are with The Arc!

Presentation(s):

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