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New Grant to Increase High Quality Childcare for Children in Hillsborough County

The Department of Child & Family Studies has received funding through the Children's Board of Hillsborough County and the  Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County (ELCHC) to continue and expand services that promote high quality childcare for children in Hillsborough County. Working with the ELCHC Quality Counts for Kids (QCFK) program, CFS will provide training and technical assistance on Program-wide Positive Behavior Support (PW-PBS), an approach that establishes the social culture and behavioral supports needed for all children in early childhood programs to achieve both social and academic success. 

Both center-based and home-based childcare programs that are part of QCFK with ratings of a 3 or higher are able to apply for services. Programs must have a goal of supporting all children, including children with challenging behavior. CFS faculty will help those selected adopt the PW-PBS Pyramid Model to enhance classroom practices, collaboration with families, program policies, and teaming practices. Studies have shown that when the Pyramid Model practices are delivered within a classroom, there are notable outcomes for children.

“The Program-Wide Positive Behavior Support project has implemented the Pyramid Model in Hillsborough County since 2006, collaborating closely with multiple early childhood training and technical assistance providers,” said Project Director Rochelle Lentini. “We are excited to expand services by working with the Early Learning Coalition and are very hopeful about increasing inclusive opportunities for children at risk or with special needs in Hillsborough County.”

The project will be housed in the Florida Center of Inclusive Communities (FCIC) of the Department of Child and Family Studies of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. FCIC has 75 faculty and staff and approximately 17 funded projects in the areas of disabilities, early intervention, and PBS.

For more than a decade, CFS faculty and staff have been working nationally to implement the Pyramid ModelThe Center on the Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning  and the Technical Assistance Center for Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children have worked systematically within 15 states to build the capacity of programs to implement the Pyramid Model within child care, head start, early intervention home visiting, public preschool, and early childhood special education programs. Project leaders from these centers estimate that over 5000 trainers and 2500 coaches have been trained in a professional development approach to support the implementation of the Pyramid Model by practitioners.

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