ERIC Number: ED423971
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of Smart Start on Young Children with Disabilities & Their Families. Final Report.
Porter, Patricia; Munn, Duncan; Buysse, Virginia; Tyndall, Sabrina
Smart Start, North Carolina's early childhood initiative, seeks to improve early childhood programs and ensure that all North Carolina children enter school healthy and ready to learn. This study evaluated outcomes related to Smart Start program inclusion of young children with disabilities: (1) access to inclusive programming; (2) quality of inclusive placements; (3) coordination and integration of services in inclusive settings; and (4) family perceptions and beliefs regarding inclusion and early intervention services. Data were collected through several methods, including document review of 12 local Smart Start plans, examination of extant infant-toddler (Part H) data bases, observations of early childhood settings, focus group interviews with parents of children with disabilities and professionals, and questionnaires completed by parents of children with disabilities. Findings indicated that all 12 original partnerships had activities involving special needs children and their families. Child care programs enrolling children with disabilities provided higher quality care than those enrolling only typically developing children. In focus group interviews, parents and professionals agreed on obstacles preventing full access to inclusive early childhood settings. Parents were better able to articulate their notions about an ideal early intervention system than professionals. Parent ratings of early intervention services did not vary over time as a function of Smart Start, rather, positive parent attitudes toward inclusion were related to child placement in an inclusive rather than a segregated program, lower socioeconomic status, and being involved in decision-making about the services received. Appended are tables delineating program activities and data and copies of the data collection instruments. (Author/KB)
Descriptors: Change Agents, Comparative Analysis, Disabilities, Early Childhood Education, Early Intervention, Family Programs, Focus Groups, Health Services, Inclusive Schools, Integrated Services, Partnerships in Education, Program Evaluation, State Programs, Young Children
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, 105 Smith Level Road, CB #8180, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8180; phone: 919-966-3871.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Postsecondary Education Cooperative.
Authoring Institution: North Carolina Univ., Chapel Hill. Frank Porter Graham Center.
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina