“Research has shown there are specific factors that have a high impact on a child’s eventual success during his or her school career. Our goal is to look at all early childhood transition points within a diverse sample to see what’s working and what’s not, with the hope of improving child and family outcomes.”
- Beth Rous, director of the National Early Childhood Transition Research and Training Center at UK's Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute
Jan. 24, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Children with disabilities and their families experience many transitions between various agencies and care providers. A standard set of guidelines for these transitions does not exist, making it difficult for children to maintain a sense of stability during their early academic lives.
However, with the development of the National Early Childhood Transition Center at the University of Kentucky Interdisciplinary Human Development Institute (IHDI), researchers are opening the door to success for these children. The center is being established with the help of a $3.5 million grant from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. The grant will enable researchers to track, over the course of five years, approximately 600 children spanning race, cultural boundaries and varying degrees of disabilities.
IHDI and the departments of Family Studies, Early Childhood Special Education and School Psychology at UK, in collaboration with faculty and staff from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Oregon State University, comprise the center’s research and training team.
“Research has shown there are specific factors that have a high impact on a child’s eventual success during his or her school career,” said IHDI’s Beth Rous, director of the center. “Our goal is to look at all early childhood transition points within a diverse sample to see what’s working and what’s not, with the hope of improving child and family outcomes.”
The primary goal of the center is to investigate and confirm practices and strategies that enhance the early childhood transition process and support positive school outcomes for children with disabilities. This objective will be met through four research activities: identification and evaluation of current transition models, practices and strategies; identification of child, family, program and community factors that influence transition; identification of state-level factors that influence transition; and identification of the relationship between socially and empirically validated practices.
“This center addresses and supports President Bush’s school readiness initiative,” Rous said. “We want to help children, families, school districts and school personnel provide the best framework for these children to succeed.”
For more information about the National Early Childhood Transition Research and Training Center, call (859) 257-2081.
IHDI works to improve life opportunities for persons with disabilities and their families through interdisciplinary training, research, technical assistance, community education and information dissemination.