Inclusive Early Education Expansion Program (IEEEP)
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education was awarded this five-year grant funded by the California Department of Education (CDE) in 2019/2020. The purpose of the Santa Cruz County IEEEP grant is to increase access to inclusive early learning and care (ELC) programs for children with disabilities, including children with severe disabilities in inclusive early learning settings.
Santa Cruz County selected to focus on professional development as a way to provide knowledge, strategies, resources, child evaluation and referral services to early learning and care staff who are serving children with a broad range of disabilities. The overall goal of the IEEEP program is to increase the confidence of early learning and care educators supporting children with disabilities and severe disabilities. Participating educators and administrators will take part in five required, evidence-based trainings, focused on inclusive practices: Ages and Stages Questionnaire, Social Emotional Development, Adaptations and Accommodations, Universal Design for Learning and Behavior and use of Positive Behavioral Supports. Professional development is also driven by data collected from ELC programs on the types of disabilities children have that are enrolled in programs. In addition, the IEEEP program offers early learning and care staff professional mental health consultant support with observation evaluations and referral process.
The Inclusive IEEEP Leadership Team of early education and special education stakeholders guides the completion of all grant requirements and that it will remain sustainable beyond the grant cycle. Development of a strategic plan and professional development matrix were created to track grant requirements and future sustainable options. The Leadership Team recommends types of resources developed to support early learning and care educators, so they will have useful resources at their fingertips when needed.
IEEEP Local Resources
Cinelux Theaters offer Sensory Friendly movie times, where the lights are turned up and the sound is turned down, as well as private theater rentals, handicap accessibility and devices for the hearing impaired with descriptive video. Sign up for their emails to get updates on current and future movie offerings.
Scotts Valley Public Library, a branch within the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, located in the city of Scotts Valley, is home to the Special Needs Resource Center. Materials and resources can be found for all educators, parents and anyone who would like to have access to this collection.