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About Us

The Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance System (ECTTAS) National Centers promote excellence through high-quality, practical resources and approaches. They are designed to build early childhood program capacity and promote consistent practices across communities, states, tribes, and territories. These centers bring together the knowledge and skills from Head Start, child care, and health partners across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

DTL Center: The National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning advances best practices in the identification, development, and promotion of the implementation of evidence-based child development and teaching and learning practices that are culturally and linguistically responsive and lead to positive child outcomes across early childhood programs. It also supports strong professional development systems. The center's work includes, but is not limited to: professional development for the infant, toddler, and preschool workforce; evidence-based curriculum; early learning standards; effective transitions; screening and assessment; culturally, linguistically, and age-appropriate practices; enhancing teacher-child interactions; supporting networks of infant/toddler practitioners; supporting children with disabilities (part C and part B); and using data to improve practice.

ECHW Center: The National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness advances best practices for linking health and early childhood education systems, health care professionals, and families. Its goal is to maximize resources for developing and coordinating comprehensive health and wellness services within early childhood education (ECE) settings. The center's work includes, but is not limited to, providing support on topics such as: medical and dental home access; health promotion and disease prevention; emergency preparedness and environmental safety; trauma and toxic stress; developmental, behavioral, vision, and hearing screening; and nutrition. The information, resources, materials, training, and implementation support provided through the ECHW Center reflects current evidence, including brain research and neuroscience, is research-informed, and promotes effective practices and professional development within programs serving high-risk, low-income children from birth to age 5, as well as pregnant women and expectant families. The center is responsive to the unique needs of dual language learners, children in foster care, homeless children, tribal early childhood programs, and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs. It uses professional development strategies that support states, tribes, and agencies in serving low-income families or families who may be facing many adversities.

ECQA Center: The National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance supports state and community leaders and their partners in the planning and implementation of rigorous approaches to quality in all early care and education settings for children from birth to school age. The center's expert staff use collaborative approaches to do the following: advance strong health and safety standards and licensing regulations that align with the CCDF and Head Start Performance Standards; support the development and enhancement of state quality initiatives, including quality rating and improvement systems; and enhance quality assurance systems through the use of technology, data analyses, and research that promote continuous quality improvement, efficiency, and innovation.

EHS-CC Partnership Center: The National Center on Early Head Start–Child Care Partnerships is jointly funded by the Office of Head Start (OHS) and the Office of Child Care (OCC). Its purpose is to support the effective implementation of the new Early Head Start–Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships. The EHS-CC Partnership Center helps grantees deliver high-quality, comprehensive services to infants and toddlers from low-income families. It provides training and technical assistance and other resources to federal staff, OHS and OCC training and technical assistance providers, Head Start state and national collaboration offices, and CCDF Administrators. The EHS-CC Partnership Center's goal is to ensure that all are equipped to meet the needs of new EHS-CC Partnership grantees.

NCASE: The National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment provides training and technical assistance to the state, territory, and tribal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Lead Agencies and their designated networks, which include the statewide afterschool networks, State and Local Education Agencies (SEAs/LEAs), provider associations, and child care resource and referral agencies. The goal of NCASE is to ensure that school-age children in families of low-income have increased access to high-quality afterschool and summer learning experiences that contribute to their overall development and academic achievement.

NCTECD: The National Center on Tribal Early Childhood Development assists tribal grantees in the administration and implementation of CCDF programs. Its activities, expertise, and resources support tribes and tribal organizations in their efforts to increase the quality, affordability, and availability of child care in Native American communities. Targeted technical assistance (TA) services support more than 539 federally recognized tribes, either directly or through tribal consortia. These TA activities include a toll-free information and referral line, development and dissemination of information and technical assistance materials, a peer learning and leadership network, national and regional webinars and other in-person and distance learning TA events, onsite and remote consultations with program administrators, and the promotion of tribal-state collaboration and linkages between states, tribes, and local early childhood and school-age care and education programs.

PFCE Center: The National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, jointly administered by OHS and OCC, supports family well-being, effective family and community engagement, and children's school readiness, including transitions to kindergarten. The center's work includes, but is not limited to, providing training and technical assistance (T&TA) on: staff-family relationship building practices that are culturally and linguistically responsive; integrated and systemic family engagement strategies that are outcomes-based; and consumer education, family leadership, family economic stability, and individualized support for families facing adversity. To seamlessly address the needs of all ECE programs and systems serving low-income families with young children, the PFCE Center works as part of a coordinated network with other OHS and OCC National Centers to provide responsive T&TA along a birth-to-5 continuum that includes pregnant women and expectant families. The PFCE Center develops, updates, and adapts T&TA materials; disseminates and supports the appropriate use of T&TA materials; measures the use of T&TA materials in relation to specific goals related to staff and family outcomes; and disseminates materials to additional state-designated networks and organizations. The information, resources, materials, training, and implementation support provided through the PFCE Center reflects current evidence and is research-informed. The center is responsive to the unique needs of dual language learners, children in foster care, homeless children, tribal early childhood programs, and MSHS programs. The PFCE Center develops and disseminates material in a way that is both timely and responsive to different stakeholders' needs.

SCBC: The Child Care State Capacity Building Center works with state and territory leaders and their partners to create innovative early childhood systems and programs that improve results for children and families. SCBC focuses on enhancing the effectiveness of programs implemented under the CCDF, improving the quality and affordability of child care services that meet the needs of low-income working parents. NCDR: The National Center on Child Care Data and Reporting supports state, territory, and tribal CCDF grantees in collecting, managing, analyzing, and reporting child care administrative data. The center's TA efforts are available to help build or enhance grantees' capacity to improve the quality of administrative data and are provided through a toll-free help line; trainings at national conferences and Regional Office events; customized, onsite TA activities; and specialized data tools.

SIAC: The National Center on Child Care Subsidy Innovation and Accountability  provides technical assistance to CCDF programs in developing child care subsidy systems that are child-focused, family-friendly, and fair to providers. SIAC works with grantees to help them reach goals related to subsidy eligibility, integrating quality and subsidy, strengthening program integrity, payment rules, rate setting, and other policies and practices that support serving more low-income children in high-quality care.