Early Childhood

National Joint Powers Alliance® (NJPA) is the fiscal host to the early childhood professional development project “Centers of Excellence.” The goal of the Centers for Excellence Project is to design a regional system incorporating input from the field, to provide early childhood professionals with technical assistance, support, mentorship and coaching sufficient to improve practice.

Specific topics cross disciplines and benefit not only Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) teachers, but also other early childhood educators (i.e., Headstart, Day Care Providers), enhancing child find efforts and supporting inclusion.

Research-based Practices

The Project plans to expand the use of scientifically research-based practices throughout the Region and the State of Minnesota, with a specific focus in the following areas:

  • Use of assistive technology
  • Implementation of routine-based interventions (RBI)
  • Improvement of assessment, evaluation and intervention practices for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) children and families
  • Use of communication options for a child with a hearing loss (i.e., ASL, Cued Speech/Cued Language, Auditory Verbal an Auditory Oral)
  • Implementation of strategies to address challenging behaviors
  • Effective practices to support successful inclusion of children with disabilities
  • Infant mental health
  • Categorical disabilities and intervention practices
  • IFSP, IEP and IIIP writing
  • Data-based decision-making at the levels of the child, program, district and region
  • Understanding and implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavioral Support and Interventions (PBIS), as they relate to early childhood
  • Transition requirements and practices

Priorities identified through Minnesota’s special education system of general supervision (compliance)

The Regional Low Incidence Project will provide the administrative infrastructure for the Early Childhood Centers for Excellence Project.


For more information, please contact any of the following:

 Nan Records

 Regional Low Incidence Facilitator

 Email Nan

 Sara Hight

 Region 5 Professional Development Facilitator

 Email Sara

 Jodi Altringer

 Region 7 Professional Development Facilitator

 Email Jodi