Native American Tribes receive grants to improve early childhood program coordination
Work has begun this fall to improve the coordination of early learning and development programs in four tribes, thanks to a new initiative funded by the Administration for Children and Families. A total of $126,000 in supplemental grants has gone toward the new Tribal Early Learning Initiative (TELI), benefiting:
- White Earth Band of Chippewa in Minnesota
- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
- Pueblo of San Felipe in New Mexico
- Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana
The TELI is coordinated by ACF’s Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development (ODAS-ECD), in partnership with the Children’s Bureau’s Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, the Office of Head Start, and the Office of Child Care, along with the Tribal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program funded by the Affordable Care Act.
All TELI tribes participate in ACF’s American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start/Early Head Start, Tribal Child Care and Development Fund, and Tribal MIECHV programs. Tribes will concentrate their TELI activities on improving collaboration across these programs to increase efficiency and raise the quality of services provided to children and families.
ACF will work closely with individual tribes and facilitate peer learning across the tribes to identify and analyze systems issues.
We will partner with tribes to identify obstacles that could block efforts to build and maintain partnerships. We will work with tribes to develop strategies and solutions to address these obstacles that are in line with tribal community values, traditions and priorities. And we hope that the TELI tribes will serve as “models” for other tribes that are trying to build stronger early childhood systems to support their youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
ACF’s ODAS-ECD was created in 2009 to promote high-quality, comprehensive early learning and development programs and systems. ODAS-ECD is the focal point for early childhood policy at the federal level and oversees the critical Head Start/Early Head Start and Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) programs as well as a host of programs and initiatives that are implemented in collaboration with partners including other agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the U.S. Department of Education. For more information on ODAS-ECD, please visit our web page.
Linda K. Smith is the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role she provides overall policy coordination for the Head Start and Early Head Start Program and the Child Care and Development Fund, as well as serving as the liaison with the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies. Her office serves as a focal point for early childhood policy at the federal level.