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From the President

Anna Nippert

Greetings! By now I hope you have settled into your fall routine, but if you are like me, it seems like the to-do lists keep growing and growing. As committed professionals, we strive to do everything we can to make our programs, classrooms and communities great places for children and families, so our work is seemingly never done. At KDEC, we recognize the hard work that each of you do, and we thank you for your service. We too, have been working hard to identify and strengthen the organization and benefits to you, our members. Social media is up and running – follow us on Twitter @DECKansas and Facebook – Kansas Division for Early Childhood– KDEC We will post upcoming events, webinars, conference information and calls for advocacy. Also new this year, we are pleased to be able to offer three small grants to KDEC members to support you in your work and research. Please be sure to see details in this newsletter. Lastly, mark your calendars for the 36th Annual KDEC Conference, February 28 – March 2, 2018. This year’s theme is “It Takes a Village,” with keynote speaker Ward Foley. Every Year the conference gives us an opportunity to come together to learn from one another and support the work that we all do. We hope to see you there to celebrate our village!

Best Regards, Anna Nippert

PR4RP: A Note from Your Kansas aRPy Ambassador

Phoebe Rinkel


With the recent announcement that the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center has been awarded funding through October 2022, support for development an dissemination of products and tools promoting implementation of the DEC RPs will continue! KDEC has graciously offered to provide a page for the aRPy Ambassador on the organization’s website, where we will be able to share the most current information about new ECTA products and tools and showcase examples of how they are being used to improve practices across Kansas and throughout the country.

As your Kansas Ambassador for the DEC Recommended Practices (RP, I had the pleasure of introducing “aRPy”, the official spokesperson for the ECTA Center’s products and tools supporting the RPs, at the annual KDEC Conference in 2017. With the revision of the DEC RPs in 2014, the ECTA Center was charged with developing new resources to promote the use of the practices to improve outcomes in early intervention and early childhood special education programs across the states. These online resources, aRPy’s Corner, and information about the aRPy Ambassadors can be found at

Working with DEC and the DEC Recommended Practices Commission, the ECTA Center staff completed content analysis of the RPs in each of the eight topic areas to identify subsets of practice indicators and key characteristics that became “Performance Checklists.” The checklists can be used for self-assessment or professional development, to help practitioners understand components of effective practices and monitor their implementation in everyday settings with children and families. To support practitioners and leaders in this process, the ECTA Center net developed “Practice Guides” for practitioners and families. These colorful on-page riefs provide illustrations and links to related resources supporting target practices. Now the ECTA Center is in the process of developing recommended Practice Modules (RPMs) online learning modules for use in higher education and professional development. These modules are being developed in partnership with DEC, higher education faculty, and other centers funded by the Office of the Special Education Programs (OSEP). The RPMs will highlight the alignment of the DEC RPs with NAEYC Standards for Early Childhood Professional Preparation. The first RPMs are currently undergoing field-tests.

In an effort to promote the accessibility and functionality of the RPs and the new products and tools with our early partners across Kansas, your aRPy ambassador will be launching an electronic newsletter: the PR4RP News! In the first issue, you will learn about a new tool for helping you or your staff become more familiar with the RPs themselves: aRPy’s online “Pop Quizzes” with video vignettes. You will be able to access the PR4RP News! On the KDEC website or to receive a copy directly, please email me at

Save the Date: 2018 Conference

Join KDEC March 1 and 2, 2018 for the 36th Annual Conference at the Double Tree by Hilton in Wichita, KS. This year’s theme is “It Takes a Village.” We are pleased to announce that Ward Foley, Scar Man, will be this year’s keynote Speaker. For additional information on Ward Foley, please visit his website at Registration opens November 2017 and can be accessed through If you are interested in presenting a breakout or poster session, call for proposals are now open. Links to the submission forms are located in the box below.

The 36th Annual KDEC Conference

Call for Proposals/Posters

KDEC 2018 Conference- Call for Session Proposals

KDEC Student Poster Submission Form 2018 Conference

When: March 1 - 2, 2018

Where: Hilton Wichita Airport Hotel

Information about the conference is also available on our Conference web page

KDEC Mini Grants for Projects which Enhance Learning for Young Children and support their Families

Mini Grant Application Form

The Executive Board of the Kansas Division for Early Childhood (KDEC) is pleased to announce a mini grants will be awarded for amounts up to $1000 each.

Projects can be an academic learning experience, program-based research, creative Activity for supporting learning by children and families, or a focused staff-training activity. Projects may come from an agency serving young children with disabilities, or a college/university student in collaboration with a faculty advisor. Examples of agencies include LEA’s, Head Start Program, Community Preschool, and/or Child Care Centers service children with disabilities. Please note that at least one individual involved in the mini grant proposal and the implementation of the project must be a current member of KDEC.

Please email Tammy Wallin at for a mini grant application. Applications are due by January 26th, 2018. Proposals will be reviewed by the KDEC Executive Board and funds will be awarded during the KDEC Conference 2018 and then will be distributed after March 2, 2018. The awarded projects must complete final project by August 20th, 2018.

Calling All Members!!

Do you know a KDEC member who shines in the work they do? We want to know who they are! We would like to begin highlighting members who exemplify the work they do with young children and their families. Nominate a member today by contacting KDEC at We will begin spotlighting members in next quarter’s newsletter.

Find us on Face and Twitter

Follow KDEC on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest news on the Annual Conference, advocacy, and important information in the field of early childhood. Check out the links below

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