Learning Decks

Several people sit at a table watching a
About DEC Learning Decks

  • Webinars are hosted on GotoTraining.

Upcoming Learning Decks:

  • One week, one day, and one hour prior to each Learning Deck, registrants will receive a link for the webinar and handouts from presenters.

  • All Learning Deck sessions will be recorded, archived, and available for purchase in case participants miss a session or want to sign up for a session which they cannot attend on the date offered. 

Archived Learning Decks: 

  • Archived Learning Deck purchases will also be sent via email. This process can take 1-3 business days. 

Certificates of Attendance: 

  • Individual live webinar purchases include one certificate of attendance.

  • Group orders and archived webinar purchases do not include certificates of attendance. 

​Placing an Order: 

  • All Learning Decks, upcoming & archived, are available for purchase. 

  • Purchase orders and credit card payments are accepted. 

  • Orders can be placed here. You will be taken to a separate website to upload your purchase order or complete payment via credit card.

Group Logistics:

For each group order, the purchaser will need to designate a host. If the group is placing an order for a live webinar, the host will receive a link to log on to the webinar platform. All group members will need to view the webinar from the same location using the host's computer.* 

The Difference Between Large Group and Statewide or National Purchases: 

Group pricing allows the purchaser to complete a one time viewing for a group of participants of a certain size. If an agency (e.g. a Part C/619 program) purchases statewide access, then they would be able to use the webinar for ongoing training and would not need to repurchase for each group. 

*Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak, group members can temporarily view the webinars in separate locations as long as the number of participants does not surpass the number of group members included in the original webinar purchase. 

Please Note: Sharing a Learning Deck with one or more parties, without prior written permission from Division for Early Childhood, is a violation of copyright law.


2021 Learning Decks

Crib Mobile
Balanced Intervention - Supporting Caregiver and Child Learning during EI/ECSE Visits

Thursday, August 12th, 2021, 3:00 to 4:00 PM Eastern Time  

Description: You know how to teach children; it’s your super power. Do you know how to teach adults too? As an early interventionist or an ECSE teacher using virtual parent coaching, it is becoming more and more essential that you have an understanding of how caregivers learn. Join this webinar to discover how integrating six adult learning principles into your practice can help you balance the intervention you provide so that both learners – the caregiver and the child – are engaged and learning during and between visits!


Participant Outcomes:

1. Recognize the link between caregiver coaching and adult learning
2. Identify 6 adult learning principles
3. Learn from a mother of a preschooler who also received EI about the importance of supporting caregiver learning via video clips
4. Gain at least 5 strategies for integrating adult learning principles into coaching practices with families
5. Plan for how to use what they learn after the webinar by focusing on a specific principle or strategy to add to their practice.


Presenters: Dana Childress, PhD

DANA CHILDRESS, Ph.D., is an Early Intervention Professional Development Consultant with the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked in the field of early intervention (EI) for more than 25 years as an educator, service coordinator, supervisor, trainer, author, and consultant. 

Mother and Baby
What Do Assessment Practices REALLY Look Like in EI? A Three-Part Series

This Learning Deck series was archived June 2021.  

Description: While early childhood researchers have described and defined authentic assessment, much of the work has been based on classroom and teaching practices. By exploring how to consider infant and toddler skills across settings, time, and interactions within everyday life contexts, practitioners will be able to implement functional assessment throughout the EI process. Supporting EIs to understand how to step away from focusing on discrete test skills to incorporate observation and gathering of information is also essential. This session will provide tools, vignettes, and practice to apply the research and RPs specifically for infants, toddlers, and families in Part C based on an article in the DEC Assessment Monograph.

Using a systematic crosswalk, the sessions will align a practical definition of early intervention (EI) functional assessment with nine of the eleven DEC Assessment RPs. Focusing on good assessment practices, the definition incorporates eight important elements including:  “continuous, collaborative, observing, asking meaningful questions, listening, analyzing, naturally occurring everyday routines and activities, and across multiple situations and settings.” These elements will be linked to EI decision points including eligibility determination, program planning, and progress monitoring supporting practitioners to use recommended assessment practices during multiple activities. 


Participant Outcomes: Supporting early interventionists (EIs) to apply the DEC RPs during assessment and service delivery to families of infants and toddlers in Part C is essential. To enhance confidence and competence and build capacity, it is important for EIs to understand the evidence behind practices. By participating in this session, practitioners will understand the applicability of the DEC RPs to their assessment practices. After learning a practical definition of functional assessment (FA), participants will explore various EI decision points where FA can be implemented. They will strategize how they can use this definition and the assessment RPs to guide service delivery.

Presenters: Cori Hill, M.Ed.; Lisa Terry, MS, M.Ed., IMH-E®; Dana Childress, PhD

CORI HILL, M.Ed. is the Principal Investigator and provides overall coordination and oversight for the Integrated Training Collaborative (ITC), Virginia's Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) project. She has worked in the field of early intervention for over 25 years as an infant program director, educator and service coordinator.


LISA TERRY, MS, M.Ed., IMH-E® provides support for the design and implementation of professional development activities for early intervention providers and administrators in Virginia. Lisa is a certified trainer in the Growing Brain, a ZERO TO THREE curriculum. She maintains endorsement in infant mental health as an Infant Family Specialist.


DANA CHILDRESS, Ph.D., provides support for the design and implementation of professional development activities for early intervention providers and administrators in Virginia. She has worked in early intervention for over 20 years as an early childhood special educator, service coordinator, program supervisor, local system manager, trainer, and writer. She is the co-author of the book, Family-Centered Early Intervention: Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Natural Environments.

Modern Family
How Early Intervention Providers Can Support Foster Parents using a Family-Centered Approach

This Learning Deck was archived Wednesday, February 24th, 3:00 to 4:00 PM Eastern Time. 

Description: The CAPTA legislation requires child welfare professionals to refer children between birth and three years old to early intervention programs (About CAPTA: A Legislative History, 2019). Many of these children are being cared for out of their biological homes by foster parents. Early intervention providers are in the unique position to support foster parents as they care for and support the development of a vulnerable population. This presentation aims to provide guidelines for supporting foster parents using a family-centered approach that is inclusive to the unique needs of foster parents and those they care for. We will use the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices on Family and Teaming and Collaboration as our reference point (i.e. F1 & TC 2). Real-life vignettes will be shared to illustrate the importance of terminology, as well as the importance of using family-centered practices to support foster parents of young children with disabilities. First presenter will also share experiences as a foster parent and a certified early intervention specialist in Massachusetts.

Participant Outcomes:

1. Participants will understand the value of family-centered practices when supporting foster parents who are caring for young children with disabilities.
2. Participants will understand the importance of terminology when engaging with foster parents during initial meetings and ongoing service provision.
3. Participants will gain knowledge about the CAPTA legislation as it pertains to collaboration between early intervention and child welfare agencies.

Presenters: Kelly Brown; Serra Acar, PhD; Angi Stone-MacDonald, PhD

KELLY BROWN is a doctoral student at UMass Boston. She has been active in the field of Early Intervention since 2008, becoming a certified early intervention specialist in 2011. Kelly’s primary research interest is the collaboration between child welfare and early intervention. Kelly is also a foster and adoptive parent.

SERRA ACAR, PhD (she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education and Care at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Acar’s research interests include culturally and linguistically responsive assessment in EI/ECSE, EF in dual language learners, and personnel preparation.

ANGI STONE-MACDONALD, PhD is the Associate Dean for Grants and Research College of Education and Human Development, associate professor, and Early Education and Care in Inclusive Settings Program Director in University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her research focuses on increasing fidelity in assessment and supporting EI practitioners working with diverse families.


Free Learning Deck

Understanding Implicit Bias and Its Role in Early Learning Environments

Archived Webinar - This webinar was originally recorded on June 6, 2018.

Description: Racial inequities have long been present in our educational system. Recently, there has been a growing emphasis on the role of implicit bias in how programs discipline children, implement classroom practices, and establish teacher-child relationships. This session aims to support early childhood professionals in reducing implicit biases and using culturally responsive practices. Specifically, the session will focus on (1) identifying barriers to equity in early childhood environments for children of color (L7; E1); (2) defining implicit bias and its role in perpetuating inequitable practices (L7); (3) describing strategies for identifying and overcoming implicit bias (INS6); and (4) providing specific culturally responsive practices that can be used in early learning environments to promote equitable outcomes for children from culturally diverse backgrounds (E1; INS2; INS6). This session will actively engage participants in learning self-reflection and debiasing strategies, and how to use culturally responsive practices.

After taking part in this session, participants will be able to:
1. Identify barriers to equity in early education, specifically related to the disproportionate number of Black children who are suspended or expelled from programs.
2. Have a basic understanding of implicit bias and its role in early childhood education.
3. Describe specific strategies for identifying and overcoming implicit biases.
4. Describe the components of a culturally responsive teaching practices, including an emphasis on family involvement, how to view child development through a culturally responsive lens, and specific culturally responsive strategies designed to prevent challenging behaviors within early learning environments.

Presenters: Jen Neitzel, PhD, Megan Vinh, PhD, Ebonyse Mead

JENNIFER NEITZEL, PhD, is a Research Scientist at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Neitzel’s work is focused on implicit bias, early childhood suspensions and expulsions, and racial equity in early childhood education.


MEGAN VINH, PhD, is the Co-Director of the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center, a co-PI of the Early Childhood Recommended Practice Modules project (RPM), and the evaluation lead for the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy).


EBONYSE MEAD is the Family Support Program Officer at the Smart Start of North Carolina. In her work, Ms. Mead focuses on implicit bias and its role in early childhood education, particularly related to families and their experiences within early learning environments.


All Available Learning Decks

A Framework for Engaging Families in Early Intervention: Current and Best Practice

Archived Webinar 

Description: Family engagement leads to improved outcomes for children. Some families are harder to engage than others. Explore recent research conducted by Indiana University and learn about a family engagement framework that incorporates practical strategies for getting all families engaged during early intervention and the benefits for children, families and providers.

Presenters: Katherine Herron and Janet Ballard

KATHERINE HERRON, PhD is a research associate with the Early Childhood Center, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University. Katie has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Indiana University (2003), a program that focuses on high-quality research and the importance of implementing empirically based treatments. Her focus shifted to early intervention during graduate school when her son was born with a disability. Her experience as a parent in First Steps, the state’s early intervention system led her to work as a service coordinator within the same system, as well as on grants focused on parent advocacy and transition. Katie has also worked within First Steps doing education and outreach to families and professionals. She serves as chair of a city-supported Council for Community Accessibility. Katie has worked at the Early Childhood Center for almost two years. She works on a quality
improvement grant for First Steps as well as doing work on preschool quality and family engagement in both early intervention and early education programs.

JANET BALLARD is a Research Associate at the Early Childhood Center (ECC) at Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. She works on the First Steps Quality Review grant and as part of the assessment team for the Early Education Matching Grant. She is CLASS trained and has worked in the Birth to three realm for the past 20 years as a First Steps Provider and State Consultant. More recently, Janet helped create and implement the Early Head Start Program in Monroe County and served as the Coordinator of the program before coming to ECC. She is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.