The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) engages in work that advances evidence-based practices, supports families, and enhances the optimal development of young children (0-8) who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities. Under the leadership of the Executive Office representing the Executive Board, the DEC councils, committees, and commissions are the primary entities engaging in this work. These groups are officially recognized entities comprised of DEC members. DEC members are diverse in their roles and expertise and include, for example, early interventionists, early childhood special education teachers, early childhood teachers, administrators, researchers, higher education faculty, policy makers, and parent advocates. Thus, this important work is completed by unpaid volunteers who are specially appointed as experts. Given the critical nature of that work and DEC’s mission, the DEC EB and EO have been identifying strategies for supporting, sustaining, and perhaps scaling up the work of the organization. A primary mechanism for doing so is identifying and seeking additional funding sources. Further, an untapped source of funding for DEC could come from soliciting private foundations for support. Private foundations have long funded work related to improving the lives of our most vulnerable populations including young children with disabilities. For example, one potential area to utilize additional funding could be to help broaden the scope and reach of the current work being completed by the DEC Recommended Practices Evidence Synthesis Group to create comprehensive, systematic reviews of the best-available evidence for the DEC Recommended Practices. Given the ongoing nature of this work, additional funding would ensure that the practices are kept up-to-date and that they reflect current research in the field.
An additional focus of this council would be to grow the donor base for DEC. For example, members of the group would advise and assist the EO in development of major donor programs, online fundraising, donor database management, development of the “ask”, and compelling campaigns highlighting the utility of the organization’s work in its service to the field and response to the needs of the field/young children with disabilities as a whole.
To appropriately and adequately approach, and ultimately achieve success in this particular area of development within DEC, the Executive Office proposes establishing a Funding and Development Council. The primary charge of the Funding and Development Council will be to determine funding needs within DEC, identify potential sources of funding, prepare competitive proposals, and advise/make recommendations on the allocation of successfully secured funding. Funding allocation will always be at the discretion of the DEC Executive Office.
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Please contact the Council Chair Erin Barton (email@example.com) and the DEC executive office (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions or for additional information. We look forward to receiving your application!