2021 Grants Challenge

Best We Can Be Early Education Programs

PTN’s Best We Can Be Early Education Programs address disparity gaps among toddlers at-risk of lower educational success due to moderate to severe impairments by helping them reach developmental and academic milestones as well as gain independence and social skills in preparation for preschool and community-based programs. By enhancing our service delivery to include a robust hybrid program model, grant funds will expand PTN’s capacity to deliver innovative early education services to the growing number of children in crisis in LA County.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

South Bay

Other:: Long Beach

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

First5LA reports 1 in 4 California children under the age of six are at risk for developmental, behavioral, or social delays. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children be screened for delays at regular well-child visits as early intervention has been proven to advance long-term academic and economic success. However, research shows fewer than 1 in 3 children in California receive such screenings. Sadly, the pandemic has only exacerbated health, economic, and educational disparities for vulnerable populations, and many of the families we exist to serve are delaying health related services such as routine well-child visits and early intervention services because of concerns about exposure to COVID-19, cost, accessibility and access. With the current pandemic quickly becoming an educational crisis with devastating long-term implications, it is essential that PTN expand the delivery of innovative early education services that lay a foundation for life-long learning.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

To address the early development and educational needs of underserved children with and at-risk for developmental delays and disabilities, PTN provides families throughout LA County access to evidence-based, family-centered education and therapeutic services during the most critical time of development, birth to age three. With the onset of COVID-19, PTN immediately recognized the need to innovate our programming to provide a continuum of care to young children isolated at home. This included transitioning the full scope of our Best We Can Be early education services to a tele-health platform as well as developing an extensive catalog of digitally accessible, free resources for families. Developed initially as an interim response to the Stay at Home order, PTN has come to fully embrace the use of technology as a valuable component of our early intervention programming and is now delivering a hybrid early intervention program model. This new model allows us to connect prospective clients to therapeutically-enriched early education content even before they are enrolled in our programs, and these virtual resources, designed by trained therapists and experienced educators, are available to the general public, providing support to even more children and families in need. PTN will use grant funding to continue this trajectory, providing educationally-enriched programming to young children throughout the County both digitally and in-person.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 1,083

Indirect Impact: 7,050

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Through the expansion of our hybrid early intervention program model, PTN is increasing our ability to mitigate developmental setbacks as a result of the current pandemic and expand the potential for realizing each child’s maximum level of self-sufficiency. Our long-term intended impact is to promote school readiness by providing at-risk, underserved children with comprehensive early education and therapeutic services, whether they be virtual or in-person. We expect in the short-term for 90% of our early intervention clients to demonstrate improvements in their physical, cognitive, sensory and social/emotional capabilities and development. PTN’s vision of success for this project is twofold: expand access and increase participation in high-quality, early education programs for young children with and at-risk for developmental delays; and engage and support parents/caregivers as they act as their child’s in-home therapist and educator during this public health crisis and beyond.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

To evaluate efficacy of its Early Education initiatives, PTN utilizes developmental, learning and behavioral assessments including the Ages and Stages Questionnaires® Third Edition (ASQ-3), Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) Curriculum Checklist, and Hawaii Early Learning Profile instrument as well as treatment notes and surveys. Baseline data is gathered for all children enrolled in PTN’s Early Education programs and measured against post-intervention assessments. Progress is tracked by therapist/teacher observations throughout the course of treatment. Program data and survey results from the most recent fiscal year substantiate the effectiveness of our targeted early education services; 90% of Leaps & Bounds clients demonstrated developmental improvements in speech, language, physical, cognitive, social/emotional and motor skills upon completion of the program, and 90% of ESDM clients demonstrated improvements in intellectual ability and behavior upon completion of the program.

Which of the LEARN metrics will you impact?​

Early education enrollment

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

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