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Inclusive and Family-Centered Infant-Toddler Care (iFAM-iTcare) Research Project

Start Date March 2019 End Date March 2020
Keywords Early Intervention Inclusion Family-Centered Care infant-toddler development infant-toddler workforce


This study will explore 100 Infant-Toddler educators/leaders’ knowledge of development, understanding, beliefs and practices of inclusion and family-centered care as well as their experiences with Early Intervention services.  We will target 70 Infant-Toddler educators and 30 site leaders from approximately 30 early childhood settings, including family childcare, across 3 high-need communities in Brooklyn with large populations of native-born African American families and West Indian/Caribbean families, where referral rates are unexpectedly low. Specifically, we will examine I-T educators knowledge about child development (typical and atypical), family-centered practices and Early Intervention; their beliefs about barriers and opportunities for children to receive EI services; practices they engage in to support access to EI and to work with young children with delays/disabilities and their families; as well as their perceptions of children and families experiences with EI and areas of need in their practice that would support fostering inclusion and strengthen their work with families.  We will also examine how I-T educators’ knowledge, beliefs and practices differ across contexts of care (types of EC settings and educator characteristics) and how race, culture, socio-economic status, language, and neighborhood intersect to shape I-T educators’ knowledge, beliefs, and practices. Please see the resources section below for the final report.


This study will primarily conduct focus groups and interviews with I-T educators and leaders (separately) by research assistants matched to the neighborhoods and cultural communities targeted. Focus groups will be audio recorded and transcribed by research assistants. Surveys gathering demographic, educator well-being and early intervention data will be given to each educator who participates in the focus groups. All data will be kept confidential and informed consent will be undertaken, including notifying participants that they can decline participation in the study at any time.    


Karen E. McFadden, PhD, Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Education and Art Education Department, School of Education

Jacqueline D. Shannon, PhD., Associate Professor and Chair, Early Childhood Education and Art Education Department, School of Education 

Contributing Institutions

Brooklyn College School of Education 


Authored December 2020

Karen E. McFadden, Jacqueline D. Shannon, & Jahnavi DeSousa

Institutions Brooklyn College School of Education
Type Working Paper

Examining Perceptions of Early Intervention Services in Infant-Toddler Care Settings Across Diverse Urban Neighborhoods finds that New York City’s early childhood programs would benefit from additional supports to integrate early intervention services into the everyday classroom routines and children’s experiences, something that is federally mandated and proven to improve child outcomes.