Partnering with Families of Young Children with Disabilities Transitioning into Public Pre-K or K

graphic thumbnail with text: Early Childhood Professional Development
Graduate Credits: 


The transitions to Pre-K and kindergarten are both exciting and stressful for families with young children with disabilities. Supporting families during this time is key to their engagement in their child’s education. Family engagement in early childhood education improves outcomes for children with disabilities. By researching, understanding, and applying evidence based practices for developing meaningful communication and positive relationships with families, school districts can more effectively meet the needs of these young children.  

This institute provides knowledge, strategies and resources to explore the various components of transition to Pre-K or K, the role of the family, the impact on the family, ways to partner with the family using culturally responsive knowledge and strategies with understanding of the definition and impact of implicit bias, and the benefit of well-planned proactive home visits. Participants will apply what they learn to an action plan they will develop to improve partnering with families transitioning to Pre-K or K in their school/program setting.

This is a 68-hour, 13-week hybrid online institute funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and facilitated by CES. Participants will be required to engage in various online learning activities and three face-to-face sessions. To read the full syllabus, click here.

Participants who complete all course requirements will receive:

  1. free text bookHome, School, and Community Collaboration: Culturally Responsive Family Engagement Fourth Edition (valued at $112)  
  2. $100 stipend

Audience and Grade Level

Administrators, Superintendents, Behavior Consultant Behavior Analysts (BCBA), Early Childhood Directors, Early Childhood Educators, General Educators, Occupational and Physical Therapists, Paraeducators, Related Service Providers, School Nurses, Adjustment Counselors, Special Education Directors, Special Educators, Teachers of Students with Severe Disabilities, Teachers of Students with Visual Impairment, Grades PreK - K


67.5 PDPs or 3 graduate credits will be awarded to participants upon completion of this institute. Graduate credit is available through Westfield State University at an additional cost of $325. Graduate credit registration and payment occurs at the first face-to-face meeting. Please be prepared to pay via check.

Date and Location

The institute will include three face-to-face sessions in addition to online work. **Waitlist will be available in the registration drop down menu once the training fills. 

Spring 2020, Northampton

Online work will run from January 27 through April 24, 2020.

Face-to-face sessions:

  • February 13, 2020; 8:30am - 3:30pm
  • March 5, 2020; 8:30am - 3:30pm
  • April 15, 2020; 8:30am - 3:30pm

Cost and Registration

The institute is FREE, thanks to generous funding by DESE. Participants who complete all course requirements will receive a text bookHome, School, and Community Collaboration: Culturally Responsive Family Engagement Fourth Edition (valued at $112) and a $100 stipend. 


  • thumbnail of Desiree Lalbeharie-Josias

    Desiree Lalbeharie-Josias, Ed.D. is the Director of the Early Childhood Department at CES.  She earned both her Bachelor’s degree in Education and Child Study and her Master’s degree in Education of the Deaf from Smith College.  She completed her doctoral studies at University of Massachusetts-Amherst in Special Education with a focus on Early Intervention.  

  • thumbnail of Megan McGuirk

    Megan McGuirk is currently an Administrative Team Chairperson for the Chelmsford Public Schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Psychology from Worcester State University.

For more information, contact:
Administrative Assistant
413.586.4900 x5568