Visual Executive Summary

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The Hilton/Head Start Training Program Final Report: 5 Year Visual Executive Summary (2002 through 2007)


The mission of the Hilton/Early Head Start Training Program is to support Early Head Start (EHS) and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) staff and family members—in collaboration with Early Intervention, Head Start, and Child Care—to develop skills and strategies for accessing and using services, resources, and technology to include infants and toddlers with significant disabilities and their families in EHS/MSHS programs.


Map of 238 EHS and MHS ProgramsEligible Programs and Participants

The Hilton/Early HeadStart Training Program was implemented as planned with 238 EHS/MSHS teams, 10 Regional Office teams, and 1 Central Office team, which included representatives from Regional Offices within Regions XI and XII. These programs have (a) participated in all four years of SpecialQuest, (b) convened regular team meetings including bi-annual on-site visits with their Learning Coach, (c) developed and implemented their individual SpecialQuest Team action plans, (d) reported moving towards fully implementing the intended outcomes of the training and (e) shared the training. A map of the United States is displayed with dots illustrating the location of the 238 EHS/MSHS teams that graduated from SpecialQuest IV.


This report summarizes individual, team, and program change during the four years of training related to:



EHS/MSHS program retention rate was high with 238 out of the original 279 teams (85%) participating in all four years of the training and on site follow-up. Given the significant and on-going challenges that Early Head Start and Early Intervention programs experienced over this time period, the retention rate is viewed as a very significant accomplishment.


Team Composition

SpecialQuest teams are composed of up to six members. EHS/MSHS Administrators, family members of a child with a disability, Early Interventionists, and Child Care Partners are recruited as priority members. Expenses for their participation are covered by the Hilton/Early Head Start Training Program. Additional team members could include the EHS/MSHS staff or Head Start staff. In total, 2,411 individuals attended at least one SpecialQuest.


Ninety-one individuals received continuing education units through their participation in SpecialQuest with an additional thirteen individuals furthering their learning about SpecialQuest through online academic credit coursework instructed by Program staff through Sonoma State University’s Extended Education Department.


Results from data collected at the end of each SpecialQuest event indicate that significant progress was made towards each of the immediate outcomes of the training. Participants rated themselves as more knowledgeable and more skilled and as having more positive attitudes with regard to serving infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families in natural environments like EHS/MSHS and community-based child care, as a result of the three-day training.


“Once you go to SpecialQuest, once you buy into it, it just becomes part of you.” Child Care Partner


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