Gerri's Gazette November 2023

Welcome November!

We welcome the cooler weather and the end of triple digit temperatures in many parts of the state. For those of you in the northern counties, it certainly feels like Fall.

This month is full of holidays and observances: National Adoption month, Aviation History month, COPD awareness month, Prematurity Awareness month, Epilepsy Awareness month, Child Safety Protection Month, and National Family Caregivers month, to name a few.

We remember those who are no longer living with Dia de los Muertos and All Saints Day on November 1. It is the end of Daylight Savings time on November 5. The U.S. General Election Day is on November 7. We honor the heroes who have served in the armed forces on November 11, Veteran’s Day. Thanksgiving is celebrated in the U.S. on November 23, followed by Black Friday shopping deals on November 24 and Cyber Monday for those on-line shoppers on November 27 this year. The National Hunger and Homeless Awareness week occurs the entire week before Thanksgiving. You are invited to take time to gain perspective and give back to the community where possible. Here are more reasons to celebrate the month of November from the National Day Calendar

Did you know the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) uses a Central Referral System for all the referrals in the state?

Anyone can make a referral to AzEIP if they suspect an infant or toddler has developmental delays or a disability. All of the referrals from parents, physicians, hospitals, audiologists, ophthalmologists, Department of Child Safety, Early Head Start, childcare providers, home visiting programs, or early childhood community programs are received through the AzEIP central referral agency. The central referral agency is managed by dedicated staff at Raising Special Kids (RSK). RSK receives the referrals through an online portal, email, telephone, facsimile, in-person, or other methods. They accurately process all referrals statewide by reasonably attempting to obtain missing information for incomplete referrals and assigning complete referrals to the appropriate AzEIP Team-based Early Intervention Services (TBEIS) contractor. The TBEIS contractors are assigned based upon the child’s address / zip code.

A complete referral includes the child’s first and last name, date of birth, and gender with the parent/caregiver’s name, home address, phone number, and email address.

After the TBEIS contractor receives a referral, a service coordinator is assigned to contact the parent / caregiver. During the service coordinator’s initial phone call to the family, they confirm the information on the referral, explain the TBEIS model, explain child and family rights, obtain consent to proceed, and answer any questions the family has. The service coordinator is the primary contact for the parent / caregiver and the referral source for questions or to share any medical records to assist with AzEIP eligibility determination. Early Intervention records and information cannot be shared without written consent from the biological parent unless an alternate “educational” parent has been established. AzEIP is an educational program established under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act /IDEA signed into law on November 29, 1975 by President Gerald Ford.

This is a screenshot of our website at AzEIP website to make a referral or explore additional resources about the program.

Early Intervention Basics:

Parenting Tips

PBS for Kids for parents

PBS Kids for Parents offers a variety of fun and educational activities for children 2-8 years old. The Learn & Grow tab offers a variety of milestone topics to support Emotional & Self-Awareness, Social Skills, Literacy, and Arts. Find Ways to Play / Activities To Do At Home with 2 Year Olds

Communication Cues from infants & toddlers

The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning at Vanderbilt University offers tips on communications cues from children up to age 2.

Why healthy baby teeth matter

The new First Things First website explains why oral health for babies is so important.

Professional Development Opportunities

Be sure to mark your calendars for Strong Families AZ virtual Learning Festivals that take place on the first or second Fridays of the month. They are FREE to attend and links to register via Zoom will be sent out approximately 2 weeks before each session. They offer certificates of attendance for 1.5 professional development hours following completion of the evaluation for each session.

Please watch for our invitations to register by email.

Learning Festival for Home Visitors

November 3, 2023 (Virtual) | 10:00am – 11:30am (Phoenix Time)

Certificate of Attendance available – 1.5 Professional Development Hours

Free to attend via Zoom. American Sign Language Interpretation will be available.

Topic: Creating Connections through Self-Care: Follow up to 2023 Conference Retreat

Kelly Lubeck, MPH, RYT, Coach and Healing Practitioner will help us Create Connections through Self-Care.

Kelly Lubeck is passionate about changing the world for the better, through individual and community-level healing programs that inspire wellness, health and soul-centered, embodied leadership.

Changemaking is hard work – and can extract a toll on those who deliver it. Kelly guides changemakers and leaders to heal their individual nervous systems and release self-defeating patterns of self-sacrifice and over-giving in their work and relationships that lead to burnout, anxiety and illness. As they expand their capacity for changemaking, this healing ripples out to the world and changes it for the better.

Kelly helps leaders to stay grounded, centered, and embodied in the midst of changemaking, so they can deliver and lead impactful work, enjoy meaningful relationships and have deep connection with their purpose, without sacrificing body, mind and spirit to their mission. And that makes an even greater impact.

She draws upon her personal experiences of journeying back from an unexplained health crisis and burnout (twice!) to guide committed changemakers with clarity, wisdom, confidence and compassion.

Kelly integrates her extensive background of over 25 years of developing and leading public health and early childhood programs in Latin America, the U.S. and Africa, with over 15 years leading educational and resilience building, holistic healing programs, keynotes, workshops and retreats to individuals, groups and organizations around the world.

She earned her Masters in Public Health at Columbia University. Her holistic training includes her yoga teacher training certification (RYT), Healing the Light Body shamanic healing certification, Sacred Depths coaching certification, holistic health coaching certification, and years of study on the nervous system and trauma healing with a variety of teachers. Her finest teacher thus far, though, is her 12-year-old child, who’s taught her about most things in life and her capacity for love.

Register in advance for this meetingAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting and your unique Zoom link.

Learning Festival sessions are typically the first Friday of the month at 10:00am. We encourage participation in the discussion portion of the presentations.

You can review past Learning Festival sessions on the SFAZ Home Visitor Portal.


Southern Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children

Register here!



AHCCCS Health Care Career Education Scholarship Opportunities

AHCCCS, in collaboration with Maricopa Community Colleges and the Managed Care Organization’s (MCOs) Workforce Development Administrators, has launched two AHCCCS Health Care Career Education Scholarship opportunities.

AHCCCS is working with other colleges around the state to make these scholarships available throughout Arizona. Updates will be posted on the AHCCCS webpage.

The purpose of the scholarships is to provide a resource for furthering education, improve the competency of direct care providers, and enhance members' experiences. This transformative award program covers student tuition, books, course fees, health and safety requirements, and other needed resources for students pursuing a career in:

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Career Education and Training

Behavioral Health

The Complete List of Eligible Programs, Degrees, Certificates, and Courses, includes:

  • Advanced Caregiver
  • Direct Care Worker
  • Disabilities Specialist
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Physical Therapy Assistant
  • Speech Language Pathologist Assistant

This is an excellent professional development opportunity. The Division encourages all Qualified Vendors to share this resource with their workforce and support direct service providers to apply for a scholarship.

For further information and to apply for a scholarship in participating community colleges, please visit the AHCCCS webpage.

You may also contact the Workforce Development Team mailbox at dddworkforcedevelopment@azdes.gov.


Dear Early Childhood Professional,

The Arizona Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) Recruitment and Retention workgroup has launched its annual workforce survey to hear the voices of early childhood professionals from across Arizona. We are looking for professionals to complete this survey so that we can collect data on recruitment and retention of the Early Intervention (EI), Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), and Early Childhood Education (ECE) fields and create products to support programs with retention of early childhood staff. We thank you in advance for taking the time to answer these questions. The survey on average takes 5-15 minutes. If you're a supervisor, it would be helpful to have information regarding staff vacancies nearby. and colleagues. Please take a few moments to complete the workforce survey and please forward to your staff. Thank you for your time!

Early Childhood Educator Recruitment and Retention Survey

CSPD Recruitment Event

Ready to jump in? We are looking for professionals from Head Start, early intervention, early childhood special education, institutes of higher education, partnering state agencies involved in Arizona’s childcare systems, and parents of children with disabilities. CSPD Recruitment Event

For more information, contact azcspd@azdes.gov



This link is available to subscribe to the Az ASQ Newsletter as well as to submit questions or topics to be addressed in future issues.


Bright by Text, a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting parents and caregivers through free, targeted text messages. Bright by Text puts free tips, information, and community resources into parents’ fingertips through their smartphones, helping families promote the learning, development, and health of their young children. Timely Tips by BrightBright by Text Frequently Asked Questions and Bright by Text free sign up.


Do you have concerns about your child’s feeding? Early detection and treatment of feeding problems are critical to the long-term health and well-being of affected children. Talk to your service provider and take this survey.

Feeding Matters Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire©

How to Apply for Child Care Assistance



The Birth to Five Helpline is a free service open to all Arizona families with young children looking for the latest child development information from experts in the field. Early childhood professionals may also take advantage of this service.

Call the Helpline at 877-705-KIDS (5437) to speak with one of our bilingual (English/Spanish) early childhood specialists, on duty Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can also leave a voicemail, complete our online contact form, or text the Helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Topics addressed include, but are not limited to: sleep, health and nutrition, safety, challenging behaviors, feeding and eating, general child development, potty training, fussiness/colic, and parenting.

AzEIP Website Enhancements

AzEIP has added more resources and links to our website

As an ongoing commitment for quality improvements the AzEIP team has added additional information on the Families tab link

Families have easy access to:

  • Applying for AzEIP if they suspect their child has a developmental delay
  • Find additional services if they are receiving early intervention
  • Find community programs if the are ineligible for AzEIP
  • Request early intervention records
  • Find additional resources by accessing the Central Directory of Resources
  • Learn about the AzEIP terms by using the Glossary link
  • Tell us about your AzEIP experience
  • Child and Family Rights in AzEIP
  • Inclusion for All Children
  • Family Guide for dispute resolution options
  • Sharing concerns
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Advise and Assist AzEIP

Links to Statewide Resources:

M.A.N.C.A.V.E Fatherhood Summit registration FREE In-Person or Virtual / Hybrid December 7 & 8, 2023 link (AzEIP will be there)


Glendale Community Day and Food Gathering Event (AzEIP will be there)

Festival of Tales December 2, 2023 link

Find more information about the ICC here!


Important Disclaimer: The foregoing is publicly available information about upcoming events, resources, and reminders from third-party organizations. In some cases, AzEIP has included links to other websites that are not owned or controlled in any way by AzEIP, but that contain additional information about the events, resources or reminders. By clicking on any of the links above, you agree to be directed to the external website and you acknowledge and agree that AzEIP shall not be held responsible or accountable for any information contained on such site. Please note that AzEIP does not monitor any of the websites linked herein and does not endorse or approve any information posted on any such sites.

If you’ve received this newsletter from a friend and would like to be included on our distribution list, we welcome you!

Please email your request to: azeip@azdes.gov