Infants and Toddlers Program
The program’s mission is to facilitate early learning and school readiness for all Native American children who reside on the reservation so they may be healthy and educationally prepared for entry into Kindergarten and for the school years ahead.
The Yankton Sioux Tribe (YST) Infants and Toddlers Program is a new grant program as of May 2011. The grant is awarded through direct funds from the Department of the Interior through the Bureau of Indian Affairs/Education, facilitated by the Rosebud Education Line Office.
The program is a unique collaboration between the YST and South Central Educational Cooperative (SCC) in Tyndall, SD. They share a common goal of assuring identified young children and their families receive comprehensive early intervention services. The target population of this program are those children who qualify for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C (ages 0-3) and Part B (ages 3-5). Those children are identified through child find activities, screening, community referrals, and other procedures for the early identification of children who would benefit from specialized educational services.
The YST office functions primarily as the administrative component of the program to ensure the scope of work requirements contained in the grant agreement are fulfilled. The staff will also provide parent advocacy, education, and related services to help meet the needs of our Native American children and families.
SCC staff will continue to be the direct service providers to children in need of special education services. Their certified staff includes: Birth to Three coordinators, Early Childhood Teachers, Speech Language Therapist, School Psychologist, Special Education Paraprofessionals, and Administrative employees.
Through a close working relationship with SCC, YST can serve as the point of contact for initial referrals and assessments to SCC providers. If you know a child age 0-5 who may need services, please call our office to make a referral to this comprehensive program. Early intervention is a key factor to children’s long-term success.
Ethel Cournoyer, MSW