The following pages contain a preliminary quality assurance plan for a small agency providing SEIT/speech therapy instruction to early childhood students in a variety of settings and environments. After outlining the importance of quality assurance in the provision of such education, the plan briefly mentions key legislative and regulatory aspects of the services provided that must form the foundation of any operational plan in this area of education. Methods for meeting these foundational guidelines and establishing an agency that is fundamentally compliant with all necessary regulations are then provided, and other operational aspects of the agency and its quality assurance needs are also discussed.
The purpose of this quality assurance plan is to ensure that full legal and ethical compliance is consistently achieved and exceeded in all activities of the agency. Providing the best possible service to the individual students the agency and its employees/contractors come into contact with -- and thus providing the best possible service to the community at large -- is not only legally sound and a measure of good business, but is also the most or perhaps the only ethically appropriate course of action. The service provided by the agency is vital to the community and can have substantial effects on the development and future learning of the children involved, and thus the importance of the quality maintenance and assurance of these services is all but impossible to overstate.
Through adherence to the recommendations and guidelines of this quality assurance plan, the agency will ensure that all of its operations, whether conducted by employees or contractors, are carried out with the greatest degree of efficacy as determined by current research and knowledge. As such, the direct objectives of this quality assurance plan are to develop and implement policies that will facilitate and promote the continuing growth of pertinent knowledge amongst the agency and its members, and to establish an internal review policy to ensure adequate communication and implementation of identified best practices is occurring. This quality assurance plan also aims to identify specific legislation and areas of ethical or practical concern that require direct and explicit attention.
There are several sources of law and other external guidelines that will need to be considered in shaping the operations and the quality assurance plan for the agency. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, recommendations and policy outlines of the New York Office of Children and Family Services, and other relevant pieces of state and federal legislation were all considered in the formation of the quality assurance plan and the shaping of planned actions and operations within the agency. Specific areas of external constraint or guidance that were identified as requiring explicit addressing in the quality assurance plan are presented below, with appropriate actions that meets these guidelines presented in the following section.
Guidelines Identified in Legislation and other Governmental Institutions:
The agency's services will be utilized by educational facilities/childcare centers to comply with multidisciplinary requirements in IDEA, and teaching practices should be approached, developed, and implemented as such
Appropriate education can only be obtained with an appropriate foundation, and it is the job of the agency to provide this foundation for the students it encounters
New York State defines and monitors communication-only delays differently, requiring special knowledge in testing and reporting on the part of instructors
Specific guidelines regarding communication in the event of interrupted service provision and other adherence to previously established codes are incorporated into New York State's legislation regarding early childhood special education
Overall integration of practices and methodologies with local and state guidelines as well as with some individual institutional practices is variously suggested and required
Ensuring Guideline Compliance
Complying with the above-identified external guidelines will be a relatively straightforward process, as most of these guidelines can easily be incorporated into the basic functions and structures of the agency. As such, these guidelines (and other more specific guidelines not detailed here) will be used as the foundation of the quality assurance plan implanted by the agency. This will make the development of more rigorous quality assurance measures more effective and efficient, as well.
External Guideline Compliance Measures
All lesson plans, instructional methods, and institutional needs…