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Our Team

Ellen Burns.PNG

Ellen Burns brings 35 years of knowledge and expertise in the areas of early childhood general and special education, parent training and support, early childhood staff development and general management of a State Education Department contracted program.  Ellen has spent her entire career working as a Coordinator, an Early Childhood Specialist and the Director of the Early Childhood Direction Center, a technical assistance center for parents of children birth to age 5 with disabilities and professionals who work with children, ages birth to five.

During her tenure as the Director of the Capital District/North Country Early Childhood Direction Center Ellen has participated on many interagency committees and has provided countless hours of staff development and trainings for parents of preschool children with disabilities.  Duties also included providing training and technical assistance to school district administrators, Pupil Personnel and Committee on Preschool Special Education Chairpersons.  Ellen has also provided extensive staff development for both general education and special education preschool professionals on topics including social emotional development, literacy, behavior, and developmentally appropriate practice.  Ellen had always practiced the team approach in providing these trainings and technical assistance by working collaboratively with other State Education Department technical assistance centers (RSE TASC and Parent Centers).

Ellen serves as a Board Member for both the Capital District Child Care Coordinating Council and Helping Hands Preschool.  She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and has presented at the New York State NAEYC annual conference.  Ellen was the recipient of the Helping Hands Community Award in 2014. 



  • NYSED Policy and guidance documents related to preschool special education

  • Regulations of the Commissioner of Education- Part 200

  • Creating and presenting professional development:

    • Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) module for the SED vetted CPSE/CSE New Chairpersons Training

    • CPSE Process and Procedures

    • Brain Architecture and social emotional development in early childhood

    • Transition trainings for both parents and professionals:

      • Early Intervention to CPSE

      • CPSE to CSE

  • Collaboratively creating and presenting training with colleagues to meet the needs of the region



B.A. in Sociology/Social Work, Siena College (1983)

M.S in Early Childhood Education, The College of St. Rose (1987)

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