Issue Fifteen

June, 2012

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Early Childhood Advisory Council Updates  

In This Issue
ECAC Explores Statewide Shared Services
Implementation Update - QUALITYstarsNY
Volunteers Needed for Piloting Cost Model
ECAC Supports Common Metric
ECAC Members Corner

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Across the country a growing number of early learning leaders, funders and policymakers are exploring the Shared Services strategy in order to reduce costs and maximize quality programming. Read about what the ECAC is doing to promote Shared Services in New York State, as well as our continued developments and implementation of QUALITYstarsNY and reports on other initiatives and services to improve children and families' chances for success.  

Whether you have been a subscriber from the beginning, or are receiving this newsletter for the first time, we look forward to having you as our reader. As always, please send comments and concerns to 

ECAC Explores Statewide 

Shared Services



Sponsored by the ECAC and with support from the BUILD Initiative, a New York State Shared Services Alliance Project is being explored as a vehicle to streamline administration, share costs and deliver services among small early learning programs across the state. The goal of a Shared Services Alliance is to create financially sound and efficient organizations that are better equipped to offer affordable, high-quality programming to young children.


Partners throughout the state currently experimenting with shared services on the local level include Rockland and Steuben Counties and several communities within New York City.


Kristen Kerr, Executive Director of NYS Association for the Education of Young Children, and Marsha Basloe, Executive Director of Early Care and Learning Council, gave a presentation to the June ECAC meeting that highlighted the possibilities that a New York State Shared Services Alliance Project can provide:

  • Joint purchasing of contractual services.
  • Bulk purchasing of goods and services.
  • Website that provides easy access to a variety of resources (i.e. manuals, business plans, etc.).
  • Support for local efforts to create a pool of substitute workers.

Next steps for moving forward include:

  • Develop a task group to continue to develop and implement a Shared Services Initiative.
  • Solicit feedback and thoughts from multiple stakeholders via:
    • Surveys
    • Focus groups
    • Presentations
  • Explore how the technology may be used more broadly.

 To learn more about Shared Services, visit


Implementation Update 


QUALITYstarsNY Is Recruiting Providers!


Efforts are currently underway to recruit center-based early learning programs (i.e. child care, Head Start, UPK) and group family and family child care homes to participate in QUALITYstarsNY. With funding from the State Education Department, providers are being recruited from communities across the state. Click here to view the list of communities. The application is available hereApplications are due June 30th, 2012


Beginning in July participants will be notified of their selection and will begin to work with the QUALITY Improvement Specialists.


From the point of selection through 2014 participants will engage in a self-study on the Standards, be observed on the Environment Rating Scales (ERS) and engage in quality improvement planning. Limited funds will be provided to support quality improvement efforts. Free training on the ERS will also be given to interested participants. In addition, ECAC funding is supporting former field test sites throughout the state and the Rauch Foundation is supporting additional sites on Long Island. 


For more details about implementation, please visit


QUALITYstarsNY Moves to Ensure

Cultural Competence 


New York State is receiving customized technical assistance from the BUILD Initiative in the development of a strategic plan for the meaningful integration of the Pathways to Cultural Competence Toolkit into QUALITYstarsNY implementation.  Developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Pathways Toolkit, while in draft form, was included in the field test of the QUALITYstarsNY standards in 2010.  Several field test participants used the toolkit's self-assessment checklists and other resources to gauge the effectiveness of their programs in the area of cultural and linguistic responsiveness to children and families.


Ola Friday, NYC Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, Jocelyn Rodriguez, Center for Hispanic Children and Families, and Taniesha Woods, National Center for Children in Poverty, the technical assistance expert identified by the BUILD Initiative, presented at the June ECAC membership meeting on information about, and ways for programs to ensure, cultural and linguistic competence. They requested that members complete a survey about resources and asset mapping. Over the summer months, they will be contacting members as a follow-up to the survey results, develop a strategic plan, and return to report on their progress at the September 2012 ECAC membership meeting.


Members of the Quality Improvement Work Group have guided this process and provided leadership and support for the work, including: Cindy Lamy, Peggy Liuzzi. Kimlee Marquise, and Elba Montalvo. We thank all of you!


Readiness Trainings Wrap Up


As of the end of May, a total of 98 of 100 QUALITYstarsNY Readiness workshops have been completed, including 36 "Introduction to QUALITYstarsNY" workshops, 30 "Self-Assessment-Preparing for Program Improvement" workshops, and 32 "First Steps for Quality Improvement" workshops. Workshops have been held in every region of the state. To maximize participation, all workshops were free to early learning providers and administrators, and were held at convenient times and locations.


The project is now in the data collection and analysis phase. Anecdotal information shows that participants were highly satisfied with the workshops. A comprehensive evaluation system on the Readiness workshop project has been developed and is currently being implemented. The evaluation will analyze demographic information, registration/attendance, knowledge change, workshop satisfaction and intended changes as a result of workshop attendance.


Future Readiness trainings will be held in the implementation communities as QUALITYstarsNY rolls out.  

Volunteers Needed to Pilot 

New York State 

Early Childhood Cost Model  


 We want your help! The ECAC is pleased to announce that the Early Childhood Cost Model is ready to be "tested" and we need volunteers. We have spent the last year building an Early Childhood Cost Model that, for the first time, provides a systematic framework for determining costs for all services and programs for young children and their  families in New York State. The Cost Model is a tool to help policymakers and other early childhood stakeholders be able to increase public-private investments in early childhood and blend existing investments to maximize impact.


 If you would like to participate in the piloting of the Cost Model, please contact


Want to learn more about ECAC Early Childhood Cost Model? Click here for more details.

ECAC Supports Statewide Adoption of New York City's Common Metric for Early Childhood Assessments 

During the process of writing the Early Learning Challenge Grant (ELCG) proposal, it was decided that the Common Metric, being developed by the New York City Early Care and Education Steering Committee, would have value for the entire state of New York and was included in the proposal. That proposal did not receive federal funding but, moving forward, the ECAC analyzed the proposal and created a plan to implement components that would serve to advance the mission of the ECAC, including adopting the New York City Early Care and Education Steering Committee's Common Metric. 


The overall mission of the New York City Early Care and Education Steering Committee is to ensure that all children, birth to age 8 are ready for success in school and life. To facilitate that goal, New York City, in partnership with New York University, is developing a Common Metric to streamline and compare results across the most common assessments being used for young children in New York City:

  • Teaching Strategies GOLD
  • Child Observation Record (COR)
  • The Work Sampling System (WSS)  

The plan will allow the "translation" of results from the different assessments into a common rubric in order to make comparisons across different programs and geographic areas, and to evaluate student progress against standards.


The project has completed its first phase, which included getting all the partners on board and all data sharing agreements signed.


The ECAC has joined its city agency partners to identify the funds needed to move into the second phase of the project, which includes creation of a psychometrically validated common measure across all three early childhood assessments. Teachers will be trained to administer a second assessment tool in their classroom at one point in time in the 2012-2013 school year. This will allow for about 3000 4 year olds in NYC to be assessed with two of the different tools, which will give researchers the data needed to see if they can create a Common Metric. 


The third phase is development of a longitudinal study of the Common Metric on a large scale across early childhood programs, teachers and students. This study will allow for comparisons between gender, neighborhood and other socio-demographic variables, and will help determine, for example, the predictive power of the Common Metric for performance in first grade.

ECAC Members Corner 


* ECAC Member and Strong Families Work Group Co-chair, Evelyn Blanck, chairs the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Early Childhood Mental Health Strategic Work Group, which has recently produced a report, Trauma in Young Children: A Huge Problem Hiding in Plain Sight and How You Can Help Please copy and circulate among your networks.


* Research shows that very young children can be negatively impacted by screen-time exposure (TV, computers, cell phones, tablets, and video games). To increase awareness of and provide alternatives to screen time, ECAC Member Dana Friedman, Executive Director of the Early Development Institute (EDI), has successfully implemented Screen-Free Week April 30th-May 4th in several Long Island communities. Sponsored by the Rauch Foundation, the initiative sparked interest from several PTA and other organizations and individuals, including several state legislators. 


* ECAC Promoting Healthy Development Work Group members Sara Bonam Welge and Sandra Rhoades presented at the Weight of the Nation (WON) conference last month. Sandra Rhoades presented on a child care panel with Wisconsin and Delaware about innovative state strategies for obesity prevention in child care. Sara Bonam Welge presented at a CDC-sponsored state training, with Arizona and Rhode Island, designed to illustrate use of CDC's new Obesity Prevention in Early Care and Education State Action Guide.  New York was one of six pilot states that contributed to the development of the guide, which will be available soon. New York is also highlighted in a CDC publication, Addressing Obesity in the Child Care Setting: Program Highlights  as one of three states with innovative obesity prevention strategies within early learning programs.   

Thank you for your interest in the Early Childhood Advisory Council. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me at:


Regina Canuso

Project Manager 

NYS Early Childhood Advisory Council

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