Issue Sixteen

July, 2012

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Early Childhood Advisory Council Updates  

In This Issue
Implementation Update - QUALITYstarsNY
ECAC Partners Sponsor Community Cafe Teams
Volunteers Still Needed for Piloting Cost Model
Distribution of the CBK and ELGs
ECAC Members Corner

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What's the latest with QUALITYstarsNY implementation? What's happening with plans for  distribution of the newly published Core Body of Knowledge and Early Learning Guidelines? What new events to support children and families are coming up? All these questions and more will be answered in this edition of the Early Childhood Advisory Council Updates.

 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 


Implementation Update

preschool kids

QUALITYstarsNY continues to move forward in recruitment and other plans for implementation across the state. Applications to participate in QUALITYstarsNY were due July 16th from center based and family child care programs within nine priority areas: Syracuse, Roosevelt, Rochester, Buffalo, Bronx, Brooklyn, Capital District, Yonkers and Poughkeepsie. Programs that are selected to participate will be notified on or about July 19th. The list of selected programs and providers will be posted on the QUALITYstarsNY website
Recruitment of public school based Universal PreKindergarten programs will begin when school resumes in the fall.


 New Program Orientation sessions are being scheduled in each of the targeted communities. At these sessions, programs and providers will meet the Quality Improvement Specialist assigned to them and learn more about the expectations for and benefits of participation in QUALITYstarsNY.



New Workforce Data System, Aspire, Now Up and Running 


QUALITYstarsNY participants will be the first to use Aspire as part of the program improvement and rating process this year.


Aspire is an information system that serves the early childhood workforce as well as policy makers. For the early childhood workforce, Aspire will give them the opportunity to have, for the first time, a tool to systematically manage information regarding their qualifications, education and experience, thereby helping them to evaluate and advance their professional status. For program administrators, policy makers and researchers, it will provide information about the characteristics of the workforce and their professional development, and will aggregate that data into meaningful reports that will help guide policy and program development and support early learning research efforts.


Aspire is directly linked to WELS (Web-based Early Learning System), the system that manages evaluations and ratings for QUALITYstarsNY. Data about programs and staff flow from regulatory agencies - including OCFS, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and NYS Education Department -- into Aspire, and then into WELS. Beginning in August, as part of the implementation of QUALITYstarsNY, directors and staff at participating programs will create professional profiles on Aspire. The data that Aspire collects through this process about staff qualifications and training is shared with WELS to help QUALITYstarsNY calculate a program rating and inform improvement plans.


The ECAC is pleased that Aspire will be available as a tool to promote professional development and support programs' quality improvement efforts!

ECAC Partners Sponsor Community Café Teams across the State



Community Cafés are parent hosted gatherings where participants contribute to guided conversations relevant to their own community. Community Cafés provide a forum for rich sharing of ideas and issues and the building of new relationships and skills for parent leadership at the local level that help strengthen families and communities.


The New York State Parenting Education Partnership (NYSPEP) and the New York State Office of Children and Families Services, Children and Family Trust Fund are excited to announce a funding opportunity to support communities in implementing the Community Café model as a tool to actively engage parents in building community capacity to support families. 


Orientations are free to participants and will be held in four locations throughout New York: New York City, Albany, Rochester and Ithaca, and will be facilitated by two members of the national Parent Leadership Team. Orientations will be held in English and Spanish in locations with Spanish speaking participants.  Community teams will also receive seed funds and technical assistance to support their ability to host Cafés within their respective communities.



  • Community based organizations that serve young children and their families, including organizations serving at risk populations, are eligible to apply.


  • Applications must be submitted by July 20th
  • One day orientations will take place in September of 2012

To receive an application or if you have any questions, please contact Liz Belsito by email: or phone: 518-474-0158. 

Volunteers Still 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 policy makers 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 Blankets State with Key Documents:  the Early Learning Guidelines and Core Body of Knowledge 

teacher reading book

The ECAC is working hard to ensure that the early learning community has copies of two seminal documents critical to the field: the newly revised Core Body of Knowledge (CBK) and the new Early Learning Guidelines (ELGs). Both are foundational to the professionals who work with young children, or who train those professionals. The CBK provides teachers with recommended fundamentals of skills for excellence in practice, and the ELGs provide information on what children should know and be able to do from birth to age five. Together these documents provide teachers, administrators and others in the early childhood field, no matter what setting or venue, with consistent principles to guide and promote quality work. The ECAC  is spearheading the movement to distribute these documents. They have been sent to the following:


  • All higher education programs that offer early childhood coursework
  • All CCR&Rs
  • All 10 OCFS licensing regional offices
  • All Early Childhood Direction Centers
  • State Education Office of Early Learning
  • All ECAC members who were present at the June ECAC meeting
  • ACF Region II Office of Head Start
  • All Region II Head Start Technical Assistance Specialists
  • All QUALITYstarsNY Quality Improvement Specialists
  • All who attended the Trainers Institute at NYSAEYC in Buffalo, April 19, 2012
  • All who attended the keynote presentation at NYSAEYC, in Buffalo, April 20, 2012
  • All who attended the NYS Head Start Association conference May 14-15, 2012 in Albany
  • All 4,100 licensed child care centers in the state (CBK has been sent; ELGs to follow soon).
  • All Prekindergarten program administrators

For those not within these networks, the CBK and ELGs are available for purchase at a nominal cost. Please contact for more information.


Stay tuned for more information coming shortly regarding plans for trainings around how to integrate both documents into practice.

ECAC Members Corner 


people at a conference

* ECAC Member and National Center for Children in Poverty Acting Director Lee Kreader will be part of a roundtable discussion, State Early Learning Councils: The Vision and the Reality, at the American Public Policy and Management Association (APPAM) conference in Baltimore this November. The roundtable, moderated by Albert Wat, National Governors Association,  includes Linda K. Smith, Administration for Children and Families Deputy Assistant Secretary, whose office administers state advisory council grants, as well as representatives from Texas and Oregon. The roundtable will highlight the different approaches taken by each of the three profiled states.




pregnant woman

*Cate Bohn, member of the Promoting Healthy Development (PHD) Work Group of the ECAC and Co-chair of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Interagency Work Group (FASD IW), is working within the PHD Work Group to support and publicize the efforts of the FASD IW,  whose vision is to improve state systems' response to children, youth and families affected by alcoholism and birth defects caused by alcohol use in pregnancy. Birth defects resulting from alcohol use in pregnancy can damage the developing fetus and result in cognitive, social, behavioral and language impairments.  


At their last PHD meeting, Cate provided an update on recent and upcoming activities of the group, including:

  • FASD was highlighted in a recent OCFS child care educational satellite broadcast on behavioral issues which included an overview of FASD, and how the unique brain damage it causes can manifest as behavior problems.
  • Monthly educational messages will be sent out to Obstetricians, Gynecologists, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and Midwives. Multiple state agencies are working together in the hopes of using available state resources to implement this strategy without new funding.
  • Plans are being made to partner with a local entity for piloting the soon-to-be released American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) FASD algorithm designed to be used to screen and make decisions regarding follow up (community referrals, parent involvement, etc.) for children in foster care. The group hopes to use the pilot to provide guidance for the rest of the state for implementing the AAP algorithm. For more information, please click on or contact Co-chairs: Cate Bohn ( or Kathleen Pickel (
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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