Issue Eighteen

October, 2012

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Early Childhood Advisory Council Updates  

In This Issue
QUALITYstarsNY Crosswalks Approved
ECAC Produces New Resources on Developmental Screening
Member Corner

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See below for information  about and links to the ECAC's two new documents to support the expansion of developmental screening of young children in New York State and check out the progress made in QUALITYstarsNY implementation and related activities to help improve quality early care and education in New York State.  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 



"Crosswalks" Approved by

Quality Improvement Work Group


The Quality Improvement Work Group of the ECAC recently approved three documents which will facilitate the participation of many early care and education programs in QUALITYstarsNY.  When center-based programs or family-based providers are accredited by the National Association for the Education for Young Children (NAEYC) or the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC), or are in full compliance with Head Start, they can receive a significant number of QUALITYstarsNY points, putting them on their way to a better star rating.


QUALITYstarsNY wants to recognize the work that programs and providers have already done.  Accredited NAEYC or NAFCC programs and/or Head Start programs in full compliance with performance standards will be able to eliminate duplicative documentation efforts by automatically receiving the following points toward their star rating:


                NAEYC - 155 points

                NAFCC - 92 points

                Head Start - 149 points


To see the detailed comparison between each system and QUALITYstarsNY, Click here.



QUALITYstarsNY Implementation

Moves Forward


QUALITYstarsNY is moving forward on schedule:  

  • QUALITYstarsNY is currently recruiting public school-operated Universal Prekindergarten programs in targeted zip codes. More information and the link to the application can be found here Applications are due October 31st. 
  • The Early Care and Learning Council and its local recruiting agencies are continuing to manage the recruitment process.
  • Participants are also engaged in the standards self-study process where they are able to indicate the standards they meet and submit documentation. Participants are also completing self-assessments using the Environment Rating Scales and developing Quality Improvement Plans based on the results.
  • QUALITYstarsNY is hiring trained Environment Rating Scale Assessors. The job description and application can be found hereApplications are due October 15th.
  • Current participants are engaged in Aspire, New York's Registry for Early Childhood Professionals. Staff are completing professional profiles and submitting education and training documentation for verification. This information will inform a program's rating in QUALITYstarsNY.

ECAC Produces New Resources to Advance Developmental Screening 



 All young children in New York State should receive developmental screenings during well-child visits at regular intervals starting in infancy. Developmental screenings  provide parents, health care and early childhood professionals with a standardized way to assess child development as early as possible, but they are not done as frequently as needed to ensure that all children, especially vulnerable children at risk for delays, are on target or get the services they require for optimal development .


To improve the state's rates of early childhood screenings, the ECAC has produced two new publications.


1. A brief, Improving Early Childhood Screenings in New York: Early, Routine, Coordinated provides all early childhood stakeholders in New York with background information, talking points, and recommendations that support the state's expansion of developmental screening efforts.


2. A  brochure for parents, Are You Pregnant or the Parent of a Young Child?, supports parents to become educated consumers and advocates for their children by explaining the need for routine developmental screenings as early as possible. Given that a 2007 national survey found only 11.7% of New York State parents recalled a doctor asking them to complete a standardized developmental screening questionnaire in the past 12 months, this brochure is timely and will help reverse this trend by increasing parents' ability to advocate for their children.  


Feel free to print copies of these materials for your networks. To obtain multiple copies, contact


Member Corner 


Congratulations to Sara Bonam Welge, a member of the Promoting Healthy Development Work Group, who recently learned that the Department of Health (DOH) Bureau of Community Chronic Disease Prevention and the Obesity Prevention Program received two grants that will fund health-enhancing strategies  in early care and education settings around the state.  These grants are:




1. Community Transformation Grant (CTG) - Small Communities

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)/Health Research, Inc. (HRI) is receiving Center for Disease Control funding through the Community Transformation Grant (CTG) - Small Communities program to address tobacco-free living, active living and healthy eating, and healthy and safe physical environments for children ages 0-18 through policy, systems, environmental and infrastructure changes in eight small communities situated within the three small counties of Broome, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus in New York State. The eight communities, which are geographically defined according to school district boundaries, were selected based on high socioeconomic need and risk, high prevalence of obesity among school-age children, and on capacity to implement project objectives.   


Grant efforts will support efforts in these communities to increase the number of child care centers and child care homes that provide developmentally appropriate physical activity for young children and will increase participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Early childhood physical activity specialists will be trained, mentored and placed in Child Care Resource and Referral organizations (CCR&Rs) to provide ongoing training and supportive coaching for child care providers.  The Obesity Prevention Program will work with CACFP, local sponsoring organizations and stakeholders to develop and implement an outreach and recruitment campaign to increase voluntary provider enrollment in CACFP, and work with local stakeholders and county social services to promote adoption of the CACFP mandate for legally exempt providers in Child and Family Services Plans.  The grant also includes funding for school and community-wide components. 


2. Supplement to the State Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Grant - Breastfeeding 

The goal of this initiative is to increase breastfeeding exclusivity and duration from hospital discharge through 3 months among low income women participating in WIC and Medicaid, who live in communities of color in Erie County.  This will be accomplished by enhancing and strengthening a community system of breastfeeding support through improving: partnership building and coordination; breastfeeding practices in provider offices and practices, home visiting services and programs, child care settings and community based organizations; and access to local breastfeeding centers.  This targeted intervention will work through 14 community based organizations currently serving and supporting breastfeeding mothers and their babies after discharge from the hospital.


The specific objectives for this initiative are:  

  • Expand the Western New York Healthy Living Coalition to include organizations that focus on improving breastfeeding support in communities in Erie County;
  • Increase from 0 to 5% the proportion of OB-GYN and Pediatric practices that serve Medicaid-eligible women and their children who achieve NYS Department of Health Breastfeeding Friendly Practice Designation;
  • Increase by 50% the proportion of home visiting services and programs currently serving Medicaid-eligible women in communities of color in Erie County, that improve their visitation pattern to provide breastfeeding support to new mothers at 24-48 hours, 2 weeks, and 4 weeks after discharge;
  • Increase the proportion of child care centers and day care homes in the Erie County catchment area of the Child Care Resource Network that achieves the Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care designation awarded by the NYS Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP);
  • Increase the number of Baby Cafe'sŪ or drop-in breastfeeding centers, in faith- and community-based organizations in communities of color in Erie County from from birth to age five.

 The work conducted in partnership with CACFP under this funding is designed to increase the number of Breastfeeding Friendly (BFF) early care and education settings and to strengthen the Breastfeeding Friendly designation process with the addition of provider training and consultation. Both funding opportunities permit the Department of Health to test and evaluate intervention methods and models for future dissemination.


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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