Early Childhood Partner News
Governor Markell Recognizes Delaware Stars For Early Success
On November 27, Governor Jack Markell and Lt .Governor Matt Denn hosted star-studded "Stars within Stars" event to recognize and honor all early learning programs participating in Delaware Stars for Early Success. They also recognized the many community partners from the private and non-profit sectors who have been involved from the beginning. In front of an enthusiastic audience of over 400 people, the Governor and other speakers stressed the importance of early learning and development. Governor Markell said, "One of the most important investments we can make is in our state's youngest children. Our vision is to create a world-class early childhood system where quality programs prepare all of our children for success in a very competitive world."
Study after study shows: children receiving quality early care and education are more likely to be successful in school, become better citizens, earn more, contribute more and require fewer supports.
Photos of providers by county are accessible in the Governor's Press Release. http://news.delaware.gov/2012/11/28/delaware-increases-early-childhood-providers-offering-quality-rated-child-care-programs/
More photos are available on Shutterfly.com at: http://www.starswithinstars.shutterfly.com/
Nemours to Lead National Initiative to Promote Healthy Lifestyles for Young Children in Child Care
Congratulations to Nemours, which, with the support of national and state public health and early childhood partners, received a 5-year award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support health lifestyles of young children in care. The $4.2M year one grant will be used to build on Nemours' successful Delaware programs to help early care and education providers in six states implement nutrition, breastfeeding support, physical activity and screen time policies and practices to improve the lives of young children and their families. Using a learning collaborative model, Nemours will positively impact children birth to age 5 in more than 840 early care and education across the nation and expand to other states in the following years.
Spotlight on Local Success
The Salvation Army Early Learning Center used a creative way to combine playground improvements with fun and meaningful learning experiences for children. And, they improved their Environment Rating Scales as a result! The Salvation Army's Center Director, Kathy Gill, along with Delaware Stars technical assistants, connected science and nature in a four-year-old urban-setting classroom. Children planted a fall harvest garden with the help of community partners. Children helped to water, weed, thin and harvest plants such as turnips, kale, spinach, beets and lettuce. Nemours provided funding and the Delaware Center for Horticulture and the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension offered guidance on plants and how to care for the garden. Long-term plans include a spring planting that will provide food for the Center's neighbors.
Research shows that giving children the experience of planting and caring for a garden helps further their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. This project incorporated many skills from the Delaware Early Learning Foundations for this group of 4-year olds, including:
- Social emotional Self Concept (participating in meaningful responsibility and being part of a classroom community project);
- Approaches to Learning: Persistence and Engagement (following a sequence of steps to create a finished project);
- Language and Literacy: Receptive Communication (increasing vocabulary);
- Mathematics: Numbers and Operations (determine quantity; use ordinal number words);
- Science: Scientific Knowledge-Living Things (recognize people, plants and animals grow and change over time and need certain things to survive);
- My Family, My Community, My World: Places and Spaces-Geography (develop an awareness of the natural environment surrounding them outdoors);
- Creative Expression: Visual Arts (express experiences and feelings through a variety of artistic processes and creations); and
- Physical Development and Health: Health Awareness and Practice (learn about and practice health and hygiene routines)
Books to read with children about gardens...
Our Community Garden by Barbara Pollak; My Garden by Kevin Henkes; City Garden by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan.
Early Learning Policy and Trends
0-5 and K-12 Alignment: The Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) released a new policy brief entitled "Early Learning Instructional Leaders and Strong PreK-3rd Assessment Systems: The New Jersey Story". The brief focuses on the need for school district administrators responsible for early learning programs to have a better understanding of both assessment practices and its critical link to improving student instruction.
Common Core: As states move to implement the Common Core standards in English/language arts and math, a number of voices in the early education field have raised about the issue of what impact the Common Core might have on classrooms that serve 3- and 4-year-olds. A new paperfrom the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) may help early childhood educators to discuss and consider the interplay between the common standards' emphasis on raising academic rigor and early childhood research results that show that play, the arts, social skills, and integrated instruction are crucial to young children's healthy development.
Data: A new report from the Data Quality Campaign, "Data for Action 2012: Focus on People to Change Data Culture," makes it clear that creating a data-driven culture starts at the top: leaders and policymakers must use the technology-driven data at their disposal to influence policy and action to improve educational outcomes. For this to happen, the data must be trusted and leaders and policymakers must be courageous enough to confront the problems illuminated from the data.
Home Visiting: Mathematica has produced two new articles on home visiting for the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development: "Replicating and Scaling Up Evidence-Based Home Visiting Programs: The Role of Implementation Research" and "Evidence for the Role of Home Visiting in Child Maltreatment Prevention".
Competencies for Working Effectively with Young Dual Language Learners
The Alliance for a Better Community (AFABC) and colleagues nationwide have been working for the past several years to identify competencies needed by teachers to work effectively with young dual language learners. AFABC has recently held a webinar to announce the release of the competencies and support the importance of their use in individual, organizational, and systemic professional development efforts.
The Dual Language Learner Teacher Competencies Report (http://afabc.org/getmedia/8c3e612e-7c2a-46cb-8c7e-b3f30f09c16f/DLLTCreport.allLOW-RES.aspx) is a three-part publication that includes the aforementioned teacher competencies, an article (Necessary Dispositions for Teachers Working with Young Dual Language Learners), and a policy brief outlining recommendations needed to advance workforce development that is inclusive of the needs of dual language learners. PowerPoint slides from the webinar are available to download at http://www.afabc.org/getattachment/4d6d786e-ac6e-4736-b79c-6e2ffe72994d/DLLTC_webinarppt.aspx
The National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) has developed a number of resources to support the use of evidence-based practices that promote the inclusion of young children of diverse abilities. Eight brand new Landing Pads have been developed to help teachers, administrators, professional development providers, and families locate resources to support inclusion through the use of these evidence-based practices. Each Landing Pad features resources organized into four sections: Why Do It? (the evidence base), Read About It (books, chapters, and articles), See For Yourself (videos and demonstrations), and Find It Online (websites with additional resources). This new product builds on Research Synthesis Points on Quality Inclusive Practices which provides brief descriptions and supporting references for the eight evidence-based and promising practices that support early childhood inclusion.
QRIS: A new study about how participation in a continuous quality improvement initiative produced higher-quality practices in Rhode Island's afterschool programs, Understanding the "How" of Quality Improvement: Lessons from the Rhode Island Program Quality Intervention, found that quality improvement begins with program managers, who then lead the process of change.
Teacher Evaluation: The Center for American Progress released "State of Teacher Evaluation Reform: State Education Agency Capacity and the Implementation of New Teacher Evaluation Systems." This report offers an assessment of how early adopter states' Departments of Education have undertaken the preparation and implementation of new evaluation systems. It also identifies challenges and lessons that can be used to guide the reform efforts in this area.
Early Language and Literacy: A new study from Northwestern University shows the power of language in infants' ability to understand the intentions of others. The results, based on two experiments, show that infants were more likely to imitate behavior, however unconventional, if it had been named, than if it remained unnamed. This revealed that infants as young as 14 months of age coordinate their insights about human behavior and their intuitions about human language in the service of discovering which behaviors, observed in others, are ones to imitate.
Social Emotional Development: A recorded webinar from the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children, "Using Family Coaching to Bring the Pyramid Model into Homes", teaches about the major components, tools, and practices for implementing the Pyramid Model with infants, toddlers, and families receiving services at home. Hear about how one state implemented the Model across multiple home visiting programs. Related resources and supporting materials are available on the web page. For more information about the Pyramid Model, read the fact sheet or visit the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning website