APRIL 2013
In This Issue


Your neighborhood offers wonderful learning opportunities for you and your child to share together. Now that spring weather has finally arrived, you can turn children's outdoor time into fun exploration of the area around them.


Here are two things to try:



The Listening Walk by Paul Showers,  

Silly Sally by Audrey Wood, 

Where Do I Live? by Neil Chesanow,  

Follow that Map by Scot Ritchie,  

Taking a Walk, A Book in Two Languages by Rebecca Emberley


Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work With Infants and Toddlers

The Early Head Start National Center on health offers a terrific series on tips for raising healthy babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

Here is an article on

For more articles in this series go to HEAD START TIPS FOR FAMILIES

Early Childhood E-News Has a New Look!

We are delighted to introduce you to our NEW Early Childhood E-News.  The content is much more interactive with Featured News, Research, Policy & Trends and gateways to more in depth information in all of these areas.  In addition, we are featuring many new resources for early childhood educators and caregivers and our partners in the business, nonprofit and government sectors. 

Explore this new e-news and let us know what you think and how we can make it even better for you by emailing us at earlylearning@state.de.us
                                                        Harriet Dichter
                                                        Executive Director
                                                        Office of Early Learning
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan joins
Gov. Jack Markell to stress the importance of
Early Childhood Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and state officials including Gov. Jack Markell, Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, Representative John Carney and Lt. Gov. Matt Denn visited St. Michael's School and Nursery in Wilmington to see the teachers and children of this dynamic Delaware STARS program in action.  (Read Secretary Duncan's Op-Ed, "Universal preschool is a sure path to the middle class" in the April 18 issue of the Washington Post.) 



In fact, when Gov. Jack Markell focused on the importance of Early Childhood Education in his Weekly Video Address on April 6, the teachers and children of St. Michael's took center stage in illustrating the impact of early learning socially, emotionally and intellectually.


Investing in Early Childhood Education - Governor's Weekly Message
Investing in Early Childhood Education - Governor's Weekly Message - April 19, 2013.

Delware Early Learning Challenge Partners and Office of Early Learning Staff meet in Washington, D.C. with U.S. Secretaries Duncan and Sebelius

Left to right - Evelyn Keating, Office of Early Learning; John Fisher-Klein, Executive Director, Newark Day Nursery; Brandi Miller, Office of Early Learning; Susan Mitchell, Office of Early Learning; Jason Gardner, Office of Early Learning; Harriet Dichter, executive Director, Office of Early Learning; US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan;
US Secretary of Health & Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius; Nancy Widdoes, Office of Early Learning; Mary Kate Mouser, Executive Director, Nemours Health and Prevention Services, Deb Stevens, Director of Instructional Advocacy, Delaware State Education Association. Not pictured but also participating in the meetings are Michelle Taylor, President and CEO of the United Way of Delaware.  MORE...

Gov. Markell and Delaware Early Childhood Council Launch a New Early Childhood Strategic Plan

To a packed Penn Cinema IMAX theater house of educators, legislators and community and business leaders, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Governor Jack Markell presentedthe state's new, long-term strategic plan to strengthen and sustain Delaware's early childhood system.
Developed by the Delaware Early Childhood Council, the plan focuses on whole-child development, family engagement and community collaboration to reach milestones and meet established goals over the next five years.  The Council has created four new committees which align respectively with the four goals, each chaired by community leaders. MORE...


The Plan's four strategic goals:

1. A Healthy Start for All Children: Create an environment where Delaware children become the healthiest in the nation- physically, emotionally, and behaviorally.
2.  High-Quality Early Childhood Programs and Professionals: Provide all Delaware children with access to high-quality early childhood programs and professionals.

3.  An Aligned and Effective Early Learning System, Birth Through Third Grade: Create a system that enables all children to arrive at school ready and eager to succeed and prepares K-12 schools to further enrich their early learning.

4.  Sustainable System Improvement: Develop and sustain policies, programs and partnerships that address the comprehensive developmental needs of all children.


St. Michael's Staff
St. Michael's Program Honored

The Delaware Academy of Medicine presented its Executive Director's Public Health Award to Helen Riley, Director and her staff at its 83rd Annual meeting held this month.  The award recognizes the outstanding contribution of St. Michael's program to the health and well-being of the community through advocacy and education. MORE...

Delaware Academy of Medicine leads Challenge Outreach to Health Providers

In April, the Delaware Academy of Medicine Conference honored the life and achievements of Katherine (KItty) L. Esterly, M.D. at its Childhood Development Conference. The conference focused on childhood development through the "arc of life," from preconception through infancy, preschool and young adulthood.

The Delaware Academy of Medicine is partnering with the Division of Public Health to reach out to health professionals to promote young child developmental screening as part of Delaware's Early Learning Challenge.


Fifteen communities are joining a new initiative, Delaware Readiness Team (DEL TEAMS), designed to support local community teams to prioritize school readiness for young children, birth to age 8, and to develop and implement local action teams. The first teams span all of Delaware's counties and include:  


18th & Baynard Team (Wilmington), Brandywine Readiness Partnership, Cape Henlopen Community Team, Center City Wilmington Delaware Readiness Team, Delaware Statewide Programs for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf-Blind, Lake Forest Readiness Team, Love A Valuable One Now-The Help I Really Deserve (Milford), Lower Sussex Readiness Team, Mt. Pleasant Community Partnership, North Dover Readiness Team, Seaford Readiness Team, Smyrna Clayton Eaglets Readiness Team, South Dover Readiness Team, Team Keene, and Woodbridge Readiness Team.



Infants and Toddlers
Early Education
English Language Learners
ZERO TO THREE's podcast series, Little Kids, Big Questions, addresses some of the most common (and challenging) issues facing parents of babies and toddlers, such as: helping a baby learn to sleep through the night; dealing with a picky eater; and learning to set limits on children's behavior.  Each podcast features an interview with an expert that focuses on how to apply the research of early childhood development to your daily interactions with your baby or toddler. 

ReadyNation released a new publication, "Tomorrow's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Workforce Starts with Early Education," which discusses why business should support STEM in the early years, highlights what businesses are currently doing to support early STEM, and provides examples of what young children can learn before kindergarten.

The Office of Head Start, National Center National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness has published a series of briefs, The Importance of Home Language Series designed to provide staff and families with basic, easy-to-read information on topics related to children learning two or more languages. The briefs emphasize the benefits of being bilingual, the importance of maintaining the home language, and the value of becoming fully bilingual.
Child Health
Birth to Third Grade Linkages
 A new policy brief from ZERO TO THREE describes the 211 LA County phone-based developmental screening and care coordination program, offers policy recommendations and discusses research supporting universal developmental screening for young children.
A recent article in the flagship publication of the Nation al Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), Principal, highlights the critical role of principals in implementing Pre-K-3rd grade linkages.  "Birth to Lifelong Success" says students' early education experiences set the tone for future success as they transition through the learning continuum.

Home Visiting
Home Visiting
Infant Development
 This study provides new details about the benefits home visiting program for school readiness.  Researchers from the State University of New York-Albany found that home visiting has significant positive impacts on the school readiness of children entering first grade. Download the executive summary and full report.
An analysis of follow-up data from families who received home visits as part of the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project found that lasting effects with greater involvement in home visiting when the child was an infant and toddler predicted better child developmental status in pre-kindergarten, better outcomes when the child was in fifth grade, and more stimulating and nurturing home environments in both pre-k and fifth grade. Download the executive summary and full report.
This research brief from the Center for Law and Social Policy and the Serto to Three Policy Center provides background information on child care services for children ages birth to three and describes the "Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care" research project.

Delaware Office of Early Learning | | nancy.widdoes@state.de.us | 820 North French Street, 5th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801

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