Resampled color

December 2014
In This Issue
PRACTICE TIPS
Banking for Kids!
 

The holidays are often a time when we hear "I want" or "gimme" from children as they watch commercials or see advertisements for the latest toys or fun things to do. It's an ideal time to begin talking about money and the need for saving. Even young children can begin to understand basic concepts.

 

Beth Kobliner, author of Get a Financial Life, says children as young as three years old can grasp financial concepts like saving and spending. And a report by researchers at the University of Cambridge commissioned by the United Kingdom's Money Advice Service says that

money habits are formed by age 7. Early Learning Foundations that relate to exploration of money concepts are found in:  

 

*Social Emotional: self concept; *Discoveries/Approaches to Learning: engagement and persistence and reasoning and problem solving; *Mathematics: numbers and operation, patterns, measurement and data analysis;  

*My Family, My Community My World: money and resources-economics.  

 

Activities involving saving and spending also provide children with opportunities to practice *Creative Expression: dramatic play  

*Language and Literacy: receptive and expressive language  

 

Here are some ideas for introducing these concepts to children.

For very young children:

 

Make shakers by putting several pennies into a tightly sealed container. Children can make music. Give them play money to put in and dump out of a piggy bank. Introduce toddlers to the names of coins - penny, nickel, dime and quarter -helping them to see the characteristics of each.

 

Preschoolers can begin using play money in their dramatic play. They can buy and sell groceries to other children when you include empty and clean food containers in the housekeeping area. You can also turn this area into other establishments that require purchasing of goods or services. An ice cream shop, a hair salon, a pet store are all fun ways to practice buying and selling. "How much will it cost?" is a great question to ask when you are "getting your nails done"! When play money and a cash register are added to the dramatic play area, children begin to experience these routines.

 

 CLICK HERE to download full article. 

A Message from the Secretary, Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families   

 

We know that the early years in a child's life, when a child's brain is forming, represent a special gift to us all -- a critically important window of opportunity to develop a child's full potential and shape key academic, social and cognitive skills that help determine a child's success in school and in life.  At this special time of year, I want to thank all of those in our Delaware community who help to increase access to quality early learning.  Working closely with the many early learning partners, staff members and initiatives, I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand the joy of those who work in the early childhood area, as well as the joy of the children who benefit from that work.  It is a great inspiration to us all!

 

Thank you for all you do to advance our collective vision for each child to have a quality early learning experience that will provide a positive, sound launch to success in school and in life!

 

Wishing you happy holidays,
Jennifer Ranji

The Office of Early Learning extends its thanks to our faithful e-news readers and to all in Delaware's early childhood community for your commitment to and partnership in advancing access to quality early learning in the First State .
We wish you all a very happy holiday season.
CHALLENGE NEWS

State and White House Hold Summits on Early Education     


Delaware's 2014 Annual Early Learning Summit, co-sponsored by the Delaware Early Childhood Council and the Office of Early Learning, was held late in November, 2014. To learn more, see the Partner News section of this edition of Enews.  On December 10, the White House held its own Summit on Early Childhood Education, focusing the nation's attention on this critical subject.


"What makes America exceptional isn't just the size of our economy or our influence around the globe. [It's] the promise we make to our children; the idea that no matter who they are, what they look like, where they start, how much their parents earn, they can make it if they try. It's the essential promise of America -- that where you start should not and will not determine how far you can go." 

-- President Obama,

 

December 10, 2014   

 

 

President Obama convened the Summit, bringing together policymakers, school superintendents, corporate and community leaders, and others to talk about the importance of quality early childhood education.
Grant award announcements were made for the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership and the Preschool Development/Expansion Grants.  In addition to announcing a collective investment of more than $1 billion in the education and development of the nation's earliest learners, the summit highlighted the launch of Invest in US (https://investinus.org/)-- a new initiative created by the nonprofit First Five Years Fund, in partnership with private philanthropic leaders.  

 

Why do we need to invest in our kids early on? Leaders agreed with the President's view that in order for America to reach its full potential, all of our children must able to reach their full potential. Studies show that children with high-quality early education are more likely to have higher lifetime earnings, finish school, stay out of prison, hold a job, and start a stable family of their own.  "Early education is one of the best investments we can make -- not just in a child's future, but in our country," the President said. 

Report from Council on Economic Advisors Details ROI on Investing in Early Learning 

 

A New Report, The Economics of Early Childhood Investments was released by the White House Council of Economic Advisers in conjunction with the White House Early Childhood Summit.  The REPORT details the economic return on investments in early childhood education, including increased parental earnings and employment, reduced need for remedial education and public school expenditures, and positive long-term outcomes such as higher educational attainment, increased earnings, better health, and less involvement with the criminal justice system.  Investment to increase access to high quality early learning programs continues to be the best investment that can be made in our state and in our nation.

Delaware Awarded $5.5 Million Grant to Expand Quality Services for Infants and Toddlers  

Allows state to continue work to increase access to quality early childhood programs 

 

Earning an opportunity to build on recent commitments to expand quality early learning services for its youngest residents, our state has been awarded a $5.5 M federal grant to offer more quality services for infants, toddlers and their families. The state is projected to receive $1.1 million per year for five years under this award, which will help low-income families receive high- quality, comprehensive services for their children.

 

"We know children begin to learn the day they are born, and progress made in the first months and years is vital to their life-long success," said Governor Jack Markell. "As a state, we have made great strides in increasing access to quality early childhood programs for kids from disadvantaged communities. This grant supports our increased focus on infant and toddler care by providing better health, educational and other services for children and families who need our help the most."  On December 12, the Governor visited one of the partner program sites, the Latin American Community Center in Wilmington (photo above).

  

Through the grant, infants and toddlers will participate in full-day, year-round programs with comprehensive services that include: health and developmental screenings; expanded family engagement opportunities such as home visits and conferences; support for parents' education and other needs; and health and nutrition services. 

 

"This federal grant will help Delaware children and their families with the care, education, screenings and other needed assistance to help ensure our youngest residents get a great start in life," said Delaware's Congressional Delegation of Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Congressman John Carney (all D-Del.). "We know that focusing on a child's education from the very beginning can set them on a path toward success throughout their life. These federal dollars will build upon the great work that Delaware is already doing and help the many families that rely on these important early education programs."
 
Beginning in January 2015, partnerships with identified early childhood providers will increase Early Head Start (EHS) services for 72 children. Twenty-four new slots will be added to either EHS or other early childhood programs, based on waiting lists and identified need areas in Kent and Sussex Counties. The remaining 48 slots represent enhancements of existing early childhood services for children with need in all three counties. (read more........)  

New Federal Policy Statement Issued on Expulsion and Suspension from in Early Childhood Programs    

 

On December 10, 2014, in conjunction with the While House Summit on Early Childhood, the new federal policy statement and recommendations to assist states and their public and private local early childhood programs in preventing and severely limiting expulsions and suspensions in early learning settings was released.  Recent data indicate that expulsions and suspensions occur with regularity in preschool settings, a problematic issue given the well-established research indicating that these practices can influence a number of adverse outcomes across development, health and education. In addition, stark racial and gender disparities exist in these practices, with young boys of color being suspended and expelled at much higher rates than other children in early learning programs. These trends warrant immediate attention from the early childhood and education fields.

 

The statement notes that the earliest years of a child's life are critical for building the foundation of learning and wellness needed for future success in school and later in life. During these years, children 's brains are developing rapidly, influenced by their experiences, both positive and negative. As a nation, the statement continues, we share the responsibility of ensuring that all of our young children have access to enriching opportunities that will set them up for success and empower them to be our future leaders. By expelling or suspending 3- and 4-year-olds, we do just the opposite--we set their trajectories in a negative direction, before their first day of kindergarten. We not only hinder their social-emotional development during a highly formative period, we also remove them from the early learning programs--and corresponding cognitively enriching experiences--that we know contribute to academic success.

 

 There are specific recommendations for states and their partners in early learning.  To read the letter introducing the policy statement, CLICK HERE.  To read the full policy statement, CLICK HERE.
 

What Could Make Less Sense than Expelling a Preschooler?     

 

Exclusionary discipline practices occur at high rates in early learning settings. Walter S. Gilliam, PhD, Director of The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University highlights the research in a blog from the APA Public Interest Directorate of the Psychology Benefits Society. An excerpt is below. Read the complete blog here.


There are some children who do not benefit from early care and education programs - the ones not allowed to attend because they were kicked out.

In fact, preschool expulsions occur at a rate more than three times that of grades K through 12.

To read the full initial post in this blog series, go to: http://psychologybenefits.org/2014/12/13/preschool-expulsions/  There you can sign up to receive this blog series sponsored by the American Psychological Association.

New Federal Early Learning Challenge Grants Two Year Progress Report Released    

New Federal Early Learning Challenge Grants Two Year Progress Report was released in early December, 2014.  The report is available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge/rtt-aprreportfinal112614.pdf and a  Year Two Progress webinar has been posted to:  https://elc.grads360.org/#program/annual-performance-reports.  Delaware is credited with being a 'spotlight state' in several sections of the report.  Click HERE to see a synopsis of the report, including Delaware highlights.   
 
The new report released by the U.S. Secretaries of Education and Health and Human Services details progress from 14 states awarded Challenge grants in 2012 and 2013. These states are improving the quality of their early learning programs and more at-risk children are attending high-quality centers.

FULL ARTICLE

Family Outreach at Dover Air Force Base    

 

After the Early Learning Summit and before the Kent County Delaware Stars Celebration, our photographer, Brad Glazier, captured some wonderful photos of our family outreach at DAFB.  Invited to participate, we reached more than 20 families at the event, just one of many events in November, 2014.

 

 

PARTNER NEWS
FROM THE DELAWARE EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
2014 Quality Early Learning Annual Summit Reflects on Progress and Focuses on Addressing Challenges

Early learning educators and administrators, pediatricians and other health care providers, parents and behavioral and mental health professionals gathered at the Martin Luther King, Jr. student center at Delaware State University in Dover on November 19 to share successes and work together moving forward.

 

Co-sponsored Delaware Early Childhood Council and the Office of Early Learning, featured an opportunity for participants to hear from a panel composed of an early learning center director, a parent and the owner of a home-based family early learning program. Each panel participant made brief remarks about his or her role and how the work that's been accomplished on the Early Learning Challenge Grant has affected their work. The panel discussion continued with questions from the audience.

 

Jennifer Ranji, secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, provided the participants with an assessment of the progress made and the coming challenges under Delaware's Challenge grant, by each of the four goals of the state's implementation plan:

  • Goal 1: Expand Comprehensive Screening & Follow-Up for Young Children
  • Goal 2: Expand Number of Stars Programs and High Needs Children in Stars
  • Goal 3: Build Connections Between Early Learning and K-12 Schools
  • Goal 4: Sustain a Thriving Statewide Early Learning System

The focus of the summit then shifted to a collaborative exercise to help develop practical strategies to meet some of the challenges. Tables were provided with a specific question and asked to work on solutions together. Combining tables that had worked on the same question then combined forces to share their answers and select the top three ideas to share with the group at large.

 

One of the event highlights was honoring the extraordinary contribution of teams and individuals whose work helped advance the four goals of Delaware's strategic plan. Each winner received a check for $1,000, courtesy of Social Venture Partners Legacy Fund, designated to a nonprofit organization with which the award winners work in the area of early learning.  Scroll down to this month's SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL SUCCESS for the announcement of the awardees.

CLICK HERE for the summary of the Summit Meeting Notes.

 

PLEASE NOTE: The Council's next meeting will be held February 10, 2015 at the Fox Run. DDDS - Fox Run Office, Large Conference Room - 2nd Floor, 2540 Wrangle Hill Road, Bear, DE 19701  


CLICK HERE for the link to the state calendar (http://egov.delaware.gov/pmc/#agency208)for the most up to date information on the scheduled meetings of the council.  

  

FROM THE DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND  

SOCIAL SERVICES 

Developmental Screening Webpage Launched 


The Division of Public Health is pleased to announce the launch of the developmental screening webpage under the DeThrives.com website. The page provides information to parents and providers about the Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) screening initiative.  The webpage provides information about young child developmental milestones to parents while encouraging them to track their children's growth and inform their physicians should they notice a delay. The site also prompts parents to ask their physicians about the types of developmental screening tools they use. Other features include a locator enabling parents to find physicians utilizing the PEDS tool within their zip code, in addition to links to other national sites.  To access the page visit http://dethrives.com/help-me-grow

FROM THE DIVISION OF PREVENTION AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES, CHILDREN'S DEPARTMENT 

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Conference

 

On Dec 11, 2014, more than 100 community-therapists participated in a full day Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) community of practice conference.  PCIT is an evidence-based mental health treatment available statewide in Delaware for young children with very challenging behaviors and their families both in outpatient and home-based settings.  Several national experts presented on cutting- edge research to inform practice here.  Several clinicians obtaining certification as PCIT trainers were recognized, deepening Delaware's ability to sustain this practice.

FROM THE OFFICE OF CHILDCARE LICENSING  (OCCL)

Proposed Changes to Child Care Center Regulations 

 

Th eoffoce of Childcare Licensing (OCCL) proposes to amend the DELACARE: Regulations for Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers. A comprehensive review process with public hearings led to the creation
of a preliminary draft. The preliminary draft was posted on the OCCL website and comments were invited and received. Additional public comments were received from the Provider Advisory Board, from providers and stakeholders during a series of Task Force meetings, as well as written comments from other providers and stakeholders.
 
The proposed changes provide clarity, reflect changes in laws, align with current best practices, improve standards of care and remove duplicative regulations. The revisions represent a consensus of participants, including licensed providers and subject experts, and are based on best practice, a review of regulations promulgated by other states, research on subjects related to early care and education and school-age center care, internal OCCL review and discussion, and identified issues and services within existing programs within Delaware.
 
A new draft of the Regulations was posted in the June 2014 Register of Regulations and comments accepted until August 31, 2014.  Many comments were received from providers and other interested parties and were reviewed by the Office of Child Care Licensing, resulting in a revised set of proposed regulations.  The revised draft is offered for public comment as described below.
 
Comments on the current draft are invited.  Interested parties wishing to offer comments on the proposed regulations must submit them to Elizabeth Timm, Office of Child Care Licensing, 1825 Faulkland Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19805 or by fax to 302-633-5112by 4:30 p.m. EST on January 5, 2015.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL DRAFT

FROM THE GOVERNOR'S ADVISORY COUNCIL ON EXCEPTIONAL CITIZENS   

Heart 2 Heart Hugs Campaign Now Through February 9 

 

The Hearts 2 Heart Hugs campaign, which collects gifts, including warm clothing items, for children in foster care and homeless children in Delaware is accepting donations through February 9

CLICK HERE for more on how you can donate items or provide a drop off site! Giving will help more children have happy holidays!

FROM THE COMMISSION ON EARLY EDUCATION AND THE ECONOMY  

Bank of America Promotes Quality Early Learning to 7,000 Families   

 

Paul Harrell, co-chair of the Commission on Early Learning and the Economy announced announced that the Bank of America will post information on its internal company website for employees about the importance of quality early learning for young children as well as how to use the Delaware Stars ratings to find great early childhood programs for their young children.  It is anticipated that this information will reach approximately 7,000 employees in Delaware!
 
The program was developed by commission member, Casey Melson of Community Services Corporation. Her work garnered the Delaware Early Childhood Council's 2014 award for sustaining system improvement.
FROM DELAWARE STARS

 
The Delaware Stars Kent County Celebration was held on November 19 at the Smyrna Opera House.  As with the other county Stars celebrations, Stars programs moving up in quality rating were recognized and celebrated.  The photos here show some examples of the smiles produced throughout the evening.  Participants were even treated to a tour of the beautiful, historic facility!  The county-level celebrations events showcased the large number of programs moving up in quality and special recognition was given to those moving into the Stars top tier quality ratings, Star 3, 4 and 5.    

   
Rising Stars Shining Bright!
Congratulations to the programs moving up in November!

CONGRATULATIONS to these brand new Star Level 5:
Passion Care Academy and Small Wonder Daycare, Inc.

 

And it is a pleasure to announce that these programs have earned Star Level 4 status: 

 All About Kidz, Appoquinimink Preschool Center, Chosen Child Care, LLC, Jessica Bellemare, Lillis Ann Weigland, Monique Bailey, Wilmington Head Start, Inc. Van Buren Street Center

  

Moving up to Star Level 3 last month: 

Cynthia Douglas, Tadpole Academy, LLC

 

As Delaware families look to the Stars when searching for early childhood programs, they find quality early learning programs such as the Stars programs that have moved up in quality rating!
 
SPOTLIGHT ON LOCAL SUCCESS
2014 Delaware Early Childhood Recognition Awards

 

At the November 19, 2014 Delaware Annual Early Learning Summit, Early Childhood Council co-chair Madeleine Bayard introduced the 2014 Delaware Early Childhood Council awards at the November 19 Early Learning Summit. She noted that the Early Childhood Council is excited about the progress Delaware is making to improve the lives of our earliest learners. The Council has had the opportunity to hear from and observe the work of extraordinary individuals contributing to this success and making a difference in communities across the state and it is excited to celebrate these contributions through awards in each of the four goals of our strategic plan, Sustaining Early Success.

 

The awards are intended to honor the work of individuals/teams serving early learners birth to age eight. The winner of the awards will receive a $1,000 contribution to a nonprofit organization with which they work in the area of early learning. The Early Childhood Council wishes to express its gratitude to Social Ventures Partner' Legacy Fund for its generosity in contributing the funding for the financial award.

 

2014 AWARDS
AWARD FOR GOAL 1: A Healthy Start for All Children
CRITERION: Outstanding in enhancing young child health and well-being, addressing the
whole child approach.

AWARD RECIPIENT: The Early Childhood Mental Health Team of the Children's Department, Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services
AWARD BENEFICIARY: Delaware Guidance Services for Children and Youth, Inc.


This statewide team of clinicians, clinical trainers, early childhood mental health consultants (10), clinical care managers, cultural competency trainer, evaluators, and family outreach and engagement staff, created a statewide young child system of mental health care, as part of $9.6M, six-year federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Early childhood services are trauma-informed and include several evidence-based treatments which are available statewide, including (Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for young children and Attachment Bio-Behavioral Catchup (ABC) for children birth to age 2 years). In this system, families are full partners in planning for, participating in and monitoring progress in their child's services.  The ten Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants have provided 1,500 child-specific consultations to early educators since the Challenge grant began in 2012, have provided professional development (Child Adult Relationship Enhancement) to more than 1,000 early educators, as well as Teacher-Child Interaction Training (TCIT), an intensive 10 week on site training, to 30 teachers in their classrooms, with coaching, coding and feedback to enhance skills.
 
Award for Goal 2:  High Quality Early Childhood Programs and Professionals
Criterion: Innovative and creative in their approach to early learning or are inspirational and visionary, inspiring others to do their best work for young children and their families.
Award Recipient: Thelma Jamison, Delaware Star 5 Program Provider
Award Beneficiary: Beacon of Hope Christian Ministry

Thelma Jamison, owner of Our Future Child Care, a Star 5 large family child care provider, is also a professional development trainer for the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood.   She participates in and often leads the peer support network, which enables family child care professionals to support each other and to learn and celebrate their successes together during monthly "Community of Practice" meetings. There they address common challenges, share ideas with one another, and explore and use resources that help make their early learning program and business stronger and healthier.  She is also a Delaware Stars Ambassador, assisting in the recruitment of early childhood care and education programs not already participating in Delaware Stars.  She has engaged her high-needs area Wilmington community to support her work with young children.  She reaches out to inform other providers about classes and professional development opportunities that are being offered to enhance quality care of all children, helping to ensure that every child has a healthy start.  She recently created a webpage to target a larger audience to increase awareness about the importance of quality early learning for young children.  She is an advocate for quality early learning and a significant influencer of others who now aspire to provide high quality early learning programs.
 
Award for Goal 3: An Aligned and Effective Early Learning System, Birth thru 3rd Grade
Criterion: Collaborative, creating new linkages between early learning and K-3 systems.
Award Recipient: Michael Wilson
Award Beneficiary: Prekindergarten Reading Encouragement Project, through the Delaware Community Foundation

Michael Wilson, a retired business executive, has developed and promotes the Prekindergarten Reading Encouragement Project, or PREP, at early learning programs, including at St. Michaels Day Nursery and School in Wilmington.  PREP is a program designed to build linkages between the school and home for at-risk pre-K students in Wilmington. Each school year, he provides students with "Letter and Numbers Kits," filled with early literacy workbooks, letters and numbers flashcards, crayons, scissors, loos leaf paper and more. Students decorate the boxes that contain these materials themselves and the boxes are sent home along with a letter explaining the program to parents and families. He includes a full year subscription to Ranger Rick Jr magazine.  He used his business and life experience to successfully raise funding to support the program, demonstrating initiative, perseverance and solid resolve in support of his passion to help young children learn. He encourages children to bring home their love for learning and engage their family in supporting them at home in early learning activities. The toolkits give children access to materials they need to be creative and start the in-depth thought process that will help to prepare them to learn in kindergarten.  His goal is to expand PREP to all New Castle County early learning programs, serving many more low income children over the next five years.  He is affectionately known as "Mr. Mike" around the programs and he has a true passion for early learning. He understands how valuable the home and school partnership is for the success of young children in school and in life.

Award for Goal 4: Sustainable System Improvement
Criterion: Highly effective in advocating for policies or approaches that help children with high needs to develop to their fullest potential
Award Recipient: Casey Storm Melson (who was unable to attend the summit due to a prior commitment.)
Award Beneficiary:  H. Fletcher Brown Boys & Girls Club

Casey is tireless in advocating for policies and approaches that help children with high needs develop to their fullest potential. As a leader in the business community, she serves as a member of the Commission on Early Education and the Economy. As a leader in her workplace, she has taken the initiative to develop what essentially is a toolkit, providing information on the company's website for families with young children or who are expecting a new baby that  increases the parents' awareness of how important quality early learning is for young children, links them to the website developed for families with young children (www.greatstartsdelaware.com) and lets them know they can find great early childhood programs by using Delaware Stars as their guide.  On the company's employee website is the clear message that CSC wants its employees to have peace of mind regarding who is caring for their young children while they are at work.  She knows, as a leader in human resources at CSC, that it is in the best interest of the company for employees to return to work after leave to care for a newborn, and knows that quality early learning programs provide great learning experiences that help to prepare children for success in school and in life.  By designing this toolkit on the company website, she has taken the initiative to increase employee awareness both about early learning for young children and Delaware Stars, information that will be there to guide and inform company employees over years!  Beyond this developme
Candice Brown of the H. Fletcher Brown Boys and Girls Club accepted this award on Casey's behalf. She brought with her a THANK YOU to Casey from the young children at the early learning program, a message very much enjoyed and appreciated by all in attendance!
nt, she took initiative in sharing this toolkit with other business leaders and Commission members, encouraging them to post the information on their own company websites to benefit their own employees. Active and committed advocates such as Casey and others like her in the business community regularly advocate for public and private investment in quality early learning in Delaware.  It is this sort of advocacy that will help to ensure the that Delaware sustains system improvements in early learning that benefit the young children and families of our state as we build our future workforce.

Please join us in congratulating these award recipients!  They provide a great inspiration for us all to do our best to promote access to quality early learning in our state.

 

POLICY & TRENDS
EARLY LEARNING
FAMILY ENGAGEMENT
Gates Foundation Releases Study on Quality
Pre-School Environments

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently released a review of the latest research on pre-K (publicly funded, center-based care for three - five-year-olds prior to kindergarten entry.) The publication, Lessons from Research and the Classroom: Implementing High-Quality Pre-K that Makes a Difference for Young Children, includes a review of child outcomes, costs structures and elements of quality. They looked closely at four pre-K exemplar sites, all of which have demonstrated academic gains that persist through elementary level at a cost structure that is sustainable. These programs share a set of common characteristics that allow them to foster high-quality instruction, as well as support educators and young learners. These elements include:

Authors Jim Minervino and Robert Pianta, Ph.D. cite conditions for an enabling high-quality instruction environment led by B.A.-holding teachers:
  • Effective use of curriculum, standards and data
  • Compensation consistent with K-12 among others
This work is intended to provide a valuable template for improving state and federal pre-K programs.
Massachusetts Develops Statewide EC Family Engagement Structure 

 

Learn more about how Massachusetts is using its Race to the Top funds to build a statewide early childhood family engagement infrastructure by linking organizations across different sectors focused on learning.

FAMILY ENGAGMENT
EARLY LEARNING

2014 Report: High Cost of Childcare 

       

Eleven million children younger than age five are in some form of child care in the United States. The Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2014 report summarizes the cost of child care across the country and represents the eighth year that Child Care Aware of America has published this data. Unfortunately, the picture for families has not improved in this time and child care remains one of the most significant expanses in a family budget. Child care often exceeds the cost of housing, college tuition, transportation or food. Unlike all other areas of education, including colleges and universities, families pay the majority of early education costs for young children. Because these costs come when parents are at the beginning of their careers, these significant expenses come at a time when families can least afford them.

 

Using Technology Well and Wisely

The RAND Corporation has recently released a series of policy briefs on the effective use of technology by early childhood professionals and families. Download the briefs by clicking the links below:
 

 

         
EARLY LEARNING
EARLY LEARNING K-3
Child Care and Development
Block Grant
Reauthorized 
   
The Child Care and Development Block Grant was reauthorized in November for the first time since 1996 after nearly a year of negotiating. Clare McCann provides a DETAILED LOOK at the bill's provisions at EdCentral. States will no longer be able to reassess family eligibility more often than every 12 months; more frequent checks can jeopardize children's enrollment depending on variations in family income. The bill also encourages states to move toward subsidy systems that do not financially punish child care centers when children are absent. The reauthorized CCDBG also focuses on safety, with fire, health and safety inspections even for small license-exempt providers. The House and Senate have agreed on an additional $400 million over six years to fund quality improvements. The National Women's Law Center has released a side-by-side COMPARISON of the features of the reauthorized version. 
 
Early Childhood Educators Hold the Key to Children's Communication Skills

Teachers and parents can ignite the growth of language and communication skills in infants and toddlers, and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina has created a GUIDE to show just how to do it.


         
EARLY LITERACY
EARLY LEARNING K-3

Raising a Reader Program Examined 

   

To succeed in future grades, reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade is critical. But 80 percent of children from low-income families aren't reading at grade level at that point. Child Trends recently released a report examining Raising A Reader, a national program that helps families develop sustainable reading practices with their young children. Child Trends found that Raising A Reader has established a strong emerging evidence base of the effectiveness of its program model. 

 

CLICK FOR REPORT  

 

 
Using Assessments to Improve Transitions  
to Kindergarten

The transition from preschool or other early learning settings into kindergarten marks an important event in the lives of more than 3.5 million children and their families each year. On November 19th, CEELO and the REL Northwest webinar explored one component of successful transitions: kindergarten entry assessments (KEAs). State departments of education presenters highlighted practical strategies they are using to assess a child's school readiness and adjust instruction to help bridge any gaps. A recording is available HERE and slides are HERE.

EARLY LEARNING
CHILD HEALTH

Fact Sheet offers overview on Young Hispanic Children 

       

Child Trends recently published a FACT SHEET which provides a snapshot of the state of young Hispanic children. It includes indicators in demographics, education, family and health.   

 

Campaign for Dental Health Offers New Posters in both English and Spanish 

 

Informational posters and flyers about the importance of flouride as part of a good dental health regimen are available on the Campaign for Dental Health website.

 

CHILD HEALTH
CHILD HEALTH
Brush Up On Oral Health: Oral Injuries 

 

This issue of Brush Up on Oral Health identifies supplies to include in a first aid kit for treating oral injuries. It also explains how to give first aid for the five most common oral injuries that happen to young children with primary (baby) teeth.

You can subscribe and view all issues on the Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center

Developmental Screening

 

As national health and child development leaders and policymakers work to increase developmental screening rates and improve child outcomes, child care and early education programs are critical partners. A new CLASP brief,  First Steps for Early Success: State Strategies to Support Developmental Screening in Early Childhood Settings, explores the role of child care and early education programs in connecting children to developmental screening, as well as national efforts and funding streams to support developmental screening and its relationship to early childhood.

QRIS

QRIS Compendium Provide Information on Trends Nationwide
 
Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) are state and local collaborations that evaluate early care and education (ECE), use data to improve ECE, and communicate program quality to parents and other stakeholders. This blog describes the capacities of qriscompendium.org, a new website from the Build Initiative in partnership with Child Trends, that provides information about QRIS nationwide. 

New Research
EARLY LEARNING
Quick In-Class Evaluation Captures Vital Signs of Teaching

A 20-minute classroom assessment can reliably measure instruction and predict students' standardized test scores...  

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION 

 

HOME VISITING

MIECHV Helps States Build Strong Systems for Young Children

 

Since 2010, the federal Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) has supported states and tribal entities in providing voluntary, evidence-based, home visiting services to at-risk families. ZERO TO THREE's new report, The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program: Smart Investments Build Strong Systems for Young Children, highlights one of the lesser known values of the MIECHV program: its role in enhancing state efforts to build high-quality, comprehensive statewide early childhood systems. Such strong systems are critical in making sure that federal investments are maximized to most efficiently meet the needs of young children when it matters most-during the early learning years. 
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