Resampled color
In This Issue
What's the Difference?

Did you know that very young children are able to notice differences in the people around them?  Research shows that infants as young as six months look differently at an unfamiliar face of a different race than they do at an unfamiliar face of their same race. (Katz & Kofkin, 1997, p. 55).  At the same time they are acquiring a cultural identity from the people around them and their environment, the smells and the sounds.


One and two year olds are beginning to notice differences in others and by two years of age, children recognize and explore physical differences. They are also learning the names of colors, and they begin to apply this to skin color. They mimic adults' behavior.


Three and four year olds act on their curiosity about others' differences and may want to know how people got their color, hair texture, and eye shape and they wonder if these characteristics can change over time. They begin to identify themselves with one race and are able to differentiate between races. This is the time when children begin to express stereotypes about identify about groups of people.


Early childhood educators can help children develop racial and cultural awareness by encouraging children to accept and celebrate their differences.  Louise Derman Sparks reminds us to be aware that we model daily attitudes and behaviors and we must help children be proud of who they are. One important way we do this by creating environments that reflect all the cultures and colors of children in facility or in the community through pictures, books, materials and experiences.


Try these activities from: Activities that Promote Racial and Cultural Awareness: Barbara Biles: National Network for Child Care (1994).


Skin Color Match-Ups:  

Display different nylon knee-high stockings in various shades, tan, black, white, pink, yellow and red. Encourage children to try them on their hands and arms or feet. Ask questions to help the children increase their awareness of skin color. For example, "Can you find a stocking that is the same color as your skin?" Or "What color is that stocking you have on your arm?" Ask the children to "Try the _________ stocking. Is it lighter or darker than your own skin?" Tell the children no one's skin color is really white, pink, yellow or red. Emphasize that skin color differences are interesting and desirable. 


Music and Dance 

Teach the children songs and dances from different nations of the world. Children will begin to see that all people like to sing and dance, but every group has its own special ways of doing it. Talk with the children about how different music sounds: loud, soft, fast or slow. Listen for the different instruments. Ask family members if they have instruments or music children could listen to or try. 


Alike & Different Thumbprints

Use white cards, a black ink pad, a pen and a magnifying glass. Help children make prints of their thumbs by pressing them on the ink pad and then onto the cards. Label each print with the child's name. Show children how to use a magnifying glass to see how the prints are alike and different. Point out that everyone has patterns on the skin of their fingers and each person's fingerprints are different from anyone else's.  


FULL ARTICLE with early learning foundations and recommendations for books on diversity. 


Delaware Welcomes Susan Perry-Manning, New Executive Director of the Office of Early Learning


Susan Perry-Manning will join the Delaware Office of Early Learning as Executive Director on February 27, 2015. 


Susan has more than two decades of experience in early childhood issues and nonprofit management. She served as Deputy Executive Director at Child Care Aware of America, Vice-President at the North Carolina Partnership for Children, which oversees the state's Smart Start initiative, and most recently as Executive Director for the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation. Susan's full bio can be found HERE.


"Investing in high-quality early learning continues to be a top priority in our state and the Governor and I are very pleased that Susan is joining our team to help sustain and grow the great progress we have made, " said Jennifer Ranji, Secretary of the Department of Services for Children Youth and Their Families.

The Office of Early Learning invites all its readers to join with us in welcoming Susan to our state!  



New State Funding Proposed to Support  

Quality Early Learning in Delaware  


An additional $3.1M is proposed in the Governor's Recommended Budget for Tiered Reimbursement,  the state's primary strategy for moving children with high needs into top quality tier programs in Delaware Stars. The financial incentive program provides enhanced payments to Stars providers in the top tiers of quality (Star 3, 4 and 5) to serve children with the state's Purchase of Care subsidy.  This strategy has been effective in encouraging more programs to voluntarily join Delaware Stars, the state's quality rating and improvement system for early learning programs.   


The total number of Delaware Stars programs serving young children has increased from 134 in 2011 to 478 in 2014.  Of the total number of Stars programs in 2014, 59 percent were in the top quality tiers. Delaware has increased the percentage of children with high needs in Stars top tier programs from 27 percent in 2012 to 35 percent in 2013 and then to 58 percent in 2014, exceeding the 2014 target of 51 percent.


The Office of Early Learning Wants to Hear From Early Learning Stakeholders!   


In late March and early April the Office of Early Learning will hold a series of four public meetings to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to share their views about what initiatives or activities that have been part of the Early Learning Challenge grant should be continued in the grant six month extension and/or in the post-federal funding period.  Stakeholders will also be asked what great investments should be made next to advance Delaware's early learning system. 


Susan Perry-Manning will provide an overview of accomplishments to date and invite stakeholders to offer their feedback to inform state decision-making. Kathy Thornburg and Kim Means, the Early Learning Challenge federal technical assistants for Delaware, will moderate the survey session.  


Please mark your calendars now.  Meetings will be held:  


March 30, 4:30 pm- 6:00 pm - Sussex County   

Hosted by the southern Delaware Readiness Teams     

Location: Sussex Technical School District,

Child Ed. Classroom #101

17099 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947 

March 31, 2015, 9:00 - am - 11:00 am - New Castle County
 Hosted by Delaware Early Childhood Council
 Location: Div. of Developmental Disabilities Conf. Room,
2540 Wrangle Hill Road, Suite 200, Bear, DE 19701 

March 31, 2015, 5:00 - 6:30 pm  - New Castle County  

Hosted by the northern Delaware Readiness Teams

Location: Brandywine Library, second floor

1300 Foulk Rd., Wilmington, DE 19803 

April 1, 2015, 12:15 - 1:30 pm - Kent County

Location: Duncan Center, Bradley Room  

500 Loockerman Street, Dover, DE 19904

(immediately following the Delaware Kids Count Book Release Event. For those attending the Kids Count Event, lunch will be provided that can be taken to the Bradley Room for this meeting.)


Registration for these meetings is not necessary. Please plan to participate in one of these meetings.  An online survey will also be available for registering stakeholder feedback.  


Looking ahead to the WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD! Set for April 12-18, 2015, the week is fast approaching!  Let's get ready!


Families and early educators can begin planning ahead to celebrate the Week of the Young Child using great resources from, the website of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  Examples of great activities offered include:

Help Your Child Become a Great Problem Solver

Positive Guidance Through the Ages

5 Ways to Build Math into Your Child's Day 


Tiered Reimbursement Payments Now Monthly for Stars 3, 4 & 5s. 


It's happening! Tiered Reimbursement Payments to Delaware Stars early learning programs in the top tiers of quality are moving from quarterly to monthly in response to program feedback and interest!
Tiered Reimbursement, a financial incentive for Stars 3, 4, and 5 programs serving children with Purchase of Care state subsidy and one of the state's primary strategies to move children with high needs into Stars top quality tier programs, is moving from quarterly to monthly payments beginning with the January, 2015 payment.  Learn more about the specific roll out plan HERE.  


This system enhancement is designed to get the payment to providers sooner and should result in improved program-reported child attendance data quality and timeliness. 

With Wilmington City Schools at Crossroads, the News Journal, the  

United Way and the Rodel Foundation are hosting  

a Community Imagine Forum  


With Wilmington public schools at the heart of a passionate debate about how to best improve student achievement, the News Journal, United Way of Delaware and the Rodel Foundation have joined with other community partners to host an education expo and community forum on Monday, March 9 at the Chase Center in Wilmington.   

The education expo will open the event at 4:00 p.m., providing participants with an opportunity to speak with representatives from 50 schools and organizations about educational offerings and programs, including representatives from the Office of Early Learning.


The forum will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will provide participants with an opportunity to share ideas. With community engagement on education more robust today than at any time during the past decade, it should be a lively conversation.

Michelle Taylor, United Way President and CEO said it's important for all Delawareans to recognize that Wilmington's struggling schools are a problem for citizens statewide, not just those in the inner city. "Too often people remove themselves from the children attending the city's public schools, when in truth they're all "our" kids."

The debate comes at a time when the Early Learning Challenge Grant is accelerating the state's movement of children with high needs into top quality tier early learning programs in Delaware Stars.

 The event will be livestreamed at  And the Chase cafeteria will be open for refreshments.  To preregister to attend at   

ESEA Reauthorization Provides Opportunity to Bolster Support for Vulnerable Young Children and Disadvantaged Youth      

Congress is currently considering the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a law established in 1965 to provide funding to primary and secondary education. To inform their crucial debate, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) has released recommendations focused on young children and early childhood education, as well as academic success and college readiness for disadvantaged youth. ESEA emphasizes equal access to high-quality programs to give every child a fair chance at success in school and life.



  Early Learning Stakeholder Input Invited at March Meeting  


The next Delaware Early Childhood Council Meeting will be held on March 31, 9:00 am - 11:00 am at

the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services Fox Run Office, Suite 200, 2540 Wrangle Hill Road,
Bear, DE 19701.   


The meeting will include an overview of the accomplishments of the Early Learning Challenge Grant as well as an opportunity for those attending to provide input to the state's early learning system planning.  Stakeholder input will inform decision-making about the anticipated six month, no-cost Early Learning Challenge Grant extension (through June, 2015) and state agency budget development for the state's fiscal year 2017 Governor's Recommended Budget.  Stakeholders will be surveyed about
what investments should be made next to further advance Delaware's early learning system.   


Save the Date!  May 6, 2015 is Early Learning Advocacy Day in Delaware!

You CAN make a difference in early learning! Early Learning: We Need, We Care, Our Future! That is the rallying cry for this year's Early Learning Advocacy Day on May 6, 2015, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, at Legislative Hall in Dover. This year's Advocacy Day is sponsored by the Delaware Early Childhood Council with the support of many public and private sector partners. 


If you are an early learning provider, parent, business or community leader or quality early learning advocate, the Council urges you to participate in the day by wearing yellow, showing your support for quality early learning and meeting with state legislators. Let's see if we can break the last year's record attendance of approximately 250 people!  Not sure this is for you? 

Here are 4 reasons to participate in Advocacy Day:
1.       Quality early learning can reduce the achievement gap
2.       Quality early learning programs increase quality of life and future success
3.       Quality early childhood learning benefits children of all income levels
4.       Quality early childhood learning is a great investment with a 7 to 16 percent return on investment.

You can participate in all or part of the day.  Registration will open March 15.  Please check future editions of the E-News for updates on Advocacy Day.   

 LEARN MORE.......    



New Tabs on Great Starts Website Featured on
WITN 22's Windows on Wilmington

Daynell Wright, NESSE (North East Safe, Strong, Engaged) Readiness Team Member and Brandi Miller, program manager of the Office of Early Learning were interviewed recently on WITN 22's Window on Wilmington.  Daynell and Brandi had an opportunity to share information pertaining the two new tabs featured on the website, the Delaware Readiness Team Tab and the Getting Ready for Kindergarten Tab.  Brandi discussed the new materials recently created by the Office of Early Learning in partnership with schools to support families that are preparing to send their child off to kindergarten for the first time.  The materials are available in English and Spanish on the website.  In addition, Get Ready for Kindergarten kits are being distributed by the NESSE Readiness Team and other Readiness Teams across the state.




The annual 'Making a Difference Conference' will be held  

April 17 & 18.   Early Childhood Education (ECE) professionals will gather at the Delaware Technical and Community College - Terry Campus in Dover for the 2015 Making A Difference Conference for Early Childhood Professionals. Co-sponsored by DHSA (Delaware Head Start Association) and DAEYC (Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children), ECE professionals in Delaware and from neighboring states will come together to expand their knowledge base, learn about the latest practices and research, discover new resources, and make new connections.  


The conference offers 5.5 quality assured hours each day and will feature several Spanish language workshops. Keynote speakers Dr. Jean Feldman (Dr. Jean) and Ta'Mora Jackson. The speakers will inspire those who work in early learning and provide a reminder about why this work is such a worthwhile profession.   


Learn more.......


   Now Available! The Maternal and Child Health Stakeholder Survey 


 The survey is designed to gather input from professional/organizational stakeholders on topic areas that they see as a priority for Delaware's Maternal and Child Health Program to address. If you would like to participate by completing the survey, please send your email or contact information to:  


In addition, in the coming months, focus group discussions will be conducted with Delaware community members over the next few months to gather real-life perspectives from men, women, and family members in our community. These focus groups will be conducted throughout all three counties in the state and will be made up of community constituents from diverse backgrounds to ensure a complete and comprehensive outreach effort.


Questions? Please reach out to:  Leah Woodall, MCH Director -; Linda Tholstrup, MCH Deputy Director -; Patricia Burke, Special Projects Manager -; Kate Tullis, Children with Special Health Care Needs Director -  





 Golinkoff Presents Findings on Infant Language Development   


Research findings on Infant Language Development was the subject of a networking lunch session where Roberta Golinkoff, Ph.D. presented on February 12  to an audience of researchers and individuals from a variety of community organizations including from Delaware Readiness Teams and the Office of Early Learning. Research indicates that while reading to young children is a good thing to do to promote language development, it is reading with enthusiasm, connecting what's being read to the child's life, responding to the child's questions and acknowledging objects pointed out by the child (and saying more about that object to make it more interesting!) that really effectively promotes language development.  Word games, poems set to tunes, silly songs, word sound play - all should be fun and pleasurable to interest the young child and the adult or older child! Narrating daily activities, connecting words to things the child is most interested in all promote language development.  There was a high level of interest in those attending in moving this research into practice in Delaware.   


Infant language development begins very early - while the child is still in the mother's womb and hears  the voices of the mother and others in the family, hears the lyrics and beat of songs the mother hears.  Interaction between the infant and an adult (or even an older child) is a great facilitator of language development.  A good way to start is to "strive for five," making sure there is a serve and return, back and forth interaction or dialogue at least five times during each day to help the child learn language.   


For a large scale demo, check out the You Tube video of "The Ultimate Block Party," held on Oct. 3, 2010 in New York's Central Park by the band shell. 

Ultimate Block Party
Ultimate Block Party


Funding for DE-CTR ACCEL is provided by a grant from the National Institutes for Health and operates with additional support from the state of Delaware, the University of Delaware, Christiana Care Health System, Nemours and the Medical University of South Carolina.  For more about the Center, to go



More Young Child Developmental Screening by Delaware Stars Early Learning Programs using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire  


Developmental screening is now a Delaware Stars required "essential standard" for Star 4 and 5 quality rated programs. More than 90 programs are using the Ages and Stages tool for Developmental Screening, with more than 3,100 screens completed. One Stars program, the Delaware State University Early Childhood Laboratory School, began using the tool last fall. Director Constance Williams reports that 47 children were screened at her center. The parents completed the screenings with support from the program's early learning staff as needed. The screening results were then reviewed by staff with parents during the fall parent-teacher conferences. Based on conversations with families, it was decided 3 children would be monitored and rescreened in 6 months to determine further testing is warranted.  Trainings and technical assistance are available for Stars programs using the Ages and Stages developmental screening tool.  Jamie Walko, an OEL consultant, may be contacted with any questions at 302-593-6383.



Free Assistive Technology Workshop on February 27


A free workshop, "Creating AT Solutions in Minutes," will be held on February 27, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm at the Center for Disabilities Studies, 461 Wyoming Road 

(building in the back of the complex) in Newark.  What if you only have five minutes to make a difference in someone's life and you had all the tools and materials in the trunk of your car? Just think of the possibilities! Hundreds of assistive technology solutions can be made in minutes using every day tools and materials.  


The presenter will be Therese Willkomm, PhD.  This event will also preview a new initiative being launched by the Delaware Early Childhood Assistive Technology Demonstration called "fabricate."


Attend this hands-on workshop to learn more!  Registration is required. To register, CLICK HERE  or call 302-831-0354.   Lunch is on your own.




Save the Date: March 26 Networking Breakfast  


Save this Date!  On March 26, 2015, 8:00 am - noon, there will be a networking breakfast focused on Embedding Trauma-Informed Approaches Across the Lifespan, hosted by the Trauma Informed Care Interest Group, with funding from the DHSS Divisions of Public Health and Substance Abuse and Mental Health.  Stay tuned for more information once registration information is available.   





ELC TA Website Offers Useful Resources for RTT-ELC Grantees 


The ELC TA Program maintains the  Communities 360 Public Domain Clearinghouse: a one-stop portal/site which provides access to resources and knowledge to benefit RTT-ELC grantees, those supporting the Grantees and others in the field of Early Learning. Resources on the site include information about the RTT-ELC program as well as topical pages on Comprehensive Assessment Systems, Sustainability, Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (TQRIS), and Communications.  This Public Domain Clearinghouse contains a rich compilation of resources relevant to building early childhood systems. 



Next MCO Call is March 10! Reminder about new 2015 

Call-In Number: 1-800-220-9875 and Participant Code: 40369724#


Babies on the Homefront App Available for Free Download 
Did you know that 42 percent of children of active duty service members are between birth and 5 years old? Deployment and separation remain core components of the military lifestyle-warranting a need for innovative practices and approaches that optimize the parent-child connection in the face of continued stress and uncertainty. For returning veterans, the transition out of active duty status may constitute additional disruption in their families' lives. Military and veteran families need parenting information and guidance that is responsive to the unique needs of their military lifestyle.

Babies on the Homefront is a new free mobile app developed by ZERO TO THREE that provides military and veteran parents with the support they need to create meaningful learning opportunities every day. Parents can personalize the app with their baby's picture and create a photo gallery of their child's moods. To make the app even more personalized, parents can sort the information by their young child's age and specify their situation as At Home, Leaving Soon, Deployed, Home Again, a Veteran, or Visiting a Hospital.

To access the app or learn more, visit HERE
Rising Stars Shining Bright! 
Congratulations to the programs moving up in January!

CONGRATULATIONS to these brand new Star Level 5s
      Newark Christian Childcare
      Kindercare (Lancaster Pike)
                                   Boys & Girls Club of Greater Newark

And it is a pleasure to announce that these programs have earned Star Level 4 status: 
Delaware School for the Deaf Elementary 
          East Dover Elementary School
          Fairview Elementary School
          Hartly Elementary School 

Sheila Mast  

Moving up to Star Level 3 last month: 

Beverly's Helping Hand

Building Blocks Academy

Lillie Dixon

Bonnie Diaferio 


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!

Community Café Trainees Ready to Engage Community


The Community Café trainees who attended training sessions, held earlier this year in northern and southern Delaware are ready to "open" Community Cafés throughout the first state. Sponsored by the Delaware Readiness Teams and Prevent Child Abuse Delaware, participants learned how to use the Community Café model to gain information from their communities to help increase protective factors for children and families.


Several Delaware Readiness Teams are preparing to use the Community Café model as a tool to work within their communities.


What is a Community Café you ask?

The most recent research points to five critical protective factors a child needs to thrive: courage, freedom, health, community and compassion.


The Community Café model provides centers around bringing community together to build these five factors. Also known as "strengthening families" to those using the approach, Community Cafés are being used in 13 states throughout the country-in neighborhoods, early learning and child care settings, tribal centers, schools, faith-based organizations and social service systems- to develop and solidify relationships within communities for this common goal. The cafés are typically parent-hosted gatherings to encourage participants to contribute to guided conversations relevant to their specific communities.


Community Cafés use a four-step "Appreciative Inquiry" process that consists of:

  • Dreaming - What is your vision for strengthening families/communities?
  • Designing- What change(s) would you like to see happen in your community?
  • Discovering- What do you want to learn, need to know?
  • Delivering- Commit to action as a result of the conversation.

The Community Café approach can be a powerful strategy to bring together community members to ensure that children and families are protected and strong.


If you are interested in learning more about the Community Cafè appoach and/or would like to participate in a Community Cafè in your area, please contact Daphne Evans, Lead Facilitator, Delaware Readiness Teams, 302-480-3873 or  General information about Community Cafès can also be found at www.the

Early Caregiving Experiences Have        Long-Term Impact on Social Relationships      and Achievement

Researchers from the University of Minnesota, University of Delaware and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that sensitive caregiving during the first three years of life was connected with improved academic and social outcomes in the first three decades of life. The study found connections between sensitive parenting and academic success even after controlling for socioeconomic factors.  


Read more: 

HERE,  HEREHERE                                                                  


Study: Early learning curbs need for
special education.


Children who participate in early-education programs are less likely to be placed in special education, a recent Duke University study found. 




Zero to Three Videos Explore Early
Childhood Development


ZERO TO THREE has released a new set of materials called The Magic of Everyday Moments that show how adult interactions shape the growth and learning of infants and toddlers. The set includes four videos that explore key aspects of early childhood development for use in work with families and professionals, including: Brain Wonders: Nurturing Healthy Brain Development From Birth, Literacy Skills: The Roots of Reading Start at Birth, Power of Play: Building Skills While Having Fun, and Temperament: What Makes Your Child Tick?   The videos are all available to view online at no cost at:

Measuring the Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (Q-CCIIT)

This REPORT provides an overview of the Quality of Caregiver-Child Interactions for Infants and Toddlers (QCCIIT) observation tool, which was designed to measure the quality of caregiver-child interactions in child care settings serving infants and toddlers. The tool can be used across different types of settings and measures caregiver support for infant/toddler social-emotional development, cognitive development, language and literacy development, as well as areas of concern (negative caregiving behaviors).



Building Executive Function Skills in the Early Years

A January 2015 brief from the Institute for Child Success entitled "When Brain Science Meets Public Policy: Strategies for Building Executive Function Skills in the Early Years" provides a clear, multimedia overview of executive function and self-regulatory skills (what they are and how they develop) and the importance of reciprocal, responsive relationships in building those skills. In addition, the brief offers policy recommendations to support executive function skills in young children, including the adoption of dual-generation strategies, place-based approaches and developmental screenings.




Tools and Resources for Identifying All
English Learners

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) recently published (January 2015)  Tools and Resources for Identifying All English Learners  to help state and local education agencies in meeting their obligations to English Learners (ELs), including preschool-age children. The toolkit is meant to be used in conjunction with January 2015 JOINT GUIDANCE  

from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reminding states, school districts and schools of their legal obligations to English learners under civil rights laws and other federal requirements.  


The guidance includes information on evaluating English learners for special education services. NOTE: This guidance specifically addresses children who are preschool-age or older. The preferred term for our youngest children with home languages other than English is dual language learners (DLL).


The Connection between WIC Participation and Academic Outcomes 


Early Childhood Health: A study in the journal of Social Science and Medicine found connections between participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and improved academic outcomes during early childhood and school-age years. Read more here  


The Spectrum of Neglect: Four Types of Unresponsive Care

Using science as a guide, this interactive chart, from the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard, delineates four types of diminished responsiveness and their consquences in order to provide a useful framework for developing more effective strategies to protect vulnerable children from this complex challenge. The four short video clips below, each under a minute in length, are excerpts from the 6-minute video InBrief: The Science of Neglect. The chart is based on a graphic from The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain, a Working Paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.  


Family Engagement Inventory: New Tool
for Practitioners


Family engagement is recognized as a foundation for success across the human services and education fields. The recently launched  Family Engagement Inventory (FEI), a Child Welfare Information Gateway microsite, is an interactive web-based tool designed to familiarize professionals in child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, education, and early childhood education with family engagement as defined and implemented across these fields of practice.   


 The purpose of the FEI is to help practitioners, managers and system leaders understand the commonalities and differences in family engagement across the disciplines in order to support cross-system collaboration among multiple systems often working with the same families.



Family Engagement Toolkit Available: Everyone Loves a Good Story! 


Stories help people form relationships and make sense of the world around them. Business, medicine, and education have long used stories---or cases---as teaching and professional development tools. In the family engagement field, reading cases challenges those who work with families to consider multiple perspectives; think critically about real-world issues; communicate effectively; and identify family strengths. These are all abilities that educators need to work effectively with families.


With this in mind, Harvard Family Research Project and the Community Engagement Team in the Department of Human Services in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have developed the Create Your Own Case Toolkit. The toolkit was inspired by the  enthusiastic response to our casebook, Preparing Educators to Engage Families, and the family engagement cases on our website. 


To review the toolkit, CLICK HERE 


Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Helpful in Reducing Preschool Expulsions


An article by Sara Neufeld, a contributing editor for The Hechinger Report was recently featured in The New York Times blog, Opinionator.

According to the article, the model of consultation with an expert has proven to be promising and cost-effective: In a Connecticut study, Gilliam found that it reduces preschool expulsions by half. Consultation also has been shown to improve the emotional well-being of all children in the pivotal years before kindergarten and to boost staff retention and job satisfaction in an industry with very high turnover.


The Hechinger Report is a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.

CLICK HERE for article



More and more three-year-olds attend preschool and represent a substantial proportion of the children in these classrooms. In fact, three-year-olds in Head Start have increased from 24 percent in 1980 to 40 percent in 2013. However, the research on preschool education to support low-income children's early learning and skills has focused primarily on four-year-olds.  


With this in mind, the Head Start CARES demonstration ("Classroom-based Approaches and Resources for Emotion and Social skill promotion") tested the impacts of three enhancements on social and emotional competencies among 3-year-olds in mixed-age (three- and four-year-old) classrooms.


Click HERE for blogpost.  


Webinar Series on Prevention of Expulsion and Suspension Practices in Early Learning Settings 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Administration for Children and Families is hosting a four-part webinar series on the prevention of expulsion and suspension practices in early learning settings. The series will feature key experts from across the country who have done work on different aspects of the issue, including policy, research and data, and prevention/intervention.


PLEASE NOTE: The first three webinars in this series have been aired. They are: 

Webinar 1 -   Basic Research, Data Trends, and the Pillars of Prevention

Webinar 2 -   Establishing Federal, State, and Local Policies

Webinar 3 -  Program Quality and Professional Development: A Look at Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support Systems Through Diversity-Informed Tenets


  When the links archived and posted - we'll put them in the next E-News or as soon as they are available.   If interested, RSVP for each individual webinar at its respective link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar.


WEBINAR 4-March 4, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. eastern time

Using Data Systems To Track and Reduce Expulsion and Suspension

Registration URL:  

New Research
Enhancing Young Hispanic Dual Language Learners' Achievement: Exploring Strategies and Addressing Challenges

Dual language learners, or DLLs, may have greater school readiness needs due to the key role English oral language skills play in the development of emerging literacy skills in English and their overall academic achievement. This especially can be the case if children's capacity to benefit from classroom instruction and interact with teachers and fellow students is dependent on their English language proficiency. This policy report examines key factors contributing to young Hispanic DLLs academically at-risk status, as well as the emerging research base on strategies for supporting the learning and development of DLLs in preschool and the early primary grades. Also addressed are the practical, on-the-ground implementation challenges to be addressed if early education programs are to incorporate these strategies. Click HERE to read the full report. 

Delaware Office of Early Learning | | | 820 North French Street, 5th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801