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In This Issue


Have you joined in? Have you become one of the early learning programs that has become part of "Let's Move! Child Care"? Nemours Foundation has developed a movement to help "inspire healthy habits in young children that will last a lifetime." They identify five goals to develop healthy habits:

1. Increase physical activity

2. Reduce screen time

3. Improve food choices

4. Provide healthy beverages

5. Support breast feeding


Begin by taking the ONLINE QUIZ  ( to find out how your program is doing in supporting healthy habits. Then discover some steps you can put into an action plan to fight obesity and to become a recognized provider.


Here are a few ideas for Goal #1: increasing physical activity.

Turn your transitions into fun movement activities.  

Ask children to hop to get their coats, slither to the circle area, fly like a bird to line up for lunch. These activities encourage movement, creativity and keep children engaged!


Hold an inside parade.  

Give children musical instruments or teach them how to play pretend flutes or drums as they march to music around the room or building. Instruct them to march fast or slow or show them how to march in place. Count with them as they move.


Involve physical activity during  

circle time.  

Ask children to act out a story you are reading or play "stand up, sit down". Tell them to listen for a special word. Each time they hear it, they should stand up. Tell them another special word. When they hear that word, they should sit down. As you are talking with them, singing or telling a story, use the special words many times to encourage them to get up and down.


Gimme Five Challenge

The Gimme Five challenge asks Americans to share, via social media, five new moves they will make to be healthy, such as trying five new vegetables or adding five repetitions of an exercise into a daily routine. The challenge was launched Monday with a video, starring the President and First Lady. Similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that took social media by storm last summer, people are encouraged to Gimme Five, and then challenge others to do the same using the GimmeFive hashtag. 


#GimmeFive for Let's Move's 5th Anniversary
#GimmeFive for Let's Move's 5th Anniversary


Early Learning Foundations for Infants and Toddlers beyond physical development include:  

Social Emotional: Self Awareness and Self-Regulation; Language and Literacy: Receptive Communication; Discoveries: Spatial Awareness, Cause and Effect; Attention and Persistence, Curiosity and Problem Solving; Play.


Early Learning Foundations beyond physical development for preschoolers include: Social and Emotional Development: Self Concept and Self-Regulation; Approaches to Learning: Initiative and Curiosity, Engagement and Persistence; Language and Literacy: Receptive Communication; Mathematics: Numbers and Operations, Geometry and Spatial Sense; Science: Sensory Awareness, Scientific Knowledge Nonliving Things; Myself, My World, My Community: Places and Spaces Geography; Creative Expression: Music, Movement and Dance, Dramatic Play.





Your input is needed! 2015 Delaware Great Starts Investing Focus Groups  


All stakeholders are invited to participate in a community conversation about the current status and future priorities for the State's early learning system.

LEARN: About the progress Delaware has made through the Early Learning Challenge Initiative and the state's Strategic Plan for
Early Childhood.

SHARE: Your ideas, experiences and priorities for sustaining and growing Delaware's early learning work.

INVEST:  In Delaware's young children and our state's future prosperity.  The most rapid period of development in life happens during the first five years.  Brain architecture is formed, creating either a strong or weak foundation for all future learning.  These years are so defining that they predict later academic achievement and career and life success.  When each child is given a great start they have the best opportunity to succeed and contribute as productive citizens, so Delaware prospers.

Beginning March 30, 2015 and continuing through April 1, 2015 the Delaware Early Childhood Council and the Office of Early Learning will hold a series of seven public meetings across the state to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to share their views about the progress made and future for our state's early learning work.

Susan Perry-Manning, Executive Director of the Delaware Office of Early Learning, will provide an overview of accomplishments to date.  Kathy Thornburg and Kim Means, the Early Learning Challenge
federal technical assistants for Delaware, will moderate the focus group session.  
Meetings will be held: 
March 30, 2015
TIME:  9:00 am - 10:30 am - DOVER
FOCUS AUDIENCE: The Commission on Early Education
and the Economy
LOCATION: Dover Public Library, Multi-Purpose Room A
35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover, DE 19901

TIME:  12:30 pm- 2:00 pm - MILFORD
FOCUS AUDIENCE: Kent and Sussex County Early Education Programs
LOCATION: The Learning Center
258 North Rehoboth Blvd.,  Milford, DE 19963

TIME: 4:30 pm- 6:00 pm - GEORGETOWN
LOCATION: Sussex Technical School District, Child Ed. Classroom #101
17099 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947
Hosted by the southern Delaware Readiness Teams    

March 31, 2015:
TIME: 9:00 am - 11:00 am - BEAR
LOCATION: Div. of Developmental Disabilities Conference Room
2540 Wrangle Hill Road, Suite 200, Bear, DE 19701
Hosted by Delaware Early Childhood Council

TIME: 5:00 - 6:30 pm  - NORTH WILMINGTON
LOCATION: Brandywine Library, second floor
1300 Foulk Rd., Wilmington, DE 19803
Hosted by the northern Delaware Readiness Teams

April 1, 2015:
TIME:  9:00 am - 10:30 am WILMINGTON  
FOCUS AUDIENCE: New Castle County Early Care and Education Programs
LOCATION:  Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families, Conf. Rm 199, 
1825 Faulkland Rd, Wilmington, DE 19805
Hosted by the Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children       

TIME: 12:15 - 1:30 pm - DOVER
LOCATION: Duncan Center, Bradley Room  
500 Loockerman Street, Dover, DE 19904
(Immediately following the Delaware Kids Count Book Release Event and for those attending the Kids Count Event, lunch will be provided that can be taken to the Bradley Room for this meeting.)


We hope all readers will plan to participate one of these meetings.  An invitation to register will be emailed to all on the Enews distribution list. While not required, registration is encouraged.  An online survey will also be available for registering stakeholder feedback beginning April 2, 2015 on the website.  

Tell Us Your Story!   


We're inviting you to share your story about the importance of quality early learning. Whether you're a parent, a teacher, a grandparent, an administrator, tell OEL your story of how quality early education has helped your child or others in your community; why these programs are important to you; and why access to quality early learning programs for all young children and their families is important  Your stories may be shared the Great Starts Delaware Facebook page, the website,, and other ways to promote the importance of quality early learning. Please send your story to: 


New Competitive Grant for Early Childhood Integrated Data Systems Announced   


While Delaware did not apply for the data system option in the Early Challenge Grant, progress in the development of an early childhood integrated data system (ECIDS) has been made here, funded through a generous financial award from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation which will end in April, 2015.  Good news is that the Institute of Education Sciences of the US Department of Education has released a Request for Applications (RFA) for the FY15 Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) Grant.  This competition will focus on enhancing States' capacity to use the data systems to identify problems and drive improvement efforts. Early Learning is one of the six priority areas for which states may submit applications. 


The full RFA is available on the IES website.  Applications are due on or before June 10, 2015.  It is anticipated that the state of Delaware will compete.  The Delaware Department of Education (eligible applicant) is already working with the Office of Early Learning and other partners to begin to develop what we hope will be a successful application to fully build out an early childhood integrated data system, based on work completed to date, to further inform instruction at the child and classroom levels, program quality improvement and state-level policy and decision-making to further improve Delaware's early learning system.

New Spanish Sections on Website  


Three tabs on the Office of Early Learning's family-focused website,, are now offered in Spanish.


Why Quality Matters promotes the importance of quality early learning and includes a document that can be downloaded with examples of what to look for in high-quality early learning programs.


Delaware Stars Program explains how the state's QIR program works and guides parents through the process of selecting a Stars program. The tab also includes a Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care and an article titled Why Attendance Matters, both available to download.


Your Child's Brain

provides information about how a child's brain develops and tips on ways parents can help their child's brain develop well. 

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 


Family Outreach Team Promotes the Importance of Early Learning    


Our Family Outreach Team has participated in events and meetings throughout the state. Most recently, the team participated in the IMAGINE Delaware Education Expo at the Chase Center in Wilmington on March 9, where they engaged more than 100 people at the display. Earlier this month, the team met with parents at the La Red Baby Shower and the Beebe Health Fair in Sussex County, as well as the Colonial School District Health Fair, the Community Partnership Family Resource Fair and the New Castle Farmer's Market in New Castle County.





Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: 
A Webinar Series for Early Care and Education Programs and Providers

The Offices of Head Start and Child Care, in partnership with the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program, is hosting a new four-part webinar series. Teachers and caregivers will learn about identification, dynamics, and best practices for working with very young children exposed to domestic violence. 
 LEARN MORE HERE.  Additional resources HERE.


The Council welcomes early learning stakeholders to its meeting on March 31, 2015.  The meeting will start at 9:00 am and a Delaware Great Starts Investing focus Group meeting will follow.  The meetings will be held at the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services/DHSS Fox Run Office, 2540 Wrangle Hill Road, Suite 200 in Bear Delaware 19701.  The Council has released "Strengthening Delaware's Quality Early Childhood System," designed to provide information about early learning in the state as well as ideas on how individuals may get involved in supporting quality early learning.  

A new magazine, Military Kids' Life, is a good resource for all kids (and families) with parents serving in the military. It provides insight into military life from a kid's perspective and the unique struggles they may face, while offering encouragement. With many young children in military families, this can be a resource for Delaware's early childhood community.



   Delaware Readiness Teams Take to the Airwaves 


Ellen Tyrawski, team lead for The Mount Pleasant Community Partnership Readiness Team, was recently interviewed by WDEL's Rick Jensen about the work being done by the Mount Pleasant Readiness Team. Not only was Ellen able to provide great information about the kind of work readiness teams are doing, but other readiness team members called in to the show and shared their stories. Community members also had an opportunity to call in to the show and ask questions. Ellen was also able to promote the team's March 14 event-"A Trip Through our Community"- which featured a collection of vendors who shared resources available to the community, as well as children's activities. To hear the complete interview, go to



   Rodel Foundation Calls for Public Vote for iEducate Delaware Honoree


Fifteen finalists have been named as contenders to be iEducate Delaware Honorees out of the more than 200 nominations received. The Rodel Foundation initiative, underway since 2012, promotes unsung heroes who make a big difference in students' education. This year's finalists (three of whom work in early childhood) include teachers, a judge, a student and other Delawareans promoting education throughout the first state. From those finalists, five will be selected and will have their work promoted statewide and nationally and will receive $2,000 for an education-related cause of their choice. Profiles for each of the 15 finalists can be found at, where you can also vote. The public may vote three times each day for the same or for different finalist. Voting closes on Friday, April 17. 



   KIDS COUNT 20th Edition Fact Book for Delaware to be Released


 The 2015 KIDS COUNT 20th Edition Fact Book for Delaware will be released on April 1, 2015 at a special event to be held at the Duncan Center in Dover.  Learn more, including how to register online HERE.  Attendees may want to register for the Great Starts Delaware Investment stakeholder meeting that will follow the book release event and luncheon. To register - go to, What's New box.


   Launching Delaware Chapter of
Federation of Families for Children'
s Mental Health 


Delaware Family Voices is hosting a celebratory event to mark the creation of a Delaware Chapter of the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health!  The event will be held on March 26, 2015.  For more information, click HERE  or call Wanda Ford at DEFV at 302-669-3034 for more information. 




Open Session on Supporting Parents of Young Children

The IOM-NRC (Institute of Medicine-National Research Council) Committee on Supporting the Parents of Young Children will hold an open session on Thursday, April 9 from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. EDT. The open session will be held in room 120 of the National Academy of Sciences building at 2101 Constitution Ave, N.W., in Washington, DC. 


More information on the session, a draft agenda and a link to register to attend in person or via live webcast can be found on the meeting page available HERE.




A recent webinar-Health Equity and Well-Being from the Start: Building Support for an Equal Opportunity Childhood-has been archived for viewing.  The webinar is designed to demonstrate how state health officials 
and staff can bring a health equity perspective to their existing efforts to prevent early childhood adversity, including child maltreatment, and features the Essentials for Early Childhood Framework. 


DE Stars logo
Rising Stars Shining Bright! 
Congratulations to the programs moving up in February!

CONGRATULATIONS to these brand new Star 5 programs  

Boys & Girls Club @ Appoquinimink

Happy Place Day Care LLC

Boys & Girls Club @ Smyrna Clayton

Boys & Girls Club @ Clarence Fraim

And it is a pleasure to announce that these programs have earned Star 4 rating: 
YMCA / Walnut Street Children's Corner C

Elsmere Presbyterian Child Care

Carol Felton   

Moving up to Star 3 rating last month:
          Rebecca Womack 

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!

 TRAUMA MATTERS: Networking Breakfast


For the first time representatives from across different sectors in Delaware will come together from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 25 from to discuss the impact of trauma across the lifespan and begin a dialogue about how to respond. Aileen Fink, Ph.D., Director of Trauma-Informed Care Implementation at the Delaware Children's Department and one of the coordinators of the event, said that although the state has held professional trauma-focused training in the past, this is the first attempt to expand the conversation beyond the smaller Trauma Informed Care Interest Group to the larger community.   


Trauma is a big issue for many young children and their families in Delaware. Research has established that young children, including infants, may be negatively affected by events that threaten their safety or the safety of their parents and/or caregivers. Trauma can result from intentional violence-such as child physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence or community violence; the result of natural disaster, accidents, or war. Young children also may experience traumatic stress in response to painful medical procedures or the sudden loss of a parent/caregiver. Using trauma-responsive approaches helps to ensure better outcomes and brighter futures for children.


Several factors led to the creation of the event. The event will serve to fulfill a federal grant requirement, however rather than create yet another group to satisfy the grant, Dr. Fink connected with the Trauma Informed Care Interest Group and suggested a partnership. The Trauma Informed Care Interest Group is composed of a network of programs in the state that work to provide trauma-informed services or trauma-specific interventions with the overall purpose of promoting trauma-informed systems across the state.  The group agreed to the partnership and plans for the event began to fall  into place.  The event coordinator, Paulina Gyan, a social service administrator in maternal child health in the Division of Public Health, explained that this type of event also meets an important objective of the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems program, which is to promote networking opportunities among programs engaged in trauma-informed supports, mental health and treatment services for children and to coordinate networks of evidence-based and research-informed supports and treatment services for children identified with trauma or at risk for trauma and their families.  

The event will be held in Dover, Delaware, at the Education & Technology Center at the Terry campus of Delaware Technical & Community College. The deadline for registration is Wednesday, March 18.  


To register, please go to:   


To see a powerful new video on the impact of trauma on young children click on link or go to .

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 has created a free guide to show how to do it...  MORE.                                                       

Linking Head Start data to State Early Childhood Integrated Data Systems     


Head Start programs serve more than one million children, but only a handful of states are linking data from Head Start with data from other early care and education programs. To understand some of the benefits, challenges, and strategies involved with linking this data, the Early Childhood Data Collaborative interviewed leaders in a dozen states.  




Exploring the Relationship Between Organizational Climate and the Classroom


A recent report from the Educational Commission of the States (ECS) examines the relationships between classroom process quality and the organizational climate, overall and relational, in preschool centers serving low-income children.Titled "Reexamining Quality in Early Childhood Education: Exploring the Relationship Between the Organizational Climate and the Classroom," the report findings suggest:  1) policies should focus less on structural influences on quality (e.g. teacher-child ratio) and more on process quality and the organizational climate, which has such a strong relationship with classroom process quality and 2)  professional development efforts need to include early childhood center leadership and a focus on the organizational climate. 
The Relationship between Self-regulation and Preschool Mathematics Achievement

An  ARTICLE in Child Indicators Research examines the relationship of self-regulation to preschool mathematics achievement. 

The present studies aimed at investigating whether children's risk for self-regulatory failure implicates poor academic outcomes even before the start of formal instruction. The results of the two studies are discussed with respect to the importance of children's self-regulation abilities for successful academic achievement.


Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience

Why do some children do well despite serious hardship? This new paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child

identifies the key features of resilience, or the ability to adapt in the face of significant adversity, and suggests ways to build it throughout the lifespan. 

Read the paper.


High-quality early education: Age of entry and time in care differences in student outcomes for English-only and dual language learners

This study examined links between high-quality early education exposure and outcomes. Earlier entry and more time in care were related to better receptive language skills. Age of entry and time in care were linked equivocally to social-behavioral skills. The positive links between exposure and outcomes were strongest for DLL children.


Read the article
How Federal Home Visiting Provides Critical Supports for Parents and Children

 The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the Center for American Progress released the report, An Investment in Our Future: How Federal Home Visiting Funding Provides Critical Supports for Parents and Children which documents state work completed through Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) funding.  


A Blueprint for Quality Improvement Initiatives in Early Care and Education

 A Blueprint for Quality Improvement Initiatives in Early Care and Education: Final Report is a helpful tool for those looking to improve early care and education? Read on for recommended foundational elements, implementation efforts and improvement activities for quality improvement initiatives. These are based on existing research and input from national experts on early care and education quality improvement.

My Brother's Keeper Task Force: One-Year Progress Report to the President  

Early in 2014, President Obama launched "My Brother's Keeper 

" (MBK) and issued a powerful call to action to close opportunity gaps still faced by too many young people, often by boys and young men of color in particular. Over the course of the past year, efforts have advanced along three areas of focus based on the goals laid out in the MBK Presidential Memorandum: state and local engagement, private sector action-independent nonprofit, philanthropic and corporate action- and public policy review and reform. The report provides an update on all three approaches over the course of a year since the MBK launch.  


The report includes a progress update on advancing high-quality early education opportunities for our youngest learners, including $1 billion private and public sector investment to expand early learning opportunities announced at the  White House Summit on Early Education; the release of an HHS - ED joint policy statement on preventing expulsion and suspension practices in early learning settings; the launch of Birth to Five: Watch Me Thrive!, an initiative to promote universal developmental and behavioral screening; and efforts to bridge the word gap  between low-income children and their more affluent peers. 


You can find the full report HERE - 

New Research

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

This Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation (OPRE) 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).  





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