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In This Issue


Our Amazing Dads...


Men are taking more of an active role in children's lives and research tells us it makes a difference. Children whose fathers are involved with their upbringing have been found to do better in school and to stay in school. And, those children without a father often look for a male with whom they respect and with whom they can relate as a father figure. It is said that children with involved fathers have increased curiosity and problem solving skills (Pruett, 2000) and can contribute to increased empathy and less stereotypical behavior. (Abramovitch in Lamb, 1997).


Early learning programs can honor Dads - and Grandpas - and Uncles - and other important male figures with these learning experiences and fun events.



*Host a "Doughnuts for Dads" event one morning. Invite Dads to drop off their children a few minutes early and enjoy a doughnut and cup of coffee while chatting with other Dads or with some of the staff. Display resources or information about child development or parenting that might be of interest to men. Make this a regular event, holding it monthly or quarterly.


*Post an "All About the Men" section on the Family Bulletin Board. Ask those important guys to submit stories or pictures that display their talents or interests.


*Hold a Father (Male)-Child Event: Ask that special man to stay late one evening, serving dinner and create a special craft or sports event for them to do with their children.




CLICK HERE to download full article with activities for children, early learning foundations and books to read with children. 

 The BUILD Initiative E-Book Releases Chapters Three and Four


Rising to the Challenge: Building Effective Systems for Young Children and Families shares the experiences of the states that received federal Early Learning Challenge funds.


Chapter 3: Early Learning Health Connections

focuses on the link between child health (including mental health) with early learning and documents some of the recent cross-sector accomplishments in nine out of the 20 states that received Early Learning Challenge funds, including Delaware. The chapter highlights each state's efforts to develop system-wide strategies employed, as well as the accomplishments of those strategies 
Read Chapter 3 here.


Chapter 4: Trends and Innovations in Early Childhood Education Workforce Development looks at the work of those states that concentrated on workforce development as part of the Early Learning Challenge Grant.  The chapter highlights five common design trends--professional development system capacity, career pathways, coaching for effective practice, accessibility to professional development and cross-sector collaboration--among a wide variety of creative and innovative approaches to improving professional development opportunities. Read Chapter 4 here.


The BUILD Initiative works with early childhood leaders within states and nationally to better prepare young children to thrive and succeed. It supports state leaders from both the private and public sectors as they work to set policy, offer services and advocate for children from birth to age five.

Specifically, the BUILD Initiative helps state leaders develop an early childhood system--programs, services and policies tailored to the needs of the state's unique young child population. This work focuses on connecting programs and services that may have functioned in isolation, been redundant, lacked resources to meet critical needs and/or operated at cross-purposes.

Strong Start for America's Children Act Reintroduced


With some new principal sponsors and a few changes, the Strong Start for America's Children Act has made its debut in the 114th Congress. It remains a significant statement of early childhood education as a national priority.  A summary of the bills (H.R. 2411 and S. 1380) can be found HERE.


The bill would provide almost $27 billion in mandatory funding for state preK programs over 5 years. It does retain the optional set-aside in this funding stream to provide quality services for infants and toddlers, but does not ensure that states will invest in quality services before age four. An important addition to the bill recognizes the importance of addressing the needs of children with developmental delays and disabilities through a new title increasing the authorization levels for early intervention for infants and toddlers and preschool special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.


As its major piece for infants and toddlers, the bill still includes an authorization for the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, a key strategy for infusing Early Head Start quality into child care, currently funded through appropriations. 


CLICK HERE for more information about the legislation, including ways to advocate for greater early learning investment for infants and toddlers. 

Join us for the unveiling of a 10-year plan that aims to provide every Delaware student with a world-class education.
Coming Soon: Student Success 2025 
Coming Soon: Student Success 2025
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Delaware Technical Community College Terry Campus 
727 Conference Center 
100 Campus Drive 
Dover, DE 19904

CLICK HERE for more information

CLICK HERE to register for this free, open to the public event.

Seeking Feedback on Title V Maternal & Child Health Program  

Action Plan by June 30  


The Division of Public Health published an update on the assessment of its Maternal & Child Health Program.  As part of the process, interested parties are invited to provide feedback on Delaware's Title V action plan by visiting  Delaware's annual Title V application is due July 15, 2015. The committee will review and consider all feedback received by June 30, 2015, prior to submission. However, please know that this is an evergreen plan and there will be opportunities to make adjustments throughout the year.

The steering committee is pleased  with the work that has been completed to this point, and want to  thank everyone who has participated in this process. The resulting priorities and action plan define an exciting path forward for our Title V efforts to support the health of Delaware's mothers, children (including children with special health care needs) and families.


New Report from Kids Count: Every Kid Needs a Family


On any given night, more than 700 children under the care of Delaware's child welfare systems are going to bed without the care and comfort of a family. In its latest KIDS COUNT® policy report, Every Kid Needs a Family: Giving Children in the Child Welfare System the Best Chance for Success, the Annie E. Casey Foundation highlights this and other sobering statistics that point to the urgent need to ensure, through sound policies and proven practices, that everything possible is being done to find loving, nurturing and supporting families to help raise more of these children. The report also highlights the promising ways that Delaware's elected officials, policymakers, judges and private providers can work together as they strive to help these hundreds of children in the care of Delaware's child welfare systems.


2015 Virtual Birth to Three Institute Live-Streamed July 21, 22, 23 


The virtual Birth to Three Institute (vBTT) will be live-streamed nationwide on July 21, 22 and 23. It will consist of 10 60-minute sessions, which include featured keynote presentations, a parent plenary and messages from the Office of Head Start. vBTT is a wonderful professional development opportunity for Early Head Start, Head Start, and child care partners. CLICK HERE FOR SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE.

vBTT Dates and Topics 
Tuesday, July 21: Child Development and Learning 
Wednesday, July 22: Program Systems and Services 
Thursday, July 23: Effectively Engaging Families  
Who Should Participate? 
Early Head Start, Head Start, Migrant and Seasonal Head Start,  
American Indian and Alaska Native Head Start program staff and parents;  
child care partners; T/TA providers; federal staff; and National and State Collaboration Offices. 

How to Register 
Registration for vBTT 2015 is free. We also are offering complimentary Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Please note your interest in CEUs at the time of registration.

Send your questions to or call (toll-free) 1-877-434-7672.  
ACF Releases Final Report Highlighting Significant Accomplishments by State Advisory Councils (SAC) on Early Childhood Education and Care

A final report highlighting significant accomplishments by State Advisory Councils (SAC) on Early Childhood Education and Care is now available.

First funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, ACF awarded nearly $100 million of ARRA funding to 45 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa in the form of SAC grants. This three-year funding was the administration's first investment in building the early childhood infrastructure for the President's Early Learning Initiative.

Many states had already begun to develop early childhood development systems prior to receiving the grant. The SAC grant propelled further improvements in the quality of early childhood programs, better coordination among existing early childhood programs, and streamlined service delivery.

Through the SACs 'work, states developed an unprecedented level of cooperation among agencies and programs and successfully built efficiencies into program service delivery for children and families.

ACF Releases Caring for Our Children Basics: Health and Safety Foundations for Early Care and Education

Every 4 seconds a child is treated for an injury in an emergency room in the united States. In fact, the leading cause of death for children under age six in 2013 was unintentional injury as a result of motor vehicle accidents, drowning, suffocation, burns, exposure to heat, falls and fire arms both inside and outside the home. Many of these accidents and the resulting heart ache could have been prevented.

Every day, parents place their trust in teachers and caregivers in early care and education settings with reasonable expectations that their children will be healthy and safe while in care. Parents must have this peace of mind in order to work and attend to other responsibilities that support their families. Over the last several years, great progress has been made in states to safeguard children in out-of-home care, in particular, yet more work must be done to ensure children can learn, play and grow in settings that are safe and secure.

Though voluntary, Caring for our Children Basics represents the minimum health and safety standards experts believe should be in place wherever children are cared for outside of their homes. States are urged to use Caring for our Children Basics to better align programs no matter what the funding source. In doing so they can reduce conflicts and redundancies found in program standards linked to multiple funding streams.


Free or Reduced Internet Available for Everyone 


Did you know that free or reduced Internet is available to everyone regardless of age, race, geography, income, or education level?  EveryoneOn, a national nonprofit working to eliminate the digital divide, is making high-speed, low-cost Internet service and computers, and free digital literacy courses accessible to all unconnected Americans. Through partnerships with local Internet service providers, EveryoneOn is able to offer free or $9.95 home internet service and discounted devices, including $150 tablets and $199 laptops. EveryoneOn also collaborates with libraries and nonprofits to offer free computer and Internet courses at over 8,000 training sites across the country.

EveryoneOn is a program of the ConnectED initiative, a new White House education initiative, to put high-speed internet in every schoolroom in the United States and give students and teachers access to cutting-edge educational technology.    


Call 1-855-EVRY1ON or visit  for more information.


Summertime Reminder: Promoting Oral and Dental Health 


The Department of Oral Health and Dental Services has developed downloadable flyers in English and in Spanish promoting dental checkups to keep smiles healthy. 

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

CONGRATULATIONS to these brand new Star 5 programs  

Bethesda Child Development Center, Denmark School, Mt. Olivet Preschool, Boys & Girls Club@ Brandywine Springs Elementary School 


And it is a pleasure to announce that these programs have earned Star 4 rating: 
Colonial Early Education Program, Edu-Care Preschool and Daycare, YMCA/Brandywine Branch School's Out @ Carrcroft Elementary

Welcome a new Star 3:  Western YWCA Anna P. Mote Elementary

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!
Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children (DAEYC), Goodwill and B.F. Rich Partner to Pilot Child Care Consultation Services

Daeyc The Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children (DAEYC) is offering businesses in the state an opportunity to join leading employers in a pilot partnership program designed to increase employee productivity and retention, while helping New Castle County working parents access critical, high-quality child care services.

Supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, DAEYC is currently working in partnership with Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County, one of the state's largest employers, and B.F. Rich Windows & Doors of Newark, a well-established leading manufacturer. Through this partnership with employers, DAEYC offers child care consultation services to employees. In Delaware, and across the nation, lack of knowledge about access to high-quality early child care and support services, particularly among low-income parents, has created obstacles for parents working to achieve economic security for their families.

"Goodwill is pleased to partner with DAEYC on this initiative," said Allison David, vice president of Mission Services at Goodwill. "For families struggling with work life balance, especially childcare, this is the right support to help them become successful at work. It is an investment in your team member that positively affects their performance and your company's bottom line."

Childcare consultation services have been provided to 232 employees at Goodwill and B.F. Rich, and 14 employees have changed child care arrangements to enroll their child in a high-quality child care center. To date, 98 percent of employees who were provided consultation services remain employed and 100 percent of employees who changed child care arrangements as a result of consultation services remain employed.

Reading Aloud Webinar Available

The old-fashioned classroom K-2 read-aloud is changing. For decades, these cozy gatherings have focused on the story line, the sound of words, and developing a love of reading. But in the wake of the common core, K-2 teachers are refining their approach, crafting questions that guide children back to the text to build vocabulary, content knowledge and evidence-based understanding of the text. Join us for a lively discussion with a teacher who's using that approach, and a leader of an initiative that helps teachers collaborate to build an online storehouse of free read-aloud lessons.



Webinars Promoting Resilience in Early Childhood

The Devereux Center for Resilient Children is offering two webinars relating to early childhood:
  • Promoting Resilience in Infants and Toddlers
  •  Promoting Resilience in Preschoolers.
Retention in Early Education Programs

Certain practices evoke strong reactions among early educators. Kindergarten "redshirting," academic "hothousing," and developmentally inappropriate practice raise ire, yet pale in comparison to the issue of retaining children early in their school careers. As an increasing number of states adopt policies supporting, even requiring, retention, emotions run high among early educators, policymakers and parents on the topic. NIEER Senior Research Fellow Jim Squires explores the issue in a NIEER blog post.

Free Video on the Importance and Impact of Early Intervention

Interested in a free, award-winning video that powerfully conveys the benefits of early intervention for children and families?

Check out this new video from the Virginia Early 
Brandon's Story: A Mother's Voice 
Brandon's Story: A Mother's Voice
Intervention Professional Development Center (VEIPDC). In addition to hearing Brandon's mother talk about the importance and impact of early intervention on her son's life and her family, you'll also hear from Brandon, now a teenager and a talented musician.
Build a Scaffolding of Support: Principles to Guide Early Childhood Investment

New from The Heckman Equation, Build a Scaffolding of Support answers the frequently asked question, "If we had X dollars to invest in reducing inequality or promoting human capital development, where should we invest it?" The resource outlines eight guiding principles for effective investments in early childhood development that promote positive social and economic outcomes.


Safe, Healthy and Ready to Learn

Safe, Healthy and Ready to Learn is a new consensus from Futures Without Violence focused on children exposed to violence. The report explores policy solutions to help children, families and communities be healthy and thrive, including a goal of investing in young children and parents.


Latest Version of State Baby Facts from Zero to Three

ZERO TO THREE recently updated our State Baby Facts, which tell the story about very young children in each state and the District of Columbia. Baby Facts presents infant and toddler data in the framework of good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences. By providing a snapshot of how babies are faring in each state, we can help inform policymakers about the programs that help improve the lives of infants, toddlers, and their families.

Babies are a window into what lies ahead for our country; they are our future innovators, thinkers, and workers. When we invest in them, we are creating stronger families, productive communities, and a healthy workforce and economy.

1. Download our toolkit for ideas and resources to use State Baby Facts in your advocacy efforts. The toolkit contains suggestions for action, sample materials, a list of resources to use with State Baby Facts, and more.

2. Make sure Congress gets the Baby Facts! Important policy decisions are being made on Capitol Hill and the annual appropriations process is underway to determine the level of funding for early learning and child/family programs.  


A Call to Action on behalf of Maltreated Infants and Toddlers

Abuse and neglect threaten the healthy futures of thousands of infants and toddlers. Every year, almost 200,000 children from birth to 3 years old come into contact with the child welfare system; more than a third of them are placed in foster care, representing the largest age group entering care. These very young children are at a critical point developmentally because the maltreatment that most often brings them to the system occurs during a time when their brains are developing at life-altering rates.

Maltreatment chemically changes that development and can lead to permanent damage of the brain's architecture. This call to action cites the inadequacies of the child welfare system with respect to addressing the developmental needs of infants and toddlers in ways that threaten their development


NIEER Annual Report on the State of Pre-K

The 2014 State Preschool Yearbook is the newest edition of the National Institute for Early Education Research NIEER'S annual report profiling state-funded prekindergarten programs in the United States. This latest Yearbook presents data on state-funded prekindergarten during the 2013-2014 school year as well as documenting more than a decade of change since the first Yearbook collected data on the 2001-2002 school year.

Tracking trends long term is key to understanding the progress of early childhood education across the country and improving educational opportunities for America's children.  Statistics for Delaware's Pre-K programs can be found on page 41.



Connections Between Movement
and Learning

When students use their bodies in the learning process, it can have a big effect, even if it seems silly or unconnected to the learning goal at hand. For example, this resource shares how researchers have found that when students use their bodies while doing mathematical storytelling, it changes the way they think about math. "We understand language in a richer, fuller way if we can connect it to the actions we perform," said Sian Beilock, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago.  






Inequalities at the Starting Gate - Early Education Gaps by Social Class and Race

A June 2015 report from the Economic Policy Institute explores the gaps that exist even before children enter kindergarten by social class and race/ethnicity in both cognitive skills (math, reading and executive function) and noncognitive skills (self-control, approaches to learning and interactions with teachers and peers). Findings indicate that social class is the single most influential factor on how ready children are to learn when they enter kindergarten. Race-based gaps decrease significantly when socioeconomic status is taken into account.  


CLICK HERE to see Early Education Gaps by Social Class and Race  for a summary of the report's major findings and infographics on skill gaps in kindergarten.  


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT, Inequalities at the Starting Gate Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills Gaps between 2010-2011 Kindergarten Classmates.


Chronic Absenteeism

A new study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly finds that attending a center-based preschool program is associated with less chronic absenteeism in kindergarten. Analyses were conducted using the national ECLS-K 2010-11 data set.


Is Recess the Most Important Class
of the Day?


A new study shows a high-quality recess program can engage students in meaningful play and prepare them to learn when it's time to go back to the classroom.
"Positive school climate has been linked to a host of favorable student outcomes, from attendance to achievement," writes Milbrey McLaughlin, professor of education and public policy at Stanford University and founding director of the John W. Gardner Center. "Recess isn't normally considered part of school climate, and often is shortchanged in tight fiscal times, but our research shows that it can be a critical contributor to positive school climate, particularly in low-income elementary schools."


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