The latest news, trends and research for Delaware's early learning community!

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The latest news, tips, trends and research for Delaware's early learning community!
November 2015
How Does Delaware Rate? 

ZERO TO THREE released the 2015 State Baby Facts for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These annual fact sheets provide information for early childhood professionals and policymakers about the status of infants, toddlers and families in their state. The State Baby Facts present data about infants and toddlers in a framework of "good health, strong families and positive early learning experiences. In coordination with the release Zero to Three also produced a toolkit with strategies for advocates to use State Baby Facts in their states, an alert to send State Baby Facts to Congressional offices, and a blog on the State of America's Babies featured on "Talk Poverty." The State Baby Facts have really taken off and have been featured in multiple news outlets, including Politico, the Chicago Tribune, Growing Up in America radio and Illinois Public Media. Click infograph to download full report.

The Crisis of Child Refugees - Impact of Terrorism and
Toxic Stress

Of the four million Syrian refugees who have left the country, over two million are children. These children have faced trauma in Syria and many face poor conditions as they relocate. The accumulation of risk factors (such as poverty and exposure to violence) during periods of terrorism can affect outcomes long-term. There are ways to mitigate these effects.
Improving Homeless Families' Access to Child Care 
A 2015 guide, Supporting Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness: provides information on best practices for serving homeless families and children; common barriers and challenges; a summary of requirements of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (CCDBG) related to homelessness; and a summary of opportunities available through the state CCDF Plan to improve access to high-quality early care and education for children experiencing homelessness. A companion Homelessness Self-Assessment tool is included to assist states in assessing their current policies and practices and identifying options to better support vulnerable children. It is recommended that states review the self-assessment tool before reading the guide.
A Busy Year for Child Care
One year into a new child care law, systems across the country are already changing for the better
A year ago this month, Congress passed the first reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant in nearly 20 years, with strong bipartisan support. November 19 marked the anniversary of when President Obama invited members of Congress, and parents, to the White House for the signing of the law.

The new law makes big changes to the child care system and when implemented, will expand the availability of quality child care that meets foundational health, safety and quality standards. Such major changes will require hard work on the part of states, territories, and tribal communities across the country who are already hard at work and have made tremendous progress in implementing provisions in the law.

Read the  FULL BLOG POST by Rachel Schumacher, Director of the Office of Child Care. 

RTT-ELC 2014 Progress Update and Annual
Performance Reports

In October, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services released the
Race to the Top - Early Challenge 2014 Progress Update. The report summarizes the progress that the 20 RTT-ELC States are making in building and enhancing their comprehensive early learning and development systems.

The brief is based on 2014 Annual Performance Report (APR) data that RTT-ELC States submitted in the spring of 2015.
Individual State reports are available by clicking the image to the right.
State Early Childhood Education Systems and the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015
1-2 p.m. EST

In June, the Office of Head Start (OHS) released the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. It replaces the 2010 Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. The new Framework is designed to provide continuity for birth to 5 programming. It offers a structure for selecting and aligning curriculum and assessment. This new Framework also helps in designing instruction and individualized learning experiences for all children, including those with disabilities. When used in conjunction with the Head Start Program Performance Standards to provide comprehensive services, the Framework will help programs support children's success in school and in life.

Join OHS for a new webinar on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 at 1 p.m. EST. For a look at how states can integrate the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework into their early care and education system.  In addition, participants can find out how the new Framework can inform Head Start alignment with state early learning guidelines, professional development systems, and quality rating systems.

Register Online Now!
DAEYC Seeks Weekend & Extended Hours Child Care Providers in New Castle County

If you are a child care provider offering weekend and extended hours care, DAEYC has an opportunity for you to increase enrollment!

The Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children (DAEYC) would like to partner with high quality early care and education programs in New Castle County that are participating in Delaware Stars.

Through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, DAEYC is offering child care consultation services to employees at businesses in New Castle County.  Many of the employees DAEYC works with are in need of high quality child care during their non-traditional, extended weekday and weekend work hours.

All the requirements to begin receiving referrals from DAEYC's Early Care and Education Family Consultants are...
  • You are a provider located in New Castle County
  • You offer weekend and/or extended care hours
  • You are a high quality early care and education program participating in Delaware Stars
To find out more about the project CLICK HERE 

If you are interested, please contact DAEYC's Early Care & Education Family Consultants - Amy Lane and Michelle Lowery at (302) 764-1500 x101 or by e-mail or
Delaware Family Voices & Federation of Families Unite!

Delaware Family Voices is now the official chapter of the Delaware Federation of Families.

Delaware Family Voices would like to thank the parents of New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties who have assisted in its collaborative efforts to create a Delaware chapter of the Federation of Families.

Federation of Families is a parent run group dedicated to the health and well-being of children and youth with emotional, behavioral or mental health needs.

The primary focus of the Delaware Federation of Families chapter is to give parents and caregivers a voice in the formation of state policies, services and supports for children with mental health needs, and their families.

Are you interested in becoming a part of this movement? Anyone can join, and new members are always welcome. Members of the Delaware chapter come from all walks of life, as emotional, behavioral or mental health needs can affect anyone.

Contact Wanda Ford for more information at (302) 669-3034 or via email at
Seeking New Executive Director

The Board of Directors is conducting a search for a new Executive Director. CLICK HERE to download the position posting. 

Interested parties should send a resume and cover letter to by December 5, 2015. Please feel free to share this posting.

DE Stars logo
Rising Stars Shining Bright

Congratulations to the programs moving up in October!

CONGRATULATIONS to these brand new Star 5 programs  
Kiddie Academy of Middletown
Bonnie Aube   

Our apologies: YMCA /CENTRAL BRANCH CHILDREN'S CORNER 1 moved up to Star 5 and was accidentally omitted in the October E-News.
And it is a pleasure to announce that these programs have earned Star 4 rating:

Linda Harrison
Linda Lawrence 
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!
PRACTICE TIPS  - Click HERE to download November Tips

Two-Year-Old Vocabulary Predicts Kindergarten Success
A recent study linking early vocabulary skills to kindergarten success highlights the importance of early intervention. Analysis of data from a longitudinal sample revealed that 24-month-old children with larger oral vocabularies displayed greater reading and mathematics achievement, increased behavioral self-regulation, and fewer externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors at kindergarten entry.  CLICK HERE FOR STUDY
Context Beats Quantity for Teaching Children New Words
Children learn words best when they hear them in a context that's understandable, a new study shows. This context is critical for understanding why some words may be easier for kids to learn than others. Findings of a recent study suggest that using words in fun, coherent activities is more important than simply talking more to children. MORE INFO

Video Series Can Help Support Early Math Skills in Infants and Toddlers
Research shows that a strong understanding of early math concepts predicts a child's future math and literacy skills. A new series of videos from ZERO TO THREE, Let's Talk About Math!, demonstrates behaviors for interacting with infants and toddlers to help build the foundation of these skills. Each video is accompanied by a handout to help family members and caregivers support these skills at home and on-the-go. Three videos focusing on shapes and counting are now available and more will be coming later this year. The videos and handouts are also available in Spanish.

Listen, Talk, and Answer to Support a Child's Language Development
When your children come home with stories to share, do you stop what you are doing and listen carefully? Your child probably asks a lot of questions. Do you try to answer them? Educators call these daily conversations powerful interactions because they help adults and children keep in touch and they also support children's learning. THIS ARTICLE offers some communication tips and examples of the types of things to say.

Terrorism's Effects: The crisis of child refugees  
Of the four million Syrian refugees who have left the country, over two million are children. These children have faced trauma in Syria and many face poor conditions as they relocate. The accumulation of risk factors (such as poverty and exposure to violence) during periods of terrorism can affect outcomes long-term. There are ways to mitigate these effects.
I Said I Want a Red Bowl: Responding to Toddlers' Irrational Behavior
Amelia, told that she can't have a fifth book before bedtime, shouts: "You are the meanest mommy! You are not invited to my birthday party!" Seen through the eyes of the child, and through the lens of development, this behavior is utterly normal, and a signal that important milestones are being achieved. THIS ARTICLE by Claire Lerner highlights what the behaviors may mean and how family members and caregivers can respond to them.

The Hottest New Blog Around
ZERO TO THREE's executive director, Matthew Melmed, published a three-part blog series through the Huffington Post exploring the mental health needs of very young children. The first post, Babies' Mental Health Matters, focuses on the promotion of infant and early childhood mental health, while the second, How to Prevent Mental Health Problems, focuses on strategies to prevent mental health problems in young children. The third and final post, Effective Mental Health Treatment for Young Children and Their Families, highlights effective treatment for young children with diagnosed mental health disorders. All three posts have been blockbusters, garnering thousands of hits on social media.

Be sure to read the blog posts here:

Babies' Mental Health Matters

How to Prevent Mental Health Problems

Effective Mental Health Treatment for Young Children and Their Families
The BUILD Initiative has issued a REPORT considering: To what extent do the states' Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS) reflect the current research and address the learning needs of preschool-aged dual language learners (DLLs) and What next steps can states take to better meet the needs of DLLs?  The Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) and Office of Early Learning (OEL) have released a FAST FACTS on English Learners (ELs) and Early Learning.

Promising Practices for "Learn the Signs, Act Early" 
A new collection of Promising Practices for "Learn the Signs, Act Early" ( provides examples of locally inspired models and ideas that have been carried out and evaluated in programs and communities across the country to spread the reach of Learn the Signs, Act Early (, a campaign to help parents and child care providers learn more about early childhood development and the potential early warning signs of autism and other developmental disabilities.

Guidebook on Implementing Parenting Interventions in Early Care and Education Settings 
Implementing Parenting Interventions in Early Care and Education Settings: A Guidebook for Implementation provides program, state and child care network leaders with an easy-to-use tool for selecting and implementing a parenting intervention. It can be used in different community-based settings and with the Compendium of Parenting Interventions recently developed by the Interagency Forum on Parenting and the Head Start National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement.  
Updates to the QRIS Compendium 
The BUILD Initiative is excited to announce updates to its web-based QRIS Compendium. In the summer of 2015, The BUILD Initiative went back to all of the states, localities and territories in the United States for an update on all of the data on the site. Data is now current as of October 30, 2015. The BUILD Initiative  also updated its Top Ten and added new data elements related to program density, technical assistance and professional development. If you have questions about the new data on, please contact Sarah Friese at
BUILD Initiative Hosts Two QRIS Webinars

Leveraging Local Assets to Address Disparities in the Healthy Development of Children
This informative webinar, originally airing on October 21, 2015, explored the community and state connections related to race, place and young children. BUILD's Sherri Killin's introduced current work on racial and health equity. Child and Family Policy Center executive director Charles Bruner shared his perspective on the intertwined issues of poverty, place and discrimination, all of which need to be addressed to achieve health equity. Ohio State University professor, Dr. Arthur James discussed infant mortality and the social determinants of health and health inequities, and policy analyst Dana Friedman shared how neighborhood-level information can be used to improve child outcomes/children's school readiness.

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