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The Early Learning Newsletter provides information, updates and resources relative to the professionals that serve the District of Columbia’s youngest learners.
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Release of the Early Development Instrument Data (EDI) 
OSSE partnered with the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities in using the Early Development Instrument (EDI) to assess more than 4,400 pre-K 4 students in eight local education agencies and 10 community-based organizations. EDI is an internationally recognized, holistic tool that assesses children’s readiness in physical health and well-being, language and cognitive development, social competence, emotional maturity, and communication skills and general knowledge. The data were geo-coded to where students live. EDI data provides policy makers, parents, and child development providers with actionable data to help drive community-level change for young children and their families. OSSE shared the EDI data results publicly for the first time at the monthly SECDCC meeting this past September. In the coming months, the EDI data will be shared with various community partners to stimulate action on a neighborhood level to inform and target the allocation of community resources.    
In this edition:

Release of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) Data 

The Child Development Facility Licensing Process 

Twenty-Two DC Community-Based Organizations Receive a Grant to Provide High-Quality Pre-K Programs 

The Fall Professional Development Catalog

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

The Licensing & Compliance Corner

Provider Spotlight

Sign Up for Access to Early Childhood Share DC

Video: Every Kid Needs a Champion

Events & Important Dates

Professional Development

The Watercooler: News Worth Reading



 
The Child Development Facility Licensing Process
As a requirement of the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF), all states are required to have its process for licensing child care providers, conducting criminal background checks, and conducting monitoring and inspections of child care providers posted on their websites in an easily accessible format for the general public. The purpose for this change is to inform parents and local communities about the child development licensing process and educate them about how DC's state education agency is ensuring the health and safety of children. Making this information readily available for the public also makes it easier for new child development providers to understand the licensing application process and the various steps involved in completing this process. You can access this information and view the infographic by visiting the link below.
Twenty-Two DC Community-Based Organizations Receive a Grant to Provide High-Quality Pre-K Programs 
Recently, representatives from 22 child development programs in the District of Columbia began another year in the Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion Program (Pre-KEEP). This funding is administered by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to provide high-quality pre-K to children ages 3-4 through participating community-based organizations (CBOs). The ultimate goal of this program is to enhance and expand high-quality pre-K programs across the District of Columbia by enabling the enhancement of current pre-K education services, and improving access to high-quality early care and education programs. To receive this funding, child development programs must submit a detailed application verifying it meets specific high-quality standards. View the list of this year’s grant recipients by visiting the link below.
 
The Fall Professional Development Catalog 
As we progress into the fall season, the Division of Early Learning’s Professional Development Unit (PDU) is focused on making trainings available that help providers fulfill the Child Care Development Fund’s (CCDF) health and safety requirements by Sept. 30, 2017. The professional development catalog this fall will primarily consist of the mandatory health and safety training courses in the 11 topic areas, and other core training topics that aid in the development of early learning and care professionals. OSSE’s PDU is working to re-launch a robust catalog for the winter training season which will have more training options for busy early learning and care professionals to achieve their professional development goals via online as well as in-person trainings. 
 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Child Development Facilities 
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for Child Development Facilities, which proposes new licensing regulations for all licensed child development providers in DC, is available for review on the OSSE website. These proposed licensing regulations were developed to guarantee the health and safety of children, and improve child development program quality. Even though the public comment period has closed, the NPRM is still available for review. Access the NPRM by visiting the link below.
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The Licensing & Compliance Corner 
Required Fire Safety Inspections
 
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), and Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS) (collectively, “the Agencies”) are committed to ensuring that all children enrolled at a licensed Child Development Facility, or planning to enroll at a proposed Child Development Facility, have access to a safe environment that meets all applicable fire safety and related codes. In order to alleviate some of the financial and scheduling obstacles associated with the out-of-pocket expense and wait time for a fire safety inspection, these agencies are collaborating to handle the expense for all fire safety inspections conducted before Sept. 30, 2017.            
 
Provider Spotlight 
Educare of Washington, DC
640 Anacostia Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20019
http://www.educaredc.org

 
Educare Washington, DC (Educare DC) is a full-day, full-year early education program that helps young, at-risk children develop the skills necessary for success in kindergarten and in life. Educare DC serves 160 children from the age of 6-weeks-old to age five and their families. The school is part of a national network of 21 high-quality, research-based, early childhood schools. Educare DC is also a Head Start program, a recipient of Pre-K Enhancement and Expansion funding, and the early childhood anchor program within the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative. 

Located in Ward 7, Educare DC incorporates the latest scientific research and best practices in early education to substantially narrow – or even eliminate – the achievement gap. Since it opened in July 2012, Educare DC has provided a nurturing and engaging environment to promote young children’s academic, social-emotional, and physical development. To further support children’s success, Educare DC prioritizes parental and family involvement, recognizing that parents are essential in sustaining their child’s learning and in advocating for high-quality education for their child throughout the K-12 system.

1. How does your program prepare early learners for success upon entering kindergarten?
 
Each Educare DC classroom has three well-trained and prepared teachers who work with children and their parents to develop school readiness skills, including pre-literacy, early math, and social-emotional skills. We provide ongoing professional development, through mentoring, coaching, reflective supervision, and formal trainings, to enable teachers to continue to develop and enhance their skills. As graduation approaches, we bring our pre-K4 children to visit kindergarten classrooms at local elementary and charter schools, and work closely with families to help ensure a smooth transition to their new school. We are proud that results of the Educare Learning Network’s National Implementation study, which has tracked child outcomes since 2005, show that Educare children enter kindergarten with scores approaching the national average for children of all income levels, and well above typical scores for children from high-risk populations.
 
2. What type of child development and family engagement programs do you offer?
 
Educare DC has a dedicated team of five family engagement staff members who build supportive relationships through intensive, frequent, and intentional interactions with parents and families. Building strong relationships with families is a core tenet of the Educare model and of every Head Start program. We collaborate with parents as partners in the education of their children, including increasing parents’ knowledge of child development and expectations for school readiness, and support them in developing strong, nurturing relationships with their children. Parents are also involved in the governance structure of Educare DC through membership on the board of directors and the parent committee. To further support parents, the school offers access to computers, resources for families who are homeless, and counseling and support for personal or domestic crises. We also work with local partners to provide additional support to families in our community. For example, Educare DC's health coordinator, in partnership with Stork's Nest, runs the Pregnant and Lactating Moms Circle of Educare DC, which meets 12 times over six months, and provides supportive and flexible perinatal services. We are thrilled that 36 mothers are participating this year. 
 
3. What advice would you give to other child care providers that you wish were given to you?
 
We have come to understand that no one way is the right way. There is no one way to parent or to teach a child, and different approaches will work for different people. We strive to meet our children and families where they are, and we adjust our approaches as necessary. It can be challenging if one approach or strategy is not working as we expected, but we continue to try different tactics or tools until we find one that works for a particular child, parent, or member of our team. Our advice is to be patient and kind, and do not be afraid to try something new or different, as it might be just what that family needs.

4. Describe how participating in the data collection for the Early Development Instrument (EDI) will benefit your program? 
 
Participating in the Early Development Instrument will provide useful insights into the strengths and needs of the communities we serve. We hope to better understand the environment in which our children live in order to help them and their families succeed at Educare DC and beyond. We are committed to working with OSSE and other local partners to analyze the data and develop strategies, either local or city-wide, to meet the needs of our children and families.

*Questions answered by Alexa Verme, Project Manager for Educare DC.
 
 
Sign Up for Access to Early Childhood Share DC
The District of Columbia has a powerful new resource for early learning providers: Early Childhood Share DC. This easy-to-use site features more than 1,200 classroom and administration resources, plus discounts at leading vendors and direct links to key forms and websites. Best of all, it’s FREE to all licensed providers in the District. Signup to access the website by visiting the link below.
Video: Every Kid Needs a Champion
Every kid needs a champion | Rita Pierson
Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids." Her response: "Kids don't learn from people they don't like." A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.
Events & Important Dates 
Professional Development
T.E.A.C.H. Pre-Application workshop 
Friday, October 14, 2016
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
1313 l St. NW 
Washington, DC 20005
Register

DC Parent & Family Engagement Summit: Your Passport to Excellence 
Saturday, October 22, 2016
9 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place NW
Washington, DC 20001
Register

View the OSSE Events Calendar
Infant Administration of
Medication Training
 
Thursday, October 20, 2016
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. More info
Emergency Preparedness
Monday, October 24, 2016
9 - 11 a.m. 
More info
Trauma and Resilience: Building Strength in Children 
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
1 - 4 p.m. More info
Act Early: When Children Fall Behind in their Developmental Milestones
Thursday, October 27, 2016
1 - 4 p.m. More info
Child Abuse Prevention and Mandatory Reporter Training
Friday, October 28, 2016
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. More info 
View the Entire Fall Professional Development Catalog
The Watercooler: News Worth Reading 
"Stop Pre-K Expulsions"
U.S. News & World Report

 

When it comes to early child care centers or pre-kindergarten classrooms, it's pretty easy to expel a "challenging" child. Think about it – the child is there voluntarily. There is no legal attendance requirement such as for kids in kindergarten through 12th grade. Therefore, there is no mandated legal process or visit with a social worker or guidance counselor. Read more


"Learning Through Play"
The Atlantic

 

Google the definition of play and the first thing that pops up is this: “[To] engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.” Jack Shonkoff, the director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, finds that language supremely frustrating. “It’s not taking a break from learning when we talk about play,” he told me, rattling off a litany of cognitive, physical, mental, and social-emotional benefits. “Play is one of the most important ways in which children learn.” Read more


"Do Our Expectations of Kids Aim Too High or Too Low?"
The Huffington Post

 
“Old-school” parenting and teaching are often distinguished by a failure to understand what children are capable of doing or understanding, or to provide the support they need and the respect they deserve. But does that mean kids are being underestimated — or overestimated? The answer is less straightforward, and more interesting, than you might think. Read more
"Despite Growing Income Inequality, Learning Gaps
Between Rich and Poor Kids are Actually Closing
"
The Huffington Post

 
In a country where the earnings and lifestyles of the richest and poorest citizens are increasingly disparate, education researchers are offering up a rare piece of good news: Despite a societal backdrop of widening income inequality, kids on opposite ends of the wealth spectrum are now entering kindergarten with closer levels of achievement than in the past, new research finds. Read more
"New Report Calls for Improved Support to Early Educators"
The Bainum Family Foundation Blog

 
This summer, CSCCE issued a new report (“The Early Childhood Workforce Index”) that provides the first-ever comprehensive state-by-state analysis for early childhood employment — complete with an interactive map detailing qualifications, compensation and other critical components in each state and the District of Columbia. Read more

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