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  1. virginia’s early childhood initiatives Presentation for Part C Network :: September 19, 2008 Kathy Glazer ::Office of Early Childhood Development

  2. Timeline of Governor’s EC Initiatives 2005 Early Learning Council Virginia Early Childhood Foundation 2006 Start Strong Council Governor’s Working Group on EC Initiatives 2007 Home Visiting Consortium Virginia’s Plan for Smart Beginnings 2008 Office of Early Childhood Development

  3. 2005 • Early Learning Council 5 goal areas comprehensive prenatal to 5 • 2 key recommendations to Gov. Warner: - non profit grantmaking foundation as presence in private sector: VECF - multi-agency entity focused on EC in Governor’s office

  4. 2006 • Governor’s Working Group established by Gov. Kaine in Secretary of Education’s office, including: • Secretaries of Finance, Education, SHHR, Commerce and Trade • Commissioners of VDH, DMHMRSAS, DMAS and DSS • Superintendent of Public Instruction • Governor’s Policy Director • Heads of VCCS, SCHEV, VEDP • Added: HS Collaboration and Private Partners

  5. 2006-07 GWG • Primary Initiatives: Alignment Project Home Visiting Consortium Virginia’s Plan for Smart Beginnings Start Strong - recommendation for comprehensive governance structure at state level

  6. Alignment Project: setting the stage Confluence of factors… • yet another round of legislation to undermine child care regulations • new Governor with school readiness as priority, with an emphasis on mixed delivery preschool, merging child care culture with public school culture • underlying characteristic: Virginia's one-term-Governor rule

  7. School readiness:balance and alignment for success • Horizontal Alignment standards  curriculum  assessment  teacher competencies • Vertical AlignmentHome Child Care Pre-K Kindergarten From Sharon Lynn Kagan, National Center for Children and Families, Teachers College, Columbia University.

  8. the alignment project:products • Milestones of Child Development • Competencies for Early Childhood Professionals • Quality Rating and Improvement System

  9. the alignment project:initial approach • identification of multi-disciplinary team • vigorous activity and ambitious timeline • emphasis on birth to K continuum and multiple domains • joyful and respectful approach by team

  10. the alignment project:team members • Departments of Education, Social Services, Mental Health, Health • early intervention and special education • Head Start • United Way/Success by 6 • community colleges and 4-year colleges • representatives from the National Women’s Law Center and NCCIC

  11. process for developing the Milestones and Competencies • research and review of other states' initiatives • development of documents • multidisciplinary perspectives • independent readers/reviewers • regional focus groups/feedback sessions

  12. the alignment project:principles • Families are the first and most influential teachers of young children. • Every child develops at an individual rate, possesses unique characteristics, and exhibits an array of talents and interests regardless of family background, culture, special need, experience, or ability. • Optimal learning occurs when we recognize that all aspects of a child’s development are inextricably interrelated and nurtured through a combination of active exploration, play, social interactions, and thoughtfully planned activities that capitalize on children’s natural tendency to seek even higher levels of challenge to master.

  13. the alignment project:principles, contd. • Early learning experiences draw upon and enhance the connections between families, early childhood programs and services, schools and the community. • Quality early learning experiences for children are guided by research-based knowledge and practice. • All children are capable and competent learners, and they learn best when they are included with their peers.

  14. strategies for early learning guidelines • articulate optimal continuum of a child's skill development: • in all domains • infants, toddlers, preschoolers in one set of standards • integrate with existing state preschool standards and Head Start • Intended audience: • parents and families • teachers, directors, and administrators • child care providers • early intervention • home visitors • trainers and educators

  15. the alignment project:milestones of child development • skills continuum for children ages birth to K and strategies for adults to support • includes six domains of child development: • social and emotional development • approaches to learning • language and literacy • cognition and general knowledge • fine arts • physical development and health

  16. the alignment project:competencies for EC professionals • articulate skills, knowledge areas, and competencies for adults working with young children • levels of mastery/emphasis • instructive for professional development • career lattice • Intended audience: • providers, practitioners, and teachers • directors and program administrators • trainers and training organizations • higher education faculty, staff, and administrators • federal, state, and local agencies • professional development efforts

  17. the alignment project:competencies for EC professionals • includes eight core content areas: • Health, Safety, and Nutritional Practices • Understanding Child Growth and Development • Appropriate Classroom Observation & Assessment • Partnering with Families and Communities • Learning Environment • Effective Interactions • Program Management • Teacher Qualifications & Professional Development

  18. the alignment project:program standards – QRIS • Quality Rating and Improvement System: opportunity to develop EC program standards with focus on quality and accountability. • Market-based approach that supports continuous quality improvement in early childhood settings

  19. the alignment project:virginia’s star quality initiative • 4 standard areas, based on research linking these measures to positive child outcomes: • education, qualifications, & training; • interactions (CLASS); • staff to child ratio & group size; • learning environment and instructional practices (Environmental Rating Scales).

  20. QRIS Pilot Years 1 and 2 • Community coalitions across the state support diverse EC programs serving toddlers and preschoolers with assessment, mentoring, and supports • State hub trains raters and mentors on CLASS and ERS, inclusive practice. • Partnership among OECD, Va. Early Childhood Foundation, Child Development Resources (year 1), Special Education and T/TAC (year 2).

  21. 2008 • Creation of Office of Early Childhood Development • Virginia team at Harvard Symposium - science of early childhood development - impact on policy - clear recognition and commitment to integrated and comprehensive effort for young children

  22. OECD priority objectives • High Quality pre-K and child care - QRIS • Integration of health initiatives with OECD • Comprehensive, coordinated professional development system • Integrated data initiative

  23. for more information… • Kathy Glazer, Director – Office of Early Childhood Development • kathy.glazer@dss.virginia.gov • (804) 726-7124