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January Newsletter

Early Learner Public Policy Forum

The 2021 Public Policy Forum wrapped up on January 6th with a training for the Day at the Capitol. You can catch up with all the sessions and accompanying resources on our website.

Public Policy Forum Page

Join us for Children's Day at the Capitol.

January 20, 2022

If you would like to participate, contact Early Learner South Dakota at info@earlylearnersd.org.

If you plan on attending, watch the training video here.


The 2022 SDECE Conference will be April 7th-9th, Rapid City, SD. To learn more, follow this direct link: https://sdececonference-org.doodlekit.com/

If anyone is interested in sharing their expertise at the conference, the Request for Proposals is still open!

This year SDECE is also offering special conference pricing for those who are accepted through the Request for Proposal process! Any questions should be emailed to sdaeyc@gmail.com. To fill out the Request for Proposal, please follow this link.


Department of Social Services Update

  • Child Care Services in partnership with the SD Early Childhood Enrichment (ECE) System is pleased to bring Tom Copeland’s Taking Care of Business training to South Dakota. From January - May 2022, state-registered family child care providers will be able to attend 5 free webinars with renowned family child care tax expert and author Tom Copeland. These webinars will provide information including: how to establish an effective contract and policies, record keeping, key marketing strategies, how to manage legal and insurance risks, planning for retirement, and much more!  For more information on the upcoming webinars, family child care providers can contact their regional Early Childhood Enrichment (ECE) office.

  • DSS is contracting with Black Hills Special Services to assist DSS in gathering feedback from unregulated providers to understand why they choose to not be registered with the state. DSS hopes to learn if unregulated providers are familiar with the State registration process, the benefits to registration, and if there are barriers in proceeding with registration with DSS.


  • The Department is in the process of completing the federally required Market Rate Survey and Cost of Care analysis.  


  • Child Care is working to develop strategies to address access, affordability and quality child care. 


  • Child Care has a contract with Epicosity to provide instructional and training videos on the DSS website to include information on child care subsidy, quality work with the Early Childhood Enrichment agencies DSS contracts with and child care licensing information.


  • DSS released the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Stabilization Grant opportunity to registered and licensed child care providers. Information about the Stabilization Grants can be found at this DSS link.


  • Additional grants will be available in February to assist with new start-ups and program enhancements. Looks for additional information in the near future.

Check out the latest Imagination Book Stop

Sleep, Baby, Sleep

by Maryann Cusimano Love

Each Book Stop features information about the book, discussion ideas and activities for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

This was created in collaboration by Early Learner Lead-Deadwood, Northern Hills Alliance for Children and CAT Scratch Studios.

Download Book Stop

Noteworthy Happening

Kevin Nelson and Rob Munson recently met with representatives from 6 area preschool and prekindergarten providers in Huron to review information regarding the Preschool Levels of Excellence (PLOE). Huron Public Schools Director of Federal Programs and the Preschool Partnership, Jolene Konechne received training required to become an evaluator for the PLOE. The Early Learner Huron coalition is looking forward to having our providers achieve this designation for our young learners. 

Shared by: Rhonda Kludt

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Rapid City Emerging Leader Cadre Supports Early Learning

The Emerging Leaders is a fellowship supported by the John T. Vucurevich Foundation. It includes diverse members of local government, nonprofits, faith-based communities, businesses, and grass roots citizens who share the common goal of improving the quality of life in Rapid City through participation in local collective impact efforts.


Collective Impact 

Collective Impact is a community supported, structured approach to solving complex social problems. Actions are supported by a shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities, ongoing communication, and has oversight and organization by an independent backbone organization. 


The current cadre, which started in October 2021 and ends in October 2022, is supporting efforts toward poverty reduction, mental health crisis and Early Learner Rapid City. The focus for the group that chose Early Learner Rapid City is awareness. They have been busy learning about Early Learner Rapid City, Early Learner South Dakota and the quality resources that currently exist in our community. They are hoping to educate the community on the importance of support for early learning, particularly with the business community.


Read Across South Dakota Challenge

Black Hills Reads is hosting their annual Read Across South Dakota Challenge. Everyone, including businesses, communities, organizations, families and individuals are welcome to participate.

Contact racetoreadsd@gmail.com if you would like to participate.

Visit Black Hills Reads Website
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