a monthly e-newsletter for Delaware's early childhood and school age programs

   March 2020
You're here for Delaware's children and families. 
We're here for YOU! 
DIEEC Professional Development Marks Tenth Anniversary!
Join the Celebration at the Making a Difference Conference
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC) and its Professional Development (PD) unit.  We are celebrating this milestone throughout the year  but especially at the "Making a Difference" conference.

Please be sure to stop by our table for special treats and giveaways.  You don't want to miss out on the celebration!
Sussex Learning Festival
May 9, 2020
You've expressed interest in having more professional development opportunities in Sussex County.  We listened!

Register here for the first "Sussex Learning Festival."  We designed a day filled with learning experiences to meet every professional's needs, and by attending you receive six quality assured hours.  For more details click  here.

Plus, you'll receive great giveaways.

Details are:

Saturday, May 9, 2020
9 a.m - 4 p.m.
Beach Babies
31174 Learning Lane
Lewes, DE
DIEEC Special Offer Week of the Young Child
The DIEEC will be completing a service project for one Stars program in each county in celebration of the Week of the Young Child, April 11th -  April 17th.
All you need to do is nominate a program here.  If selected, a DIEEC team will visit the program and work on an improvement project.
Keep an eye out on DIEEC social media outlets and at the Delaware Stars table during the Making a Difference Conference for more details.
Delaware Stars Introduces Administrative Support 
Making a Difference Conference features New Learning Experience on Marketing
At this year's MAD conference, Delaware Stars will be rolling out a unique opportunity to develop and strengthen internal and external marketing systems with center-based and family child care programs. 

Participants enrolled in "Marketing your Program" sessions (on Friday for center-based programs and Saturday for family child care programs) will have an opportunity to receive follow up coaching support from one of our new Delaware Stars Administrative Coaches. Click here for more details or contact Jen Potts with questions.
Plan Your Professional Development
To get the most out of your professional development, look at our calendar and plan according to the competency area in which you would like to progress. 

Another way to plan is by scope and sequence. This landing page provides you with an overview of our professional learning experiences by the level of the professional learning experience- introductory, intermediate, and advanced.

Finally, to help with your planning, we've provided the upcoming professional learning experiences by county.

Kent County
Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC) Office Hours

Please d on't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.   We are here to support you!

Monday - Friday  8-4:30 p.m.

Contact us at 302-831-3239 or by email   Institute-Early-Childhood@udel.edu.

Be sure to l eave as many details as possible so we can be responsive to your needs.   Please allow us two business days to respond to your inquiry.

Keep up with our Quality Assured training sessions by following us on Facebook.

De Colores, Home Learning Center
Giving Voice in Three Different Languages
Sarita Medero founded her large family child care program ten years ago and was very intentional about the name, De Colores, Home Learning Center. De Colores means "of color," in Spanish. For Sarita, she wanted to create a program where children of every color and every ability had an equitable opportunity to learn.

"My family and I were victims of discrimination just because we speak Spanish," said Sarita. "I want, and I love, inclusion, diversity, and acceptance."

Located in Dover, Del., Sarita not only teaches in English and Spanish but also incorporates sign language. Sarita teaches Spanish two days a week; however, she includes both Spanish and sign language in all her activities.

"My students learn the basic words in sign language," said Sarita. "I teach the alphabet, family words - 'Mom' and 'Dad' - and other common words so we can sign short sentences," said Sarita.

Delaware Stars Technical Assistant Lea Attarian, who has been working with Sarita for four years, notes that the underlying reason for this Star Level 5's ability to sustain quality is a combination of "authenticity, intentionality, and openness."

"Sarita loves working with children, and they respond to her because she is genuine," said Lea. "She prepares her activities ahead and plans each detail.   She knows her children's needs and works to give each child individual attention."

Stars Resources
Curriculum & Assessment (C&A)
Technical Assistants 
Stars has a team of C&A Technical Assistants who are available to support you in all aspects of curriculum and assessment. 

More details are included here.
Contact  Kristy Smith or call her at 302-650-7827

Children's Book Week: May 4 - 8, 2020
Mark your Calendar for this Upcoming Literacy Event
For the fourth year, DIEEC is participating in Children's Book Week. Children's Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative.

Here's what you need to know:
  • In the coming weeks, you will receive an opportunity to sign up. The event is open to all early care and education programs (family child care, large family child care, school-age, and center-based programs, regardless of participation in Stars).
  • During the week of May 4th, a volunteer will visit your program to read. We will then donate the books to your program. Additionally, each book will include activities and ideas to extend the book's content throughout the day.
  • This year's theme is books that focus on math concepts.  Because teaching and learning math can be intimidating, the books we selected will make this topic fun and engaging for both you and your students.
Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, if you have any questions, contact Lin Nordmeyer, DIEEC Communications Manager.

This month, the OEL Team leading the Stars revision process enlisted the support of the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance (ECQA). Experts from this national technical assistance center will provide support with the initial review of current Stars standards through the creation of a matrix (to look at strengths/weaknesses, feasibility, and measurability of standards).  They will help the team map standards to the new Stars structure. 

ECQA will also help with the review of alternative tools to support process quality. This stream of work began in February with a Delaware-led meeting of Stars Technical Assistants and Assessors to discuss the ERS-R, ERS-3, and CLASS tools and their potential use in the revised Stars. The Stars Revision State Leadership Team also met this month to discuss the involvement of ECQA and will be actively collaborating with this group moving forward.
News from the Office of Early Learning
Early Learning Community Conversations:  Focus on the Workforce
Meeting dates are set for the next series of Early Learning Community Conversations, with the first dates at the end of March.  The focus will be on the workforce. 

Please be sure to attend to share your ideas for addressing current challenges in the early learning workforce.  Details are included here.

Capacity Grant:  Application Deadline Update
Funding for Delaware Stars Programs
The Capacity Grant, managed by Children & Families First, provides resources to enhance the quality of early learning programs.  Additionally, it is intended to expand the supply of child care in Delaware in targeted funding categories. 

Deadlines through mid-2020 to  submit an application  for the Capacity Grant are as follows:
  • April 3, 2020
  • June 12, 2020
  • July 24, 2020
Applications must be received no later than noon on the deadline date to be considered for that award round. Eligibility requirements and grant guidelines can be found on the Children & Families First website.

An additional application deadline will be announced for the fourth quarter 2020. Questions can be directed to Andrea Prettyman or call 302-233-6475.

Power to the Profession Update
Join Live Stream for "Unifying Framework" Discussion
"Power to the Profession" is a national collaboration to define the early childhood profession spearheaded by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 

On March 9th, the Power to the Profession Task Force will share the "Unifying Framework" for the early childhood profession.  They are hosting a viewing party through a live stream to give early childhood professionals the opportunity to learn more about the recommendations and next steps.  

Monday, March 9th
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Register Here

Meet our Delaware Stars Family Child Care Ambassadors
We are thrilled to announce that we have three family child care professionals who are supporting Delaware Stars as ambassadors.

We know that no one knows better what you experience than those doing the same work. Therefore, these ambassadors will be an invaluable resource to family child care professionals. In their role, they will:
  • Answer Stars related questions for those considering joining;
  • Collaborate by sharing ideas;
  • Help with professional development choices;
  • And provide support and networking opportunities.
If you are a family child care professional, please feel free to reach out to:

Lynne Portlock 302-731-2655
Erika Vidal 302-367-6751
Stephanie Jackson 302-602-2349
Let's Celebrate Spring!
March and April Calendars
We made it!  Spring arrives this month and with its arrival lots of activities.   Be sure to check out this month's calendar for free opportunities for your program.  Also, preview what's in store for April to help with planning.

Please note more activities have been added to the March calendar.

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Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood
Delaware Stars for Early Success
Professional Development Department
Main (302) 831-3239 | Fax (302) 831-4223
Visit PD at www.dieecpd.org
Visit DE Stars  at: www.delawarestars.udel.edu