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

   February 2020
You're here for Delaware's children and families. 
We're here for YOU! 
New Professional Learning Session Focused on Infants and Toddlers 
"Developing Relationships, Developing Brains:  Infants and Toddlers"
Developing a close and secure connection is one of the most important jobs of an infant/toddler early childhood professional. The first three years of life are a period of rapid and significant brain growth. Strong caregiver-infant relationships and responsive interactions shape the brain, support social development, and promote lifelong psychological and emotional functioning.

Because caring for and teaching this age group requires specific skills, we developed this professional learning experience to meet early childhood professionals' needs and the needs of the children they care for.

In this professional learning experience, we take different perspectives to look at the connection between relationships and how the brain grows. Participants will walk away knowing more about brain development, their roles as brain builders, and be able to plan more effective and strong daily interactions with the infants and toddlers in their care.

"Developing Relationships, Developing Brains: Infants and Toddlers," is for infant/toddler teachers, family child care professionals, home visitors, and anyone looking to strengthen their knowledge of brain development with a focus on ages zero to three.

Register here.
Mark Your Calendar - "Making a Difference" Conference & Sussex Learning Festival

"Making a Difference" (MAD) Conference
The dates are set for the ninth annual "Making a Difference" Conference.

Details are:
March 27 and March 28, 2020
Delaware Technical Community College - Terry Campus
Dover, DE

5.5 Quality Assured Training Hours/Day

Sussex Learning Festival
You've expressed interest in having more professional development opportunities in Sussex County.  We listened!

Mark your calendars 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.

Plus, you'll receive great giveaways.

Details are:

Saturday, May 9, 2020
Beach Babies
31174 Learning Lane
Lewes, DE

Stay tuned for more details.

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 experience 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.

The Learning Center - Milford, Del.
Creating a Legacy of Quality 
The Learning Center, better known as TLC, has a long history of providing quality early childhood education to the Milford community. This past December, TLC celebrated its 41st anniversary. The center was one of the first Delaware Stars programs. And for most of its existence, 36 years to be exact, Cheryl Clendaniel has been a part of this mainstay in early childhood education.

"More than one-third of the children enrolled had a parent who attended TLC," said Cheryl, program administrator. "We also have staff members that attended here as children."

TLC serves about 125 children from ages infant to preschool and also runs a school-age program. The staff includes 22 teachers in addition to four administrative positions.

In a field where there is a high turnover rate,  the average tenure for staff at TLC is ten years.

"We look for ways to invest in our teachers beyond salary," said Cheryl.
"We allow for planning time, sessions with our curriculum coordinator, and provide activities to build community. We have high expectations for our teachers, but we make sure they know they are appreciated."

"High expectations," applies to TLC's approach to delivering quality care and education. While they were one of the first programs to join Stars in 2008, they were in no hurry to rush through the Star Levels. 


Cheryl was intentional about being "slow and methodical" in understanding the standards. "I wanted to live the standards and embed them into our practice," said Cheryl. "It's about the journey; it's not about a checklist. Delaware Stars is the framework that pushes us to continue our quest for quality." This approach has paid off - in 2017, the program received its Star Level 5 designation.

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

Mark Your Calendar!
Upcoming Curriculum Event - April 25th
Please make sure you save the date for this upcoming curriculum learning opportunity hosted by Delaware Stars.

Saturday, April 25th
9:00 - 3:30 p.m.
501 S. College Ave.
Newark, DE

This six-hour quality-assured professional learning experience will connect approved curricula, such as Creative Curriculum, HighScope, FunShine, Mother Goose Time, and Redleaf Press, with your classroom practices that inform the learning experiences for children. 

The event will include sessions such as:
·       Getting to know your curriculum;
·       Designing lesson plans using your curriculum; and
·       Linking your curriculum with your assessment. 
Stay tuned for more detailed information regarding registration. 

If you are looking for support with these content areas before the event, please contact Kristy Smith to request specialized technical assistance from the Curriculum and Assessment Team.

Thank you for your interest in the Delaware Stars Revision Process. As a key stakeholder in this work, we believe it is important to provide you with an update on where the revision process currently stands. 

During the past several months, the State Leadership Team has been meeting regularly to review and reflect on the revision process for the Delaware Stars and has met with the statewide Delaware Stars Advisory Committee to discuss the work to date and how best to proceed. As a result of these conversations, the state has come to a better understanding of the inherent challenges in this type of work and the unique needs of Delaware stakeholders that will better inform the development of a revised system. 

Recent activities for the revision process include: 
  • Clarifying the roles, responsibilities, and expectations for individuals and organizations involved in the revision process; 
  •  Identifying key decisions that inform the revision process and that are necessary to be finalized before the revision process can move forward; 
  • Developing a process for presenting key decisions to state leadership for approval; 
  • Identifying specific concepts to be included in each domain of the revised Stars;
  • Clarifying the breadth and depth of standards and verification criteria in the revised Stars; and 
  • Revising the timeline for the revision process based on the above discussions.
This process is a complex one and as such, we are updating the timeline for the revision process to ensure that the revised Stars system meets the needs of all of Delaware's early childhood stakeholders. We will share additional information about the revision process and the updated timeline as it is available on the Stars website and through the Stars newsletter. Stay tuned for additional opportunities to provide your input into the revisions in the coming months and please email   John.Fisher-Klein@doe.k12.de.us  if you have any questions. 
Capacity Grant: New Application Deadlines
Funding for Programs in Delaware Stars
The Capacity Grant, managed by Children & Families First (CFF), is intended to provide resources to enhance the quality of early learning programs and to expand the supply of child care in Delaware in targeted funding categories. Deadlines to  apply  for the Capacity Grant through mid-2020 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 are on the  Children & Families First website . CFF will announce an additional application deadline for the 4th quarter of 2020. Questions can be directed to Andrea Prettyman by  email  or call 302-233-6475. 

Happy Leap Day!
February and March Calendars
You have one extra day in February this year.  Not sure what activities to plan, check out these free activities that are offered statewide.

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

         Be Sure to Follow Delaware Stars on Social Media

                   Like us on Facebook               View on Instagram                 Follow us on Twitter                
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