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

    February 2019
You're here for Delaware's children and families. 
We're here for YOU! 
Website Tips 4

Website Wonderings:  Where's Online Learning?
February marks one month since we launched DIEEC-Professional Development's redesigned website.  So far, the transition in finding information has been fairly seamless.  However, there is one overriding question: "Where's Online Learning?"

We've put it under "Professional Learning" since it is just one of the several options of opportunities to learn.  Check out the fun video for step-by-step directions.

As always, if you have any questions about the website or anything related to your professional development, call 302-831-3239.

What's the Latest on Blocks?
Looking to strengthen your block area? The article here provides guidance for block selection and storage for preschool classrooms.

If you have any questions, please contact your Technical Assistant.  

Multiple Sessions - Focusing on Your Learning
You may have noticed that several of our trainings include more than one session.  This shift is because Professional Development has adopted a model that is learner centered.  In other words, this format gives you more opportunity for you to be in charge of your learning.

Multiple sessions facilitate:
  • Building relationships:  participants have more opportunities to learn from each other and build trust for open discussion which takes more time.
  • Instructors getting to know participants and adjust to their needs instead of a one-time, one-size fits all mentality.
  • Incorporating more time for discussion, practice AND application in between sessions.  Learning content is important; practice is essential; but application to a specific program situation is hard.  When there are multiple sessions, there is opportunity to "try out" new ideas, and then come back to discuss the application of goals and strategies. 
  • Coaching with the instructor supporting reflective activities that build on information from previous sessions.
  • Collaborating -There is more give and take between instructor and participants who work together to integrate knowledge and practice.  Participants also have opportunity to collaborate, promoting socialization in our learning.
The bottom line is that brains retain more when they are engaged in problem-solving.  Multiple sessions allow for setting up a "problem" and then finding solutions.   That's why college courses include multiple sessions with application projects.  It increases the likelihood that our brains will integrate the information into our daily routines and practice, that it actually creates "mind shifts" that leads to changes in habits and practice. 

Professional Development Planning
Trainings by County - Printable Versions
Sometimes it's easier to plan by looking at a printed version of a schedule.  

The following links will provide you with a hard copy of the calendar by county through April 2019.

Click here for:
New Castle County Offerings Sussex County Offerings

We're Here For Your Questions and We Hear You!
Don't hesitate to call if you have any questions regarding Professional Development, whether they are related to credentials, navigating the new website or learning sessions - we're here for you.

Reach out by the 1-302-831-3239 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 two business days to respond to your inquiry.

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

Provider Spotlight:  Kool Kids Learning Center
Empowering a Community Through Kindness
"If you give a blessing, you get a blessing, no matter how bad your circumstances," according to Rosalind "Nisey" Bailey.  Miss Nisey, the owner of Kools Kids Learning Center, not only believes this, she's created a following in her community who all embrace this philosophy. 

Miss Nicey and her daughter, Crystal Williams, the center's administrator, fully invest in the close to 40 children that attend their child care center.  "We believe in raising a thinking child," Williams said.  "We focus first on teaching the children and then on teaching the parents."  

Perhaps the biggest lesson this mother and daughter team imparts to their families is the importance of gratitude and of being of service to others.

On any given day, the center is collecting goods to give to people in need.  For Thanksgiving, they raffled off Thanksgiving meal baskets to senior citizens in the community.  The meals came from financial donations as well as donations of turkeys and other food items from the center's families.   And they don't stop there.  In the summer, they collected donations to buy air conditioners for their seniors.  

Miss Nisey believes that the children in her and her staff's care are all connected to a greater community - so taking care of the children means taking care of everyone that has influence on them. "When one hurts, we all hurt," Nicey adds.  

A case in point, Miss Nisey recognized she was seeing more Dads drop off and pick up their children.  "I wanted to celebrate the important role men have in their children's life," Miss Nisey said.  "So I decided to give them all gifts."

This gift-giving idea grew to the center hosting a Open House for all the families where the Dads were celebrated by the entire community - including politicians, policemen, and yes, seniors.  It wasn't just celebration.  The event also included a presentation about a wide range of supports available to Dads and especially focused on how to co-parent when not in a relationship with the child's mother.  There's already an endorsement from the City Council to do something similar for Moms.

Kool Kids is not only a hub for outreach, it's a center that's serious about teaching their children. They partner with Stars to help them develop effective strategies.  "Stars has helped us learn about the importance of assessing our teaching strategies," Williams said.  "From Stars we've learned the different ways of teaching and that not all children learn the same way."

We may not all learn the same way, but we all share the the same needs for validation and appreciation. Kool Kids gets this in a big way - just ask a member of their community.
Why a Comprehensive Curriculum is Important in a High-Quality Program
Using a research-based curriculum is essential for building a high-quality early learning experience for children. Multiple studies have shown that using a developmentally appropriate curriculum in early learning classrooms increases positive outcomes for children that carry through for the rest of their lives.

A curriculum is a blueprint for providers, thoughtfully combining goals for what children should learn, along with activities to support those skills, schedules and routines, and recommended materials.  Comprehensive curricula address multiple areas of learning, including social and emotional, physical, communication, and cognitive. High-quality curricula will build children's critical thinking, interpersonal, and academic skills!

Components of high quality, comprehensive curriculum also support programs by:
  • assisting teachers in being more intentional, 
  • individualizing instruction,
  • enhancing culturally- and linguistically-responsive experiences for children, and
  • increasing family engagement.
Keep in mind, although many curricula are available, implementing one that matches your program's philosophy and supports your program's goals for children will help to maximize outcomes. 

Stars Resources
Curriculum & Assessment (C&A)
Technical Assistants 
Stars has a team of C&A Technical Assistants that are available to support you in all aspects of curriculum and assessment. 
Contact Jen Potts at 267-438-4042 or at jpotts@udel.edu

Verification & Assessment 
Please note that Delaware Stars policy is that programs are eligible to request  another verification 90 days after verification results have been shared. Please see the Delaware Stars for Early Success Policy Guide 2018 for details.
Early Childhood Director's Association Holds February Meeting
The Kent County Early Childhood Director's Association welcomes active Directors, Administrators, and Supervisors employed in the field of Early Childhood Education throughout Kent County to join our monthly meetings. 

The next meeting is February 20th, 2019 at DTCC Terry Campus, Dover, in the ETB building.  If interested contact Kim Pridemore at DTCC CDC on 302-857-1720 or by email at   kpridemo@dtcc.edu.

By way of background, the purpose of the group is to discuss interests and concerns; to promote professional development, as well as to serve as advocates for children. Monthly meetings are generally held in the Dover area and often include guest speakers.  

We're Looking Ahead to Spring!
March Calendar Preview
Following are calendars of activities and events for you and your program for February and March.  

Groundhog Day marks the halfway point of winter.  Hang in there - spring is coming!
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