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

   March 2018
You're here for Delaware's children and families. 
We're here for YOU! 
Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ)
Follow Up Training
In an effort to improve the follow-up regarding the ASQ screenings, DIEEC is offering "Interpretation of the ASQ:3 and ASQ:SE:2" training. The purpose of screening is to determine if any children need further assessment in order to provide intervention as early as possible. Both Child Development Watch and school districts report they have had very limited numbers of referrals based on these screenings and we would like to offer training to ensure that programs feel comfortable in interpreting screenings and making referrals.  

*Please register through our website.

They will be offered at the following locations:
Saturday, April 21, 2018   10:30 - 1:30
Woodlawn Library
2020 W. 9th St.
Wilmington, De. 19805
Saturday, April 28, 2018   9-12
State Police - Troop 3
3759 S. State St.
Camden, De. 19934
Saturday, June 2, 2018   9-12
State Police Troop 2
100 Lagrange Ave.
Newark, De. 19702
*This training has a pre-requisite---participants must take the 3-hour "Introduction to the ASQ" first or must have taken the former 6-hour topic, "How to Administer and Score the ASQ" before taking Interpretation of the ASQ-3 & ASQ:SE-2" topic.  
Workshop Improving Administrators Focus
This spring, we will be offering several opportunities to participate in "Child Assessment for Administrators: Polishing the Lens."  This professional development event is the first of three assessment modules that are designed to support administrators' understanding of the comprehensive assessment system, and its relationship to children's learning.

Click here to sign up.

"Making a Difference" Conference
April 13th & 14th

Be sure to reserve your spot for the "Making a Difference" Conference" to be held on April 13th and 14th.  The annual conference for early childhood professionals will be at the DTCC Terry Campus in Dover.  

To register click here.  Workshops are included in the conference brochure.
Teaching Gold Strategy Session Added to Calendar
DIEEC PD has added an additional Implementing Teaching Strategies GOLD session in New Castle County (University of Delaware Downtown Center 12th 8th St Wilmington DE 19801) on Saturday, May 12th from 9:00-4:00.  

If you are interested in registering for this class you can contact Tara Horwitz at 302-831-6764.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Announces Recommendations for Screen Time for Children

Recently the AAP made the following recommendations for screen time:

For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.

For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.

For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.

Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.

Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.

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

Provider Spotlight: North Smyrna Preschool Program
Children Star in Inclusive Learning Environment

When you walk into a classroom in the North Smyrna Preschool Program in the Smyrna School District, you'll notice that children are quietly playing together while teachers are using their play to teach shapes and numbers. What doesn't strike you is that fifty percent of the classroom includes children with special needs.

This Star 5 program is a Part B/619 program that serves both children with special needs and typically developing peers in inclusive classrooms and was one of the first school-based programs to apply to Delaware Stars close to six years ago.

In the beginning of this partnership, some staff were concerned whether Stars tools, particularly ECERS-R, would work in inclusive classrooms. "At first, we were afraid of Stars, but our TA kept working with us to adapt and the results have been extremely positive," says Carissa Stevens, the program coordinator.

Jessica Allabaugh, the three-year-old teacher agrees. "It seemed overwhelming but using Stars tools makes sense and has given our teachers more options."

Through the dedication and vision of Carissa and her staff, along with support from their TA, the program has made a daily practice of using Stars tools and strategies. This tireless commitment has included staff trainings, small group discussions, individual classroom observations with feedback, and hours spent working after school and during plan/lunch times.
Now, the activities in the classroom are more child-directed versus teacher-led. "Children are taking the lead and we are incorporating teaching," adds Tiyana Mullin, a four-year-old teacher.

Everyone is benefiting  in these classrooms. The students are learning from each other, serving as role models, and learning compassion. Teachers are thinking outside of the box and trying new strategies with support from their Stars TA. Families are building community to support each other.

"Stars has given opportunities to everybody," says Carissa. "The inclusion program has helped us focus on developmental progress for all our children."
Stars News

Important ERS Updates
Please note that the ERS FAQs and the Expectations for an ERS Assessment documents have been updated, to reflect recent changes to the blackout dates policy and the procedures for sending verification and assessment results. Both documents have been updated on the Stars website. 
Some highlights from the updates:
  • If a program has any combination of full-day classrooms and part-day classrooms, each room will be assessed accordingly, depending on the schedule for the children in that classroom.
  • Programs can expect Verification results to be emailed directly from Delaware Stars.
  • When selecting blackout dates for Verification, programs may elect to extend their 60-day window in order to exclude pre-selected breaks or holidays.

WAGE$ for Star Level 2
DEAYCE announced in February that programs  working at a STAR Level 2 program are now eligible to apply for a WAGE$® supplement.  If  you work at a STAR Level 2 program and make less than $17.00 an hour, it is your time to apply!
For more information and to apply today contact:
WAGE$® - Counselor, Joanna Murzyn 

Upcoming Deadline for Capacity Grant
The next deadline for programs applying for the Capacity Grant through Children & Families First is  April 5, 2018. 

The Capacity Grant provides resources to enhance the quality and expand the supply of child care.

The April 5, 2018 round will also include Supplemental Funding to enhance nutritional and/or physical activity environments. If interested in the Supplemental Funding, the program must also apply for and be eligible for the Capacity Grant. Visit the Children & Families First website for FAQs with details about eligibility requirements and to apply.

Contact Andrea Prettyman, the Capacity Grant Program Manager, or call 302-233-6475 with questions.

Spring Cleaning - Check the Database
Please be sure to look at your information on the database to ensure it's correct.  It's important to keep this data updated.

Children's Book Week 
April 30th - May 6th

We can't wait to celebrate Children's Book Week with you.  Register here to have a guest reader from Stars come to your program and share a story with your children.  Plus we will donate the book to you children.

Stay tuned for more exciting details for this special celebration.

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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