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

   November 2019
You're here for Delaware's children and families. 
We're here for YOU! 
Focus on STEAM in Early Childhood Education
New Training Coming Winter 2020
You've probably heard the term STEAM used in educational circles.  By way of background, STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. 
Young children naturally engage in STEAM activities daily through making and tinkering as they make sense of the world around them. They take things apart and put them back together, make forts, investigate the outdoors, and creatively problem solve. 
Children are naturally wired to explore and experiment, so integrating STEAM into early childhood instruction is important. It takes the questions that children have about the world and puts those questions into action.  

Early childhood professionals can foster the development of STEAM skills by providing materials and opportunities that support exploration and experimentation. You can engage children in play activities that incorporate children's interests, while asking questions that relate to science, technology,the arts and math.  You can also notice what children are doing during play and ask open-ended questions that help your students make discoveries and expand their curiosity.

Early childhood professionals have a big impact on building the foundations of STEAM for children.  Research indicates that early STEAM experiences can help predict future success in school because students will have a mindset for critical thinking.

To learn more about STEAM and how to incorporate STEAM into your classroom, attend the new "Explore STEAM with Making & Tinkering" workshop this winter. 
On-Site Training
Fee Reduction - Plus Giveaways!
 Coming Winter 2020
We are pleased to announce that effective immediately the fee for on-site trainings will be a flat $200 for three hours.

And on top of that, all participants will receive a giveaway for attending the learning session.

More information on on-site trainings and how to request is available here.

Register now for the New Leadership  Seminar 
A Director's Guide to Ethics
We are excited to announce DIEEC's next leadership seminar.  

This upcoming seminar will focus on ethics as it relates to administrators.  Peter Pizzolongo, a veteran in the early care and education field, will provide insights and guidance on an administrator's role in managing and guiding your staff on this important topic.

Participants will receive three quality assured hours.

Mark your calendar:

A Director's Guide to Ethics:
Leadership Seminar
Friday, December 13th
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
501 S. College Ave.
Newark, DE

Register here.

Professional Development Planning 
Start Your Planning for the New Year!
With the new year quickly approaching, now is a good time to think about your professional development goals.

Start by going to our website.  There, you can see all the different workshops we offer.  They are organized by competency to help you build your skill set in a particular area.  

This is a starting point  to develop a professional development plan.  A plan will help keep you accountable to your goals.
To facilitate planning, we have provided training by county for the next few months. 

Delaware Institute of 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.

Mi Casita Family Child Care Program
Dual Language Family Child Care Provider - Educating Spanish Style
At Ms. Carmen Benitez's family child care program, children transition seamlessly from learning in English to Spanish and do it quite proficiently. For example, when Ms. Carmen asks a student to point to words, she does it first in Spanish and then in English - no sweat! What makes this even more impressive is that Ms. Carmen is speaking to her primarily in Spanish and the student is from an English-speaking home.

Ms. Carmen, a Peruvian native, came to this country with the goal of teaching young children. She started her family child care program ten years ago and continues to not only obtain goals but set new ones.
Stars Technical Assistant (TA) Amanda Mackey could not agree more. 

"Carmen knows when to ask for help but creates her own goals and works toward them," said Amanda.

In the six years working with Delaware Stars, Ms. Carmen has made much progress. Two years ago, she achieved a Star Level 5 designation, which made her very proud.

"I always ask my TA what I can do to get better," said Carmen. "By working with Amanda, I have been able to take assessment to the next level."

And she does it all with love. She develops lasting relationships with the children and their families.

"Carmen has open communication with families which ultimately helps the children," adds Amanda. "Carmen is so warm with her interactions and carefully observes her students so she can be sure to provide activities that stimulate and challenge each individual child."

Ms. Carmen has created a culture of quality care at her program .

"Carmen has made quality a habit," said Amanda.   "She does not do things to check boxes off for Stars. She has changed her practice so all quality enhancements are just second nature now."

A leer en Espanol.

Announcing New Curriculum & Assessment Library
Curriculum Resources Available for Your Review
We know that choosing a curriculum and/or assessment that is the best fit for your program is a big responsibility as well as a hefty financial investment. These decisions should be made with the most information possible. 

To help support you with this process, Delaware Stars now has a Curriculum and Assessment Library for your use.  The library houses full curriculum and assessment kits that align with the Delaware Stars Approved Curricula and Assessment list.    The kits are "unboxed" so you can see firsthand what the materials look like. 

This library is open to administrators, owners, board members - anyone that is essential in making programmatic decisions in choosing research-based curriculum and/or assessment for center-based or family child care learning programs.   A wide array of supplemental curricula and optional kits of materials to support individual children's learning needs are also available. 

We are excited for you to check it out.  The library is located at our office at 501 S. College Ave. in Newark.  You can schedule a visit by contacting your Stars Technical Assistant or reaching out to Jen Potts ( jpotts@udel.edu or 267-438-4042). 

Can't get to the new resource library? The Delaware Stars Curriculum & Assessment team also does onsite curriculum selection. While we can only share a small sample of the resources that are part of the bigger kits, it still can be a valuable experience in purchasing a new curriculum or assessment. 

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 Jen Potts at 302-463-8128 or jpotts@udel.edu

QRIS Revision Updates
QRIS Revision Advisory Committee 
The Stars Revision State Leadership Team held an in-person meeting on October 30th to discuss initial input on changes to standards in the Qualifications & Professional Development and Family & Community Partnerships domains and how ongoing work in early learning across Delaware will intersect with the Stars revision process. They will meet again in mid-November to continue this discussion. Leadership Team representatives also met with experts from the Delaware Academy of School Leadership to review the current leadership and administration standards and conduct focus groups to solicit input on revisions to these Stars standards to support the work of providers in all settings and ultimately the improvement of outcomes for programs, providers, children, and their families.

If you have any questions about the QRIS Revision process, please see the QRIS Revision webpage or email  John Fisher-Klein

DE First Online Application Survey
The Office of Early Learning is working to improve the Delaware First Online Application. While some changes have already been made based on your feedback, Delaware First still needs to hear from you to make further improvements.

All early educators who are using the online application are encouraged to  take a survey to tell us about their user experience. Survey responses should be received by November 15, 2019.

For questions contact the Delaware First Office at 302-735-4236.
Happy Thanksgiving - We are Thankful for you!
November and December Calendars
In this season of gratitude, we are especially thankful for you - Delaware's early childhood professionals.  We know you work tirelessly to care for and educate Delaware's youngest learners.  Thank you!

With the busyness of the season, why not build in some easy and fun activities into your day.  Check out the calendars for the next couple of months that include lots of seasonal and free activities.

Please note more activities have been added to the November 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