CORRECTION - Please note this REACH copy includes the most updated version of the ASQ Manual. Please disregard the manual in the issue that was sent on Monday, July 6th.
You're here for Delaware's children and families.
We're here for YOU!
Dear Members of the Early Care and Education Community of Delaware:

Summer is here, and with it, our new reality that we must all continue to work together to keep our communities safe and healthy. As the new Director of the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC), I look forward to working with you and designing new and innovative services that directly respond to your program's needs. In this new role, the first thing I want to say to Delaware's early childhood professionals is THANK YOU! Thank you as you continue to adapt to meet the changing needs of operating an early care and education program during this historic time. 

Here at DIEEC, we recognize the effort it requires to develop and implement new health and safety protocols and actively engage families in the "new normal." We are amazed at your innovation, persistence, and creative problem-solving abilities. We are genuinely appreciative of your efforts, and we know that children and families benefit from your work.
We are also here to help as you navigate this reopening phase.

In this newsletter, you will find articles on creative ways early care and education programs are open and serving families. Also, there is information on upcoming professional development opportunities on social-emotional resilience. If you have additional questions about reopening, please contact us directly at delawarestars@udel.edu or contact your licensing specialist. We look forward to continuing to partner with Delaware's early care and education programs this summer and beyond.

With Gratitude,
Rena Hallam, Director DIEEC

Expanding Our Kid's World (EOKW) Stays Connected During COVID-19


The team from Expanding Our Kid’s World (EOKW) in Smyrna, Del. sprang into action in anticipation of COVID-19 closures. Director Marlena George and her staff quickly created and implemented a plan that facilitated the center connecting and supporting its community - even while closed.

For Families…..
The center created a private Facebook group to provide an easy channel to communicate with parents and families with the most updated information on operations and to stay connected.

Teachers posted resources in the Facebook group for families to keep their children engaged at home. The resources included COVID-related topics such as art projects to try, sight word activities, and different ways to work on fine motor skills. 

For Children……
Staff from all classrooms read books for children to hear a story from a familiar voice. Each week a different staff member shared a story that was a classroom favorite. 


Child Care Center Provides Hope During Tough Times

After the state-wide stay at home order was issued by Governor John Carney in March, The Little People Child Development Center opened one facility as an essential child care site at their Newark location.

Families utilizing the site during this time were working longer hours and either did not have time to shop for food, or were afraid to go into the grocery store for fear of the virus. In many cases, it was clear that some of these parents were faced with the incredibly difficult decision of either paying for their child’s care or putting food on the table.

Janice Palmer, The Little People’s owner, knew she had to do something to help. 
After DOT Foods in Bear made a large contribution to the center, Janice conceived the idea of a food drive. From there, Janice connected with BJ’s in New Castle, who donated water, distribution bags for the food, snacks, and more.

During the first food drive in late March, Janice’s staff and volunteers handed out nearly 13 carloads of food and supplies to the community. “We were astounded by the turnout,” said Janice.  “We distributed our entire supply to more than 185 people total in under two hours.”
The turnout at the food drive was a major indicator that the need was huge, and wasn’t going to subside anytime soon. They had to do more. 


PD Answers Call with Offering for Managing Stress and Building Resilience

COVID-19 has turned our world upside down, leaving all of us looking for ways to cope and manage through this crisis. We know early childhood professionals are on the front lines having to deal with the stresses that children and families are feeling, as well as their own health and wellness.
 
In response to the pandemic, DIEEC is providing professional development with resources and practices that support children's social/emotional development, and teach strategies for you to become more resilient.






Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) Manual Available
from the Office of Early Learning (OEL)
 
For the first time, an ASQ manual is available to provide step-by-step instructions for early childhood professionals.  The manual covers all your responsibilities from reaching out to families to completing the ASQ and the school districts' responsibilities.

Check out the updated manual   here.

Stars TAs - We're Here to Help!

Although your practice may look different right now, your Stars Technical Assistants (TA) can still support you in providing safe and enriching experiences for your children and their families.   Reach out to your Stars TA to discuss your individual needs specific to your program, and we will work with you side-by-side to help navigate these challenging times. 

Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood
Delaware Stars for Early Success, website: www.delawarestars.udel.edu
DIEEC Professional Development, website: www.dieecpd.org
Main: (302) 831-3239 | Fax: (302) 831-4223