Helping States Better Serve Infants and Toddlers: Early Learning Challenge Grants
Fourteen states have received Early Learning Challenge (ELC) grants since the program was initiated in 2011. Though they are not using a significant portion of their grants to fund initiatives targeting infants and toddlers specifically, grantees' efforts to strengthen the systems that support all young children and families will reap many benefits for babies.
In our state
California is investing nearly 75 percent of its ELC grant at the local level to support a voluntary network of 17 Regional Leadership Consortia to develop and operate local QRIS. The Consortia agreed on a points-based hybrid rating system approach and developed three common tiers that all local QRIS will use. The elements and points for the common tiers are outlined in the Quality Continuum Framework Consortia Hybrid Matrix. The Consortia also created a corresponding Quality Improvement and Professional Development Pathways document.
The state executed contracts to provide infant-toddler trainings to home visiting program staff; provide training on developmental screening for local Consortia members; and develop several online courses providing overviews of the California Collaborative for the Social-Emotional Foundations of Early Learning (CCSEFEL) teaching pyramid.
California began work to expand the core early learning curricula offered at state community colleges. Three new courses are being developed: one focused on infants and toddlers, one on children with special needs, and one on program administration. Community college faculty are currently identifying existing courses that align with the three topic areas and will convene a series of regional meetings to present their findings and discuss next steps.
Learn more about the plans states have and progress they've made implementing ELC initiatives by reading the full article.
California State Policy Update
The California Legislature is back in session this week to pass and forward bills for the Governor's signature. During the next 30 days, the legislature will discuss, hear and deliberate on several bills of particular interest for expectant parents, infants, toddlers, and their families such as AB 271 (Mitchell) and SB 252 (Liu). For more information on these bills and others, please visit California Infant Toddler Advocacy Workgroup.
Federal Policy Update
Rally On During Recess!
From now until September 9th, Members of Congress will be in their home districts for the Congressional recess. This is a great opportunity to keep the rattle shaking since we know that the squeaky toy is the one that gets the most attention! #Rally4Babies by reaching out to your Members of Congress and advocating for expanded investments in early learning opportunities for infants and toddlers! The national Preschool for All Initiative will greatly impact the early childhood community by expanding the availability of high-quality child care options for infants and toddlers through partnerships between Early Head Start and child care and by expanding voluntary home-visiting programs. Click here to find your local representative
School Readiness for Babies and Toddlers
School readiness begins at birth. Early learning experiences for infants and toddlers contribute to their later success in school and life. Infant's and toddler's thrive in environments that include positive-responsive interactions and when provided opportunities to explore their surroundings through sensory experiences. With the support of parents and caregivers all young children can be ready for school. Click here for information about what a school ready child looks like.
Resources & Publications
The preschool advocacy toolkit including talking points as well as some resources for planning your advocacy activities over the August recess and beyond.
New poll results showing overwhelming support for early childhood education to strengthen your advocacy activities.
Success Indicators in Early Learning and Education
Markers that Matter: Success Indicators in Early Learning and Education, a new report from the Foundation Strategy Group with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, examines a set of 48 early childhood indicators that reflect healthy development of young children. The report also highlights 10 emerging themes, areas that are not sufficiently addressed by existing indicators and where further inquiry is needed.