Universal supports are available to ALL licensed programs
Delaware Stars, the state’s quality improvement system, has undergone a revision over the past several years. A system that was once known for star-level ratings has been replaced with a system that among other things, offers a variety of supports and resources available to ALL licensed early childhood education programs to encourage their continuous quality improvement.
Continuous quality improvement is a process that programs can use to collect and reflect on data about their program to set goals for improvement. A true continuous quality improvement approach is an ongoing commitment to uncover new ideas, processes, and procedures to offer children, families, educators, staff, and the community the best possible experience in their early childhood program.
The Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood offers a variety of supports for all early childhood programs. Depending on the desired level of participation, programs can engage with universal supports and targeted supports, and increased levels of support are available for programs that are selected to contract with the state to provide state-funded early care and education.
Universal supports are available to any licensed Delaware early childhood education program – center-based, family and large family, and school-age programs are eligible to utilize universal supports. There is no application to fill out, these universal supports require no commitment for continued engagement, and they can be accessed through the DIEEC website. Some examples of universal supports are described below:
- Communities of Practice – Center Leaders and Family Child Care Professionals have monthly opportunities to come together to focus on problem-solving, idea generation, and resource sharing within the group.
- Professional Learning Experiences (PLEs) – Self-paced and community-based PLEs provide foundational knowledge and skills in a variety of topic areas, and all PLEs include an opportunity for reflection with DIEEC instructors; these PLEs are no-cost and available for anyone to register on the DIEEC PD Registry.
- Technical Assistance – DIEEC has teams dedicated to supporting all programs. Whether you are a center-based leader or a family child care educator, you have a designated support person who is available to you. If you aren’t sure who your DIEEC person is, you can complete this brief form to request that they reach out to you!
- REACH newsletter – DIEEC has a monthly newsletter just for you! Read about the latest news and updates, professional learning experiences, and a variety of other resources for the Delaware early childhood community. Subscribe today!
- Podcast – ‘X Why Z: Reflections from Early Childhood Education Professionals’ features a new episode monthly, interviewing a variety of guests who share their unique perspectives on important early childhood education topics
For programs seeking a more tailored approach, targeted supports are also available. Targeted supports involve working with DIEEC in a more in-depth way.
- Quality Improvement Planning – DIEEC’s dedicated teams can support center program leaders and family child care educators to reflect on current and desired practices, identify strengths and areas for growth, as well as select strategies and resources to support you in reaching your goals. Reach out to your Quality Improvement Specialist (QIS) or submit a request to get started.
- Program-wide Professional Development – Opportunities for your program to engage in professional learning experiences as a group. DIEEC is currently working to create program-wide experiences to support infant/toddler education and social-emotional development. Look for more information to come this winter.
- Let’s Go Outside – A 15-hour series created to support early childhood professionals in learning about nature-based outdoor learning, designing and selecting materials for an outdoor learning environment for their programs, and bringing their outdoor learning spaces to life. This experience includes self-paced, in-person, live observation, and on-site coaching. Keep an eye out for the next application coming in February.
- Shining the Light on You – A 15-week program designed specifically for family child care educators to improve their health and well-being through weekly group discussion and one-on-one meetings with a certified health coach. New cohorts for English and Spanish educators begin each September and January. For more information or to be added to the interest list, please email email@example.com.
- Leadership Cohort – This year-long professional learning experience cohort will include new and innovative opportunities to strengthen the climate and culture of your team. If you are interested in more information or joining the next cohort starting in February – reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage you to explore the supports that align with your specific goals, needs, and desired level of commitment. Whether you are seeking general information or want assistance with targeted enhancements, there’s an option tailored to your unique context. Our commitment is to empower you to access the resources that will best meet your needs when you’re ready. Remember, every child deserves a great beginning, and DIEEC is here to support you to help make that happen!