The Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood created 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.

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  • April 2024

    Spring brings new opportunities for us to reflect on and renew our commitment to supporting the growth and wellbeing of the early childhood workforce and the young children and families we serve.

    As part of this month’s celebration of Week of the Young Child, the annual initiative from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), we will be hosting a panel discussion with a group of early childhood experts and advocates. With the theme of “Welcoming All Children,” panelists will be discussing and offering ideas to help all learners access and participate in meaningful learning opportunities. Register to join us on April 10 at 6:30!

    In this issue, we highlight a few of our exciting new professional learning experiences. We have opportunities coming up to participate with the Zero to Three Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators, and you can register now to begin in a Physical Activity Learning Sessions (PALS) cohort in April – both virtual and in-person options are available.

    We also spotlight a few additional resources for you, including the many programs and supports available through UD’s Cooperative Extension. Make sure to take a look at the DIEEC news section and the additional news and opportunities from our partners in the field – there is a lot to share this month!

  • MARCH 2024

    Welcome to March, spring is almost here! In this edition of REACH, we’re sharing a number of announcements, updates, and reminders.

    We’re excited to announce that the Sussex Resource Center has launched and will now be open monthly as a support for family child care educators – take a look below for more information and plan to join us in March.

    We’d also like to draw your attention to the latest edition of our DIEEC podcast. This month features Dr. Laura Lessard and Stephen McLaren discussing educator wellbeing and is a great listen! It’s available now wherever you stream your podcasts. 

    As always, we’ve included a reminder of the upcoming PLEs that are still open for educators to participate in at no-cost. We’re also pleased to highlight the Delaware Small Business Development Center as a partner organization with several great resources available for Delaware early childhood education programs. 

    Finally, please make sure to read the messages from partner organizations – there are some great opportunities available for early childhood professionals.

  • February 2024

    In this edition of REACH, we have a number of announcements and updates to share, including information about several in-depth professional learning experiences (PLEs) that are beginning this month, and announcing the application period for the DIEEC Early Childhood Educator of the Year Award (be sure to read about the changes to the this year’s process.)

    We also have information about Delaware’s new Office of Early Childhood Intervention and a Provider Spotlight where you can read about how one program is taking steps to embrace and support a diverse audience of children and families.

    This month’s resource highlight is the Pyramid Model; if you’re unfamiliar with it, we’ll be offering a PLE soon, and in the meantime we have a few resources for you to explore! We also introduce a new highlight this month, focusing on how Delaware programs are moving toward higher levels of quality through the Office of Early Learning’s five priority key practices. This month, we share examples of what programs are doing to recruit, retain, and orient high-quality educators and staff.

    Finally, we encourage you to read through our latest Coach’s Corner, which breaks down the process of goal-setting. What will your S.M.A.R.T. goals look like?

  • January 2024

    Participants in DIEEC’s professional learning experiences (PLEs) know that we often encourage you to take time to reflect as part of the experience. Why do we ask you to do this? Reflection offers the opportunity to pause, consider, and make connections – to process new information, and think about how it applies to our professional practices. In a self-paced PLE, we ask you questions meant to help you think about your current practices, and how you might want to change them going forward. If you choose to engage in the Quality Improvement Process with DIEEC, you’ll spend some time reflecting on your program’s strengths and opportunities as you make intentional choices about areas for growth and improvement.

    As we turn the calendar page to a brand new year, we encourage our friends and colleagues in the early childhood education community: Take a moment to stop, breathe deep, and review what you learned and experienced in the past year. Then, think about how those experiences might shape your plans for the coming year. DIEEC will be here to support you as we renew our commitment to quality early childhood education in 2024!

  • December 2023

    As we slide into the chilly months ahead, I’d like to extend a warm welcome through this December edition of REACH. 

    In this issue, we dive into the different types of supports that are available to ALL licensed programs in Delaware. I encourage you to take a look and reach out ( with any questions.

    As always, we include a number of free professional development opportunities offered through DIEEC. These offerings are tailored to your needs, to support your growth and success. 

    Understanding the call for accessible virtual professional development, our ‘early childhood education resource highlight’ calls your attention to the Individualized Professional Development (iPD) Portfolio, a platform where early childhood educators can complete online courses that can be used for annual training hours. 

    In our ongoing commitment to collaboration, we proudly highlight the Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children (deaeyc) as a valued partner in advancing early childhood education across the state. 

  • The theme for the 1st State Family Child Care Conference was Elevate, Educate, Empower.

    November 2023

    Welcome to November – we have a packed issue for you this month!

    In this edition of REACH, we have a number of announcements and updates to share, including a recap of the First State Family Child Care Conference, announcing the application period for the DIEEC Early Childhood Educator Leadership Board, and an outline of supports from the Early Childhood Innovation Center (ECIC), to name just a few.

    We highlight several upcoming professional learning opportunities as well. The fall round of microlearnings is premiering now – make sure to take a look at the available topics and sign up to have them delivered directly to your inbox as they debut. We’re excited to share more about the opportunity for educators to receive on-site observations and participate with follow-up coaching – you can read more about the available observation tools and follow-up options, submit a request, and talk with our team to discuss what will work best for your program. We also encourage you to read through our latest Coach’s Corner, which focuses on the value of building community and the benefits of collaborating with peers.

  • October 2023

    Welcome to the October edition of REACH, your trusted resource for Delaware’s early childhood community. As we transition into a new season, our focus remains strong on supporting and elevating you in your role.

    We certainly have a lot to share this month. You’ll find upcoming professional development opportunities, and we highlight an online toolkit from the North Carolina Institute for Child Development Professionals that supports early childhood programs with using salary scales. We’re excited to announce that DIEEC’s podcast season 2, episode 1 features Dr. Whitney Williams from Stubbs Early Learning Center in Wilmington and is available now for you to tune in.

    We also have a few opportunities you won’t want to miss. Sign up to enter our raffle to refresh your library of children’s books, and make sure to register to participate with us for Children’s Book Week in November. Finally, family child care educators, make sure to take a look at the opportunity to partner in a research study!

  • September 2023

    Welcome to the September edition of REACH, your trusted resource with streamlined information and supports for Delaware’s early childhood professionals. As we jump into the new school year and get ready to welcome fall, we are excited to bring you valuable information and opportunities that will enhance your experience as an early childhood education professional. 

    In this edition, we share updates related to Delaware’s Quality Improvement System, highlight a valuable resource to support family child care educators as business owners, and outline an exciting lineup of upcoming professional learning experiences. We also include some upcoming events you won’t want to miss. Sign up to participate with our Children’s Book Week festivities in November, and make sure to check out the upcoming 2nd annual 1st State Family Child Care Conference – registration is now open!

  • August 2023

    Welcome to the new-and-improved REACH newsletter. We are excited to announce a significant development in our communication approach that will enhance your experience and the supports you receive from the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC). In response to valuable feedback from early childhood professionals, we have merged the REACH and Professional Pursuits newsletters into a single, comprehensive resource. In doing so, we aim to streamline information, provide easier access to vital resources, and ensure that you, Delaware’s dedicated professionals, have all the information you want and need at your fingertips. 

    In this edition, we share updates related to Delaware’s Quality Improvement System (QIS), provide a recap of our recent experience of joining with family child care (FCC) educators to attend the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) Conference, and highlight a variety of upcoming exciting professional learning opportunities. 

  • July 2023

    Greetings! We hope this message finds you well during the summer season. In this edition, we’re excited to share some of the activities that are happening here at DIEEC. 

    First, we have a variety of professional learning activities designed to meet your needs. Check out our microlearning series tailored to support new educators in Delaware, along with some highlights from the variety of professional learning experiences that are now available on our training calendar. Notably, we’re featuring an opportunity for family child care educators to strengthen positive interactions through personalized coaching – there are a few spots open, so sign up today.

    Make sure to also take a look at the Let’s Go Outside initiative. Applications for the next round are now open! In addition, we invite you to save the date for the second annual First State Family Child Care Conference. Mark your calendars, and we hope to see you there. 

    I’d like to close by noting that we believe in the power of community and collaboration. We encourage you to reach out to share your experiences, thoughts, and ideas – Email us at or give us a call at 302-831-3239. Together, we can grow our vibrant and supportive network dedicated to strengthening early care and education in Delaware.  

  • June 2023

    Welcome to summer! June is here, and we have some fun things to share with you this month. 

    As we hope you’ve heard, we recently announced Kirsten Swift and Lindsey Mulvena as the 2023 DIEEC Early Childhood Educators of the Year. In June’s Voices from the Field, we’re happy to have Kirsten and Lindsey share a bit about themselves and how they view their roles as educators. 

    Responding to feedback from program leaders and classroom educators, DIEEC has developed a brand new “Microlearning” series designed specifically to support new early childhood educators in Delaware, and it starts this month! Make sure to check out the information below and sign up to have the series delivered directly to your inbox.

    We’re also excited to be highlighting the importance of executive functioning in June. Executive function skills are critical for learning and development, and they develop rapidly during the early childhood years. We encourage you to take a look at the resources below and keep an eye on our social media for some ideas early childhood educators can use to promote children’s development in this area.

  • May 2023

    This month is a special edition of REACH, dedicated to provider appreciation. Provider Appreciation Day is May 12th, and we will be focusing the whole month on you!

    We’re very excited to announce the finalists for DIEEC’s Early Childhood Educator of the Year. Voting is open now through Sunday, May, 7th. DIEEC will also be hosting a variety of events and giveaways this month, so make sure to check out all the details below. 

    Finally, we will be wrapping up our first season of the DIEEC podcast, “X, Why, Z: Reflections from Early Childhood Professionals,” with our finale featuring some familiar Delaware voices – Patti Lynch from the Wilmington Early Care & Education Council (WECEC) and Corsica Jones from A Leap of Faith Child Development Center. Make sure to tune in when the episode drops on Friday, May 26th.

    Happy Provider Appreciation Month!

  • April 2023

    Spring is here! The change of season is a good reminder for us to look at how we support our health, well-being, and growth. We hope that this spring provides you with a sense of rejuvenation.

    It’s also a time to celebrate and share the joy of childhood. We are excited to start the month of April by participating in the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)’s Week of the Young Child. As part of the festivities, DIEEC is hosting a panel discussion this Wednesday, April 5th. Please join us to hear from early childhood experts in Delaware about strategies for supporting children with challenging behaviors. We will also share resources and activity suggestions through our social media all week – check it out! 

    In this month’s Voices from the Field, we hear from family child care professional Stacy Morgan about how she supports her children through her outdoor classroom. You’ll also find information in this edition of REACH about a fantastic resource available for early childhood programs in Delaware – Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC). Finally, we share some upcoming events that we are excited about. Make sure to take a look at the Educator of the Year information – nominations opened on Monday, April 3rd.

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