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.
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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!
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.
This month, we’re excited to share our theme of Men in Early Childhood. Male caregivers play an important role in young children’s development but are underrepresented in the early childhood field. In Voices From the Field, we hear from Mr. Darnell Couch, classroom educator at St. Michael’s School and Nursery, about his experience as an early childhood educator. We will also be releasing an exciting episode of the DIEEC podcast, X, “Why,” Z: Reflections from Early Childhood Education Professionals, in which Irene and Meg spend some time talking with Dr. Calvin Moore, the CEO of the Council for Professional Recognition. Keep an ear out on March 31 wherever you stream your podcasts!
We share a few more announcements below as well. Take a look at the Upcoming Activities section so you can mark the dates for Week of the Young Child and DIEEC Early Childhood Educator of the Year activities. We also have an update on a couple of ways we’ve been working to streamline our communication with ECE educators. Finally, we are excited to share an announcement that DIEEC was named a partner in a federally funded early care and education workforce initiative.
During the cold months in the middle of winter, it can be helpful to think about what lies ahead.
Our editorial focus this month is self-care. Self-care is an especially important topic for all of you who spend your time caring for others. In our Voices from the Field section, we hear from a family child care educator who found successful strategies to prioritize her own goal of working towards her CDA. We also highlight two wellness initiatives for family child care educators below, “Make Time for Me Mondays” and “Shining the Light on You” – check them out! We’re planning to share additional self-care resources and stories throughout February, and we encourage you to share how you think about self-care.
Here at DIEEC, we’re starting January by focusing on partnerships. In addition to the “Early Childhood Partnering Opportunities” we’ve highlighted for you, this month’s “Voices from the Field” spotlights one of our current opportunities to build partnerships – participating in a series of Professional Learning Experiences (PLEs) as part of a cohort.
We’re excited to share that we will be partnering with the Department of Education to support programs in understanding and applying to participate in this state funding stream. As the first step, check out the article from our DOE partners, which introduces ECAP.
As we wrap up 2022 this month, it’s a great time to reflect on the year. Take a few moments to recognize everything you’ve accomplished! What are you proud of? What would you like to focus on improving? We took some time to look back as well, and you can see some of our learnings in the wrap-up, reflections, and provider survey articles.
DIEEC will be spending time in December highlighting New Directions Early Head Start. Check out the article below as an introduction, and you’ll see more to come on our social media channels throughout the month.
What a busy and exciting month! Today marks the start of Children’s Book Week. We’re looking forward to visiting programs and reading in classrooms. At the end of this week, DIEEC will be hosting our first family child care conference. We can’t wait for the full day of learning, activities, and networking with Delaware’s family childcare educators.
We have more updates to share in this issue as well.
We have some exciting updates in this month’s issue, including further details about our upcoming podcast and some new opportunities for Delaware’s family child care educators. Additionally, you can read a summary from the Department of Education Early Childhood Support team about the next steps for early childhood in Delaware.
In the “Fall Preview” of this month’s newsletter, we’re thrilled to be announcing the return of Children’s Book Week, one of our favorite events. Make sure to sign up to participate! We’re also excited to begin getting the word out for a couple of brand new initiatives, with more to come soon.