Monday, August 29, 2016

DEL Posts Approved CCDF (Federal Funding Source) Plan


The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is a Federal funding source that supports low-income working families by providing access to affordable, high-quality early care and after-school programs. CCDF also improves the quality of care to support children’s healthy development and learning by supporting child care licensing, quality improvement systems to help programs meet higher standards, and support for child care workers to attain more training and education.

In Washington, CCDF dollars fund essential programs in early learning, including but not limited to: 

  • child care licensing
  • quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) - Early Achievers
  • data collection and analysis to better understand child outcomes. 
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 reauthorizes the Federal early learning law of 1996 and represents an historic re-envisioning of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program.

Learn more about the law.

As the lead state agency for the CCDF block grant, DEL must submit a plan every three years for how the funding will be used to improve accessibility to and quality of child care in our State. This past fall, DEL submitted the following:
See the 2016-2018 Approved CCDF plan here: Approved CCDF Plan.

If you have questions, please contact: Child Care Administrator, Lynne Shanafelt at Lynne.Shanafelt@del.wa.gov.

DEL Posts Approved CCDF (Federal Funding Source) Plan


The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is a Federal funding source that supports low-income working families by providing access to affordable, high-quality early care and after-school programs. CCDF also improves the quality of care to support children’s healthy development and learning by supporting child care licensing, quality improvements systems to help programs meet higher standards, and support for child care workers to attain more training and education.

Authorization with CCDF has allowed essential programs in early learning to thrive including but not limited to: 

  • licensed child care
  • quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) - Early Achievers
  • homeless child care
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 reauthorizes the child care program for the first time since 1996 and represents an historic re-envisioning of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program.

Learn more about the law.

As the lead state agency for the CCDF block grant, DEL must submit a plan every three years for how the funding will be used to improve accessibility and quality of child care in our state. This past fall, DEL submitted the following:
See the 2016-2018 Approved CCDF plan here: Approved CCDF Plan.

If you have questions, please contact: Child Care Administrator, Lynne Shanafelt at Lynne.Shanafelt@del.wa.gov.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Washington's Kindergarten Entry Assessment Report


This descriptive study examines the development and early implementation of Kindergarten Entry Assessments or KEAs in 12 districts and 23 schools within four RTT-ELC states (Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington) during the 2014–15 school year. To see the entire report, go here: Case Studies of the Early Implementation of Kindergarten Entry Assessments (KEAs).

The study is intended to help states learn from the experiences of other states as they work to develop and implement their own KEAs and to use KEAs to improve instruction and learning.
Key findings:

State officials and stakeholders in all four case study states considered multiple criteria when developing or adopting KEA measures: 
  • reliability and validity, 
  • appropriateness for all students, 
  • usefulness for informing classroom instruction, 
  • usefulness for informing early learning policies and program improvement, 
  • feasibility of administration by teachers, 
  • and cost. 
The four states trained teachers on KEA administration through self-paced webinars, in-person presentations, and train-the-trainer models. A majority of the interviewed teachers said the training prepared them to administer the KEA to students, though many teachers reported that they had difficulty in determining what were appropriate accommodations for English learner (EL) students or (dual language learners) and students with disabilities and indicated that they needed further assistance. 

Recommendations for Policymakers & Administrators

  • Be clear about how KEA results will and will not be used by interested groups (i.e early childhood programs, Kindergarten teachers, school administrators, parents and legislators). 
  • Use KEA tools that will take into account students with disabilities and EL student populations. 
  • Be aware of other assessment requirements placed on this population of students and if possible eliminate or combine other skills assessment/inventory requirements. Provide the teachers taking the inventory with assistance to minimize time collecting and reporting assessment data. 
  • Properly prepare, train and provide guidance and coaching to teachers that will be administering KEA. This will help ensure consistent and uniform results to provide the most accurate snapshot of students’ abilities. 
  • KEA results must be delivered in a user-friendly and timely report in order for educators and parents to best utilize the information to help address each student’s needs. 
  • Tie results back to preschool instruction and analyze data in order to identify instructional areas that early learning programs could help children be better prepared for kindergarten. 
Washington State’s KEA is called the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills or WaKIDS. As with much of the work surrounding the early learning environment in Washington State, the Department of Early Learning (DEL) worked with public and private partners in developing WaKIDS. This includes:
  • The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction 
  • The Gates Foundation 
  • Thrive Washington 
  • The Early Learning Regional Coalitions 
There are three components to WaKIDS:
  • Family connection welcomes families into the Washington K-12 system as partners in their child’s education. 
  • Whole-child assessment helps kindergarten teachers learn about the skills and strengths of the children in their classrooms so they can meet the needs of each child. 
  • Early learning collaboration aligns practices of early learning professionals and kindergarten teachers to support smooth transitions for children. 
The intended purposes of the Whole-Child Assessment component (i.e., GOLD®) of WaKIDS are to:
  • Help kindergarten teachers plan classroom instruction and individualize educational supports for each student. 
  • Engage, welcome, and partner with families and inform them about children’s learning strengths and needs. 
  • Inform decisions about early learning and K–12 education policy and investments at the community, district, and state levels. 
  • Inform early childhood education providers about children’s learning strengths and needs.

Washington WaKIDS Timeline

(Information from Exhibit 8)

2009: Legislature appropriates funds to identify and evaluate a KEA process.
2009–2010: Advisory team and committees review tools, select GOLD®, and develop WaKIDS administration process.
2010–2011: Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) is piloted and evaluated.
2011–2012: Legislature passes SB5427; WaKIDS is voluntary in state-funded full-day kindergartens this school year.
2012–2013: WaKIDS is mandatory in all state-funded full-day kindergartens this school year.

Exhibit 9. Percentages of Washington Students Demonstrating Kindergarten Readiness


Exhibit Reads: 40% of all Washington kindergarten students demonstrated skills indicating full kindergarten readiness. SOURCE: Data from State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction n.d.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Monday, August 22, 2016

DEL Restructures Licensing Regions

This should not mean any noticeable change for licensed child care providers. 
The licensing division within the Department of Early Learning (DEL) is currently going through a reorganization of its licensing regions, in order to spread workloads more evenly. Licensing administration has decided to use a number system, as well as a description of the location of the region.  
Below is a list of the new regional names and the offices that will fall within the new regions. Please also see the map of the updated licensing regions.      
Region 1 Eastern (light blue): Yakima, Wenatchee, Tri-Cities and Spokane   
Region 2 Northwest (green): Everett, Bellingham, and Bellevue 
Region 3 Southwest (orange): Tacoma 1, 2, Olympia, and Vancouver  
Region 4 South King County (purple): Renton 1, 2, and 3   
This should not mean any noticeable change for licensed child care providers.

If you have specific questions about this change, please contact your local licensing office: Contact Us

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Early Achievers Offers Grants to Support Participation

Qualifying Early Achievers participants may apply for a Needs-Based Grant to purchase curriculum development and instructional materials, supplies and equipment to improve program quality.

To qualify for a Needs-Based Grant, participants must be registered in Early Achievers and participating at a Level 2, or be rated a Level 2, AND at least one of the following: 
  • Enrolled in the Tier 1 food program, or 
  • Live within a school district that serves at least 20% low income children based on OSPI data (eligible school districts include those where at least 20% of students receive free or reduced-price meals. To determine if a school district is eligible, visit the K-12 Data and Reports page on the OSPI website here). 
More information about Needs-Based Grants is available in the Early Achievers Needs-Based Grant Overview. To apply for a grant, participants must:
  • Complete a Needs-Based Grant application form and spend plan and submit to the Department of Early Learning. 
  • Complete the registration form to register as a vendor of Washington State by submitting the Statewide Payee Registration form and W-9 to the Department of Early Learning. Registration should be completed using the facility/business name as funds will not be awarded to individuals or employees. A payee registration and W-9 must be submitted prior to receiving a grant. 
  • Both forms may be faxed to: (360) 725-4417 or mailed to: Department of Early Learning QRIS, Attn: Needs Based Grant, PO Box 40970, Olympia, WA 98504-0970. 
Needs-Based Grants may be used to purchase the following types of items:
  • Materials to improve scores on the Environment Rating Scale (ERS) or Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). 
  • Curriculum development and instructional materials. 
  • Substitute time. 
  • Training/professional development. 
  • Other supplies or equipment to improve program quality, as approved based on the application spend plan. 
  • Spending restrictions apply. Information on disallowed costs can be found in the Early Achievers Participant Operating Guidelines
*Forms linked in this post will be available in Spanish and Somali soon. 

For questions, contact needs.basedgrants@del.wa.gov.







Monday, August 8, 2016

Licensed Child Care Providers: Lead Exposure Survey

Attention Child Care Providers:
Para español, véase más adelante

Recent detection of lead in drinking water systems has raised public awareness of the effect that lead can have on young children’s development. Governor Inslee has directed State agencies to assess lead exposure risks to the public and to develop a plan for addressing any identified concerns.

As an initial step, the Department of Early Learning (DEL) would like to get an idea of how many early learning programs may be at risk for lead exposure. 

Common sources of lead exposure include: 
  • paint used on buildings built prior to 1978; 
  • lead piping in water systems built prior to 1986 and 
  • pesticides used on orchards prior to 1950. 
Currently DEL does not collect data on the age of family child care homes or center buildings.

 A “yes” answer to any of the questions below does not necessarily mean that lead is present in your facility. The survey closes on August 11. 

Survey: 

Luego de la reciente detección de plomo en los sistemas de agua potable, la población demostró su preocupación por las consecuencias que el plomo puede tener en el desarrollo de los niños. 

El gobernador Inslee ordenó a las agencias estatales que evalúen los peligros que la exposición al plomo podría presentar para la población y que desarrollen un plan para abordar cualquier problema detectado. 

En primer lugar, al Department of Early Learning (DEL, Departamento de Aprendizaje Temprano) le gustaría saber cuántos programas de aprendizaje temprano podrían estar en peligro de exposición al plomo. Las fuentes de exposición al plomo más comunes incluyen: 

  • la pintura utilizada en edificios construidos antes de 1978, 
  • tuberías de plomo utilizadas en los sistemas de agua construidos antes de 1986 y 
  • los pesticidas utilizados en huertas antes de 1950. 
Actualmente, el DEL no recopila datos sobre la antigüedad de los edificios de los hogares o centros de cuidados para niños. Responder “Sí” a cualquiera de las preguntas que se mencionan a continuación no implica necesariamente la presencia de plomo en sus instalaciones. La encuesta se cierre el 11 de agosto. 

Encuesta: 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

DEL Releases Culturally Responsive Guidelines

Cultural Responsiveness:

The ability to learn from and relate respectfully with people of your own culture as well as those from other cultures.


As mandated by Washington’s Early Start Act (passed in July of 2015), this past week, the Department of Early Learning (DEL) provided recommendations to the Legislature on research-based cultural competency guidelines for early learning professional training.

Because cultural responsiveness is a key priority for DEL’s professional development strategy, DEL organized the Professional Development Cultural Considerations Workgroup. The group was made up of community organizations and experts, who created a set of standards that would provide a framework to strengthen the cultural responsiveness in the training, competencies, and standards for early learning professional development.

The Culturally Responsive Guidelines reflect the importance of diversity in the early learning field and highlight the importance of helping early learning professionals better serve and relate to all children with unique cultures, heritages, languages, beliefs, and circumstances. 

The Guidelines:


  • Serve as a statewide resource for everyone involved in the professional development of early childhood educators.
  • Provide expectations for professional development creation, delivery, and evaluation.
  • Outline essential information to enhance the cultural responsiveness of professional development in Washington State.
  • Provide a lens for continuous quality improvement of the professional development system and professional competencies. 

The Guidelines will be woven into existing documents and training like the Trainer Competencies, Core Competencies, Early Learning Guidelines, and Relationship Based Professional Development Competencies. State Approved trainers and higher education may use the Guidelines as a common reference point when determining culturally responsive policy and practice.

Thank you to the many partners who provided guidance to the creation of the Culturally Responsive Guidelines for Professional Development!

To read the full report, go here: del.wa.gov/culturallyresponsive.