We had the pleasure this week of hosting the leader of the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies at the DEL state office in Lacey. NACCRRA is a national organization that works with more than 700 state and local child care resource and referral agencies in ensuring families have access to child care options in their community.
NACCRRA Executive Director Linda Smith met with DEL Director Bette Hyde and other members of the DEL team for a rich, wide-ranging discussion on early learning issues, including child care licensing, quality rating and improvement systems and military child care. We were happy to hear Linda’s thoughts on our own licensing rules, which NACCRRA has ranked among the top in the nation.
One of the most fascinating parts of the conversation was Linda’s thoughts on the importance of how we talk about early learning issues: Does the average person know what “quality” means? What does professional development for early learning professionals look like? Linda talked about how sharing just a few examples of what we mean can help paint the picture. For example:
“Child care quality child care facilities are safe and healthy places, such as those that have lots of age- and culture-appropriate books, parent involvement and time for children to play in and outside.”
“Professional development includes training in such areas as physical development of toddlers or how to use songs and music to support early literacy skills.”
Linda is in Washington for the NACCRRA Leadership and Management Institute in Seattle today. Our thanks to her for visiting DEL and sharing her knowledge, energy and ideas with us!