Friday, July 9, 2010

Seeds to Success: Stories from the field

Earlier this month, DEL and Thrive by Five Washington began the second year of field testing Seeds to Success, our state’s quality rating and improvement system. This voluntary system is designed to support licensed child care providers in improving the quality of child care they offer children and families. The quality standards being measured in Seeds have been modified based on what we learned in the first year of the field test. Five communities – Thrive demonstration communities East Yakima and White Center; and Spokane, Clark and Kitsap counties – are participating in the pilot.

Check out the good things that are happening at two Seeds sites.

White Center:
One family home child care provider has worked with her Seeds to Success coach to involve families more in her child care program. Early in the Seeds program she hosted her first “Family Night,” which included information about her programming, a presentation by the children and a family/child mural painting activity. The success of family night prompted the provider to look for other opportunities to engage families. She created a monthly parent packet of resources related to her lesson plans, including vocabulary words in English and Spanish, lyrics for songs and poems, child goals and activity ideas for families to use at home. She set a goal to hold parent conferences for the first time and looked to her coach for ideas and support. Together they brainstormed the relevant topics to include, talked about how to bring up challenging situations and worked on incorporating information from child developmental observations into the conferences. The coach and provider role-played the conference experience to increase the provider’s confidence level.

One program site is seeing the impact of Seeds to Success on all of their preschool classrooms. If one teacher receives training and coaching, she eagerly shares the information with her colleagues. And parents are noticing the enthusiasm! One parent commented to the child care director that interactions between staff and children had changed. What had happened? The director was able to share her center’s involvement with Seeds to Success and all that her staff had learned.

Visit to see the updated Seeds quality standards and to learn more about the second year of the field test.

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