Thursday, July 21, 2016

Eleven Community-based Organizations Receive Federal Funding

Eleven programs were awarded funding from the Community Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) federal funding source for the 2016/2017 fiscal year.
“This year’s recipients serve hundreds of Washington families,” said Greg Williamson, Assistant Director at the Washington State Department of Early Learning. “These community organizations ensure that families have the social and emotional tools they need to keep their children healthy and safe.”
Each grantee organization offers services to support some, if not all, of Strengthening Families Protective Factor Framework:

·         Knowledge of parenting and child development,
·         Social connections,
·         Parental resiliency,
·         Concrete support in times of need and
·         Social and emotional competence of children/nurturing and attachment.

The programs awarded serve low income families, provide educational support services, match children with special needs to services, aid homeless families, promote prevention of child maltreatment and more.

This year’s recipients include:
·         Parent Trust for Washington Children, King County*
·         Ukrainian Community Center of Washington, King County*
·         Families Together for People with Disabilities, Whitman County*
·         American Indian Community Center, Spokane*
·         First Step Family Support Center, Clallam County
·         Housing Hope, Snohomish County
·         South Sound Parent to Parent, Thurston County
·         Perinatal Support of Washington, King, Grays Harbor, Pierce and Yakima Counties
·         San Juan Island Family Resource Center, San Juan County

*Denotes first-year program grantee.

For more information on CBCAP and grantees, visit Strengthening Families Washington, or see go here: 2016/2017 Grantees

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

DEL's Early Achievers Validation Study Results are In!

Conducted by the University of Washington in partnership with DEL, the purpose of the Early Achievers Standards Validation Study was to examine how Early Achievers’ quality standards are related to outcomes for children, and to help inform potential adjustments to the Early Achievers quality rating and improvement system. 

More about the study:
·        Only a handful of states have attempted this kind of evaluation. Washington is once again leading the nation!
·        The sample size is  approximately 100 sites and 761 children ages 8 months to 71 months.
·        Data for this evaluation were collected in 2014 and 2015.

·         Children from low income households start out, on average, performing lower than those in higher income families.

·         Infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children make greater gains in sites with higher-level Early Achievers ratings than in sites with lower ratings across a range of outcomes, including language and fine motor development, even after controlling for other factors that influence educational achievement.
·         Specific components of Early Achievers scoring show that we’re on the right track.
o   Measures of instructional support, classroom organization, and emotional support are associated with gains in language, early math, and early writing among pre-school children.
o   Measures of supportive learning environment are associated with gains in skills needed for language, cognitive, and social-emotional development among infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children.
·         A majority of teachers and directors participating in the evaluation reported being satisfied/very satisfied with the Early Achievers rating process, and most reported positive changes in program practices since enrollment in Early Achievers.

Recommendations for the future:
  • More professional development opportunities should be available, including professional development in supporting dual language learners, positive behavior supports (reduce expulsion) and support for provider well-being.
  • Continue to and increase support for implementation of research-based curricula including training and coaching to fidelity.
  • Environmental Rating Scale—improve the scoring system so that providers receive points for all eligible elements of quality.
  • Consider ways to streamline data collection and data entry in the Early Achievers rating process. Provide ongoing evaluation of Early Achievers and quality standards related to child outcomes.
You can find the entire study here: Early Achievers Standards Validation Study, and the Executive Summary here: Early Achievers Standards Validation Study Executive Summary.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Important New Early Learning System Rules

On Friday, July 1, 2016, the Department of Early Learning published a suite of “emergency” rules in order to implement components of the Early Start Act. The State calls these “emergency” rules because we weren’t able to go through our normal public process period prior to the ESA-mandated deadline of July 1, 2016. We’re using this administrative procedure to ensure families and children get access to the quality care and supports they need. These rules will only be in effect for 120 days.

What’s in these new rules? They address eligibility for state funded child care and support for families transitioning to self-sustainability. They also increase supports for providers with quality improvement awards, professional development, and increased reimbursement rates.

Our normal rule filing process was truncated due to two over-extended legislative sessions and a larger-than-average number of new rules to process. While not ideal, we were able to consult with stakeholders in advance of today’s filing, and will launch our normal public process on these same rules next week. After gathering feedback from the community we will be able to make changes, if necessary, to these rules without interrupting service for children. See below for the upcoming rule-making schedule.
  • July 6, 2016: DEL files proposed permanent rules (they will be found here).
  • July 20 – August 10, 2016: proposed rules are open for public comment.
  • August 9 & 10, 2016: DEL hosts public hearings on proposed rules.
With implementation of these new rules, DEL is continuing to build and support a high quality early learning system in Washington that will ensure all kids are ready for kindergarten.