Monday, April 19, 2010

DEL Parent Advisory Group: Informing early learning in Washington

The DEL Parent Advisory Group (PAG) met April 15 and 16 to give DEL input on policies and programs. This enthusiastic group contains individuals from around the state who represent families who use state services such as child care subsidies and our free preschool program, as well as diverse family structures such as grandparents raising children, foster parents and blended families. Click to learn more about the group.

A highlight for parents was a great conversation about strengthening early learning and building strong local programs with DEL Director Bette Hyde and state Representative Ruth Kagi (see photo, above right).

At last week’s meeting, members also provided valuable input on recommended changes to the family home child care rules. The group discussed how a child care provider can support young children in getting their needs met, helping them learn to get along with others, and preparing them for success in school, including:
  • How family home child care settings can support diversity: family traditions shared in the family child care home, as well as books, toys and foods that represent our diverse society. Exposing kids to multiple languages is a plus, too!
  • How child care providers can use enrollment time to learn about the child and the family, including learning about the child’s unique characteristics, strengths and needs.
  • Outdoor environments, health procedures, emergency preparedness, overnight care and screen time in family home settings.
This valuable input will be used in developing the family home licensing rules. Everyone can provide input to these rules by visiting the Rules Comment Page between now and the end of April.

With the generous support of our private partner, Thrive by Five Washington, the parents participated in two action-packed days at the DEL state office in Lacey. We appreciate our PAG’s wisdom, insight and honesty!

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