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Message from the Deputy Assistant Secretary Libby Doggett

                                                                         Welcome   to 2015!  My team (at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oel/oeldirector.html">ED and HHS) and I look forward to working   with you to make this year an exciting one for our youngest children and their   families.  Rather than predictions for 2015 we have eight resolutions:

1.    Arne predicted that more than 60,000   additional children will enroll in high-quality early learning programs,   including 33,000 children through the 18 newly-awarded http://www2.ed.gov/programs/preschooldevelopmentgrants/index.html">Preschool Development Grants.  We will   work to exceed this number.

2.    We will work with the 20 http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge/index.html">Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC)   States to increase the number of highly-rated early learning programs and the   number of children in such settings—and to tell the story of the https://elc.grads360.org/#program/annual-performance-reports">success of RTT-ELC.

3.    We will work with our colleagues at ED   through the new P-3 http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/index.html">early learning school turn around model,   through our guidance to other programs, and through our leader, Secretary   Duncan, to embed early learning at the foundation for education success.

4.    This year, a new National Academies http://www.iom.edu/Activities/Children/BirthToEight.aspx">consensus study on the early childhood   workforce – funded by ED, HHS, and philanthropy – will provide us with more   answers on what educators need to know and be able to do.  We commit to   getting the findings from this report out far and wide

5.    We will work with https://investinus.org/">Invest in US, the new initiative created by   the bipartisan non-profit http://ffyf.org/">First Five Years Fund in partnership with   private philanthropic leaders, to continue to generate https://investinus.org/assets/Invest-in-Us-Commitments_webfinal1.pdf">new private funding to expand the reach and   enhance the quality of early education for thousands of additional children –   $340.7 million and counting!

6.    We resolve to work with the 29 states   supported through RTT-ELC or the http://www2.ed.gov/programs/eag/awards.html">Enhanced Assessments Grants to implement https://elc.grads360.org/services/PDCService.svc/GetPDCDocumentFile?fileId=5919">Kindergarten Entry Assessments (KEAs) to   effectively implement these developmentally appropriate tools to help with   the transition from the early years to elementary school and improve   instruction for young children.

7.    We will work with the Administration and   Congress to include preschool as a part of a reauthorized http://www.ed.gov/blog/2015/01/opportunity-is-not-optional-secretary-duncans-vision-for-americas-landmark-education-law/">ESEA.

8.    We will work to keep early learning as a http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/10/fact-sheet-invest-us-white-house-summit-early-childhood-education">Presidential priority.

We know our country’s future prosperity depends upon ensuring   all our young learners are prepared for school and life. You have all played   a big part in this movement to date, and we want to work with you to make   2015 and even better year than 2014.  Let’s get started.

Preschool for All

        Secretary   Duncan Calls Education Law to Include Preschool

Secretary Arne Duncan laid out a bold vision for the nation’s   landmark education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in   a http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/americas-educational-crossroads-making-right-choice-our-children%E2%80%99s-future">speech this week in Washington, D.C. “I   believe that every single child deserves the opportunity for a strong start   in life through high-quality preschool, and expanding those opportunities   must be part of ESEA.”  On the 50th anniversary of the introduction of   the ESEA bill, he called for a new law that will work to ensure strong   opportunities for all students, and protect the most vulnerable. Read more http://www.ed.gov/blog/2015/01/opportunity-is-not-optional-secretary-duncans-vision-for-americas-landmark-education-law/">here.

RTT-ELC: Program Spotlight and Technical Assistance



Georgia Introduces Resources to Support the Georgia Early   Learning and Development Standards (GELDS).

http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge/applications/2013-georgia.pdf">Georgia launched a series of television   spots to increase awareness about the http://www.gelds.decal.ga.gov/">Georgia Early Learning and Development Standards   (GELDS). Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL)   collaborated with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) to produce the   twelve-spot series called http://www.youtube.com/GeorgiaELDS">“Play to Learn.” Each spot focuses on a   different skill outlined in the GELDS. Georgia is also implementing a plan to   support the state’s young dual language learners through a http://decal.ga.gov/Prek/DualLanguageLearners.aspx">partnership with WIDA. Georgia adopted   WIDA’s Early English Language and Development Standards (E-ELDS) and will   provide a GELDS/E-ELDS crosswalk resource to early childhood educators.

Early Learning at ED

        New   Guidance for English Learners

The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ)   recently released joint guidance reminding states, school districts and   schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner   students have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to   achieve their full academic potential. Read more http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-el-201501.pdf">here.  

A new toolkit to help school districts identify English learner   students, including preschool-age children, prepared by the Education   Department’s Office of English Language Acquisition. Read more http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/eltoolkitchap1.pdf">here.  

The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ)   recently released joint guidance reminding states, school districts and   schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner   students have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to   achieve their full academic potential. Read more http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-el-201501.pdf">here.  

A new toolkit to help school districts identify English learner   students, including preschool-age children, prepared by the Education   Department’s Office of English Language Acquisition. Read more http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/eltoolkitchap1.pdf">here.  

        The   Office of Special Education Programs in the US Department of Education provides   funding to parent centers through competitive grants to non-profit   organizations.  This year, forty-one http://www2.ed.gov/programs/oseppic/applicant.html#84328m">Parent Training and Information Centers will   be funded throughout the United States and territories. 

International News

        International   Initiative

Although cultural practices may differ, promotion of child   development, health, and education is of central interest to all societies.   FPG works to generate and share knowledge that will contribute to the   well-being of children and families around the world. As an internationally   known institute for child development research, FPG engages in projects with   child development scientists and practitioners in other countries.  Read   more http://fpg.unc.edu/emphasis-area/international-initiative">here.

Federal Agencies at Work

        Healthier   School Day: Tools for Schools offers topic-specific policy   and resource materials to assist schools in meeting the new nutrition   standards. Refer to the latest regulations, find free nutrition education   curricula, or get ideas for adding tasty, kid-friendly foods to enhance your   school meals program.  Read more http://www.fns.usda.gov/healthierschoolday/tools-schools">here.

        Smithsonian   Kids

From Art to Zoo, the Smithsonian has something to interest kids   and students of all ages. Begin your Smithsonian adventure by visiting some   of the websites http://www.si.edu/kids">here.

dept of justice  

Defending Childhood Protect Heal Thrive

AG's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence

        The Attorney   General's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence has released   their final report and recommendations. To read the full report click http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/defendingchildhood/cev-rpt-full.pdf">here.

Teachers can play a critical role in preventing and reducing the   impact of exposure to violence on children. They can help children by   creating a predictable environment, listening to students' stories, and   assuring children and adolescents that whatever happened was not their fault.   Specific ways to help children exposed to violence include knowing and   watching for signs of possible exposure to violence. Tips for teachers, read   more http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/defendingchildhood/legacy/2011/09/19/tips-teachers.pdf">here.

        Children   Are Not Little Adults

They are often more likely to be at risk from environmental   hazards because of unique activity patterns/behavior, physiological   differences, and windows of susceptibility during early life stages including   fetal development and puberty.  Read more http://www2.epa.gov/children/children-are-not-little-adults">here.  http://www2.epa.gov/children/early-life-stages">Early Life   Stages:  Childhood should be viewed as a sequence of life   stages, from birth through infancy and adolescence. When assessing early life   risks, consideration is given to risks resulting from fetal exposure via the   pregnant mother, as well as postnatal exposures. Read more http://www2.epa.gov/children/early-life-stages">here.

Research and Reports

        New in   ERIC: "I Love My Work But..." The Professionalization of Early   Childhood Education

There are two separate but related issues that have challenged   advocates, researchers and practitioners in the field of early education and   care work for decades: improving the quality of children's programs and   increasing the wages and benefits of the workers. The solution has been   framed as a need for professionalizing the workforce--professional   development training, higher education and enhanced skills. While seeking   professional status is expected to improve the quality of childcare programs   and worker compensation, the relationship between quality, compensation and   professional development training has not been fully explored. Through   in-depth interviews with 32 early childhood educators the author explored the   relationship between educational qualifications and experience, with teacher   pay and conditions of employment.  To read the full text of the study,   please click http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1043494">here.

Resources You Can Use

        2014 was   a busy year for http://www.nhsa.org/">The National Head Start Association (NHSA),   from the Head Start photo exhibit making its way from Maine to California, to   the National’s Racing Presidents kicking off Nike Go Smart on the lawn of the   U.S. Capitol, to President Obama’s shout out to thousands of Head Start   parents gathered in New Orleans for the NHSA Annual Parent Conference. To   kick off 2015, NHSA will hold its annualhttp://www.nhsa.org/?e=events.detail&event_id=169"> Winter Leadership Institute, where key   thought leaders will lead sessions, panels, and discussions on the most   important policy issues facing the Early Learning community.

        About   Early Intervention Why intervene Early?

There are three primary reasons for intervening early with an   exceptional child:  to enhance the child’s development, to provide   support and assistance to the family, and to maximize the child’s and   family’s benefit to society.  To learn more, click http://ideainfanttoddler.org/about-early-intervention.php">here.

        In   December, the Early Education Initiative at New America released http://www.edcentral.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2014.12.17_NA_AfterWinning_Report_v3.pdf">After Winning, Then What? An Inside Look at Four   Winners of Federal Early Education Grant Competitions. This brief   includes an overview of four competitive grant programs that impact early   education: Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge, Investing in   Innovation, Promise Neighborhoods, and the Social Innovation Fund.

        NAEYC   Starts the New Year with a New Strategic Direction

The http://www.mmsend50.com/link.cfm?r=1795220574&sid=62581560&m=8399952&u=NAEYC&j=24799392&s=http://www.naeyc.org">National Association for the Education of Young   Children (NAEYC) has unveiled its new and bold Strategic Direction   – one that positions NAEYC as a leader, convener, and partner in the early   learning community. The new http://www.mmsend50.com/link.cfm?r=1795220574&sid=62504301&m=8399952&u=NAEYC&j=24799392&s=http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/NAEYC_Strategic_Direction_2014.pdf">Strategic Direction reaffirms that NAEYC’s   work will center around the collective vision for all young children to   thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full   potential.

        ECEC   Releases High-Quality Community Early Care and Education Programs: An   Essential Support for the Workforce of Today and Tomorrow

ECEC has released a white paper, High-Quality Community Early   Care and Education Programs: An Essential Support for the Workforce of Today   and Tomorrow, that examines the critical role these programs play within the   early childhood program landscape. Affordable access to high-quality   Community Early Care and Education Programs remains at the core of successful   early childhood state systems that involve a range of programs, including   Early Head Start and Head Start, state prekindergarten, and home visiting   that operate within various settings, such as community programs and schools.   The paper is available http://www.ececonsortium.org/">here.

        Parents of young children with disabilities   face additional challenges to help their children learn and thrive.    Parent centers in every state help parents learn more about the nature of   their children’s disabilities and their rights under the Individuals with   Disabilities Education Act.  Parents can find the parent center that   serves them at the Center for Parent Information and Resources http://www.parentcenterhub.org/">here at http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/">find your center, where they can also find a   landing page with links to resources on http://www.parentcenterhub.org/priority-earlylearning/">evidence based practices  that improve   early learning. 

        Save the   Date: Webinar on Evaluating Early Childhood Educators

Save the Date: Tuesday, January 27th from 3:00-4:30 ET, for   CEELO’s upcoming Webinar with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at the   American Institutes for Research, on http://ceelo.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/ceelo_products_grl_guide_ec_supplement.pdf">Evaluating Early Childhood Educators:   PrekindergartenThrough Third Grade, a Supplement to the Practical Guide   to Designing Comprehensive Educator Evaluation Systems

Enhancing Leadership

As part of TA efforts to enhance leadership at the state level,   CEELO participated in and hosted the inaugural meeting of the CEELO   Leadership Academy , a http://ceelo.org/tools-to-support-principals-as-evaluators-of-early-childhood-teachers-webinar/">webinar on Tools to Support   Principals as Evaluators of Early Childhood Education Teachers, and   working with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders to develop   a webinar for next year on http://www.gtlcenter.org/products-resources/evaluating-early-childhood-educators-prekindergarten-through-third-grade">Evaluating Early Childhood Educators: Prekindergarten   Through Third Grade, a Supplement to the Practical Guide to Designing   Comprehensive Educator Evaluation Systems.

Tools to support principals as evaluators of early childhood   education teachers

CEELO, in collaboration with the Great Lakes and Midwest   Comprehensive Centers, sponsored this http://ceelo.org/tools-to-support-principals-as-evaluators-of-early-childhood-teachers-webinar/">webinar for state and local leaders in   Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Professional Learning Academy: Supporting District   Implementation of Early

Childhood Policy

A new CEELO http://ceelo.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ceelo_fast_fact_ec_academy.pdf">FastFact describes the Professional   Learning Academy in NJ. The goal is to build a community of practice among   New Jersey school districts to provide support in their understanding of   critical topics and their application to early childhood. The Academy   provides an opportunity for districts to come together to discuss these   critical topics guided by literature, expert presentations, district   presentations, and facilitated discussions across and within districts.

Considering Inclusion Practices in QRIS (FastFact)
  A new http://ceelo.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/ceelo_fast_fact_qris_inclusion.pdf">FastFact from CEELO, QRIS and   Inclusion: Do State QRIS Standards Support the Learning Needs of All   Children? reviews which states accommodate children with special needs   in their quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), and highlights states   with exceptional inclusion practices.

        A new   theme issue of http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/08852006">Early Childhood Research Quarterly co-edited   by Mathematica senior fellow Kimberly Boller, Stacie Goffin (Goffin   Strategy Group), and Steve Barnett at the National Institute for   Early Education Research, looks at QRIS’s range of purposes and   effectiveness as a change agent. The issue includes an http://links.mkt3889.com/ctt?kn=19&ms=MTAxNzY0MTIS1&r=MTU0MDAwNzMzNAS2&b=0&j=NDQxMzQ2MjAxS0&mt=1&rt=0">opening commentary assessesing the   state of QRIS and suggests two additional policy approaches to increase the   availability of consistently strong early childhood education programs for   young children.

        Get   Ready to Read! is designed to support educators, parents, and young children   in the development of early literacy skills in the years before kindergarten.   Intended for use with all children, the resources and information provided on   this site promote skill-building, communication between adults, and ways to   address concerns.  Read more http://www.getreadytoread.org/">here.  



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