New Director Mentor Initiative

March 12–14, 2019
Los Angeles, CA

Head Start directors who have been in their positions for less than three years can apply now for the PMFO-UCLA New Director Mentor Initiative (NDMI). Directors will have a unique chance to expand their knowledge and practice through a one-year mentor-mentee relationship with an effective and experienced Head Start director.

The NDMI Process

Mentors and mentees will also participate in a reflective, interactive three-day intensive Leadership and Management Training Institute at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Travel and per diem will be provided. In addition to pre- and post-Institute online learning opportunities, mentor-mentee partners will be able to take advantage of periodic one-on-one interactive skill-building sessions.

NDMI benefits directors who seek professional and personal development, individualized learning opportunities, and expanded networks. Past NDMI participants have reported enhanced performance and career development, overall career satisfaction, and greater self-esteem at work.

Topics for the Initiative

As a result of the PMFO-UCLA mentor-mentee relationship, new Head Start directors will:

  • Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset: Increase ability to plan, lead, and control effective delivery of comprehensive services
  • Make Decisions Based on Data to Plan Program Operations: Allow for critical thinking and mission-driven planning
  • Stay Open: Remain curious, ask questions, defer judgment, and seek out diverse perspectives
  • Engage and Inspire: Listen well, build teams, create allies, develop talent, and offer your best
  • Learn and Grow: Reflect often, share insights, push boundaries, and raise the bar continuously

Target Audience

This initiative will benefit Head Start directors who have been in their positions for three years or less.

How to Apply

Selected participants will be announced on Jan. 11, 2019.

Questions?

To learn more, contact Jeanette Boom at jeanette.boom@anderson.ucla.edu.

NDMI is offered by the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations (PMFO), in partnership with UCLA’s Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

Feedback Requested: Research Connections Survey

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Dear Colleagues:

The Child Care and Early Education Research Connections project will be ending in a few months after many years of supporting the evidence base for child care and early education research, policy, and practice. The Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) early care and education (ECE) data sets will remain accessible through Research Connections until March 2019; they will then be accessible through a new ECE Archive at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. ACF is considering options and ideas for access to the other resources at Research Connections, and we would appreciate your response to a survey on these resources that can be found on this website.

We anticipate that the survey will take 5 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for taking time to share your thoughts with us!

Tracy Carter Clopet, Ph.D.
Contract Social Science Research Analyst
Business Strategy Consultants
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Email: tracy.clopet@acf.hhs.gov

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Early Childhood and Medicaid: Opportunities for Partnering

Nemours is excited to release its new “Early Childhood and Medicaid: Opportunities for Partnering” paper. The paper explains how the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs function to practitioners in the early childhood (EC) sector. The paper also explores how partnerships between the ECE sector and Medicaid and CHIP can be formed to lessen the impacts of social determinants of health on child health outcomes. This work was funded in part by the Alliance for Early Success.

Nemours is currently working with several states to improve coordination between the EC sector and Medicaid and CHIP programs. Our experience has taught us that state EC advocates and policy makers need additional information on how to partner with the state agencies that insure millions of low-income children. In this paper, we have identified strategies for engaging Medicaid and CHIP staff around child outcomes and present examples of successful partnerships. While Medicaid and CHIP programs are focused on their core mission of providing health coverage, partnering and having them at the table can help ensure that scarce resources from both sectors are coordinated in support of children’s overall well-being.

Source: Nemours

Job Opening – Child Care Program Specialist, GS-0101-13—Washington, D.C.

Are you seeking a challenging job working alongside a collaborative team of people with a variety of backgrounds to achieve a common goal of enhancing children’s health and safety? If so, then the Office of Child Care (OCC), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, is the place for you.

OCC is pleased to announce this Child Care Program Specialist (GS-0101-13) job opening. This person will serve as a subject-matter expert and policy lead to assist in implementing comprehensive background check requirements for child care staff, a requirement included in the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014. The Specialist will work to enhance in-state and interstate access for state, territory, and tribal grantees to a variety of federal and state criminal background check components as well as state child abuse and neglect registries. The Specialist will work with federal, state, county, and external stakeholders to eliminate barriers and to develop innovative and viable options for the interstate exchange of information needed to meet the background check requirements. These innovations have the potential of developing and meeting the needs of a variety of vulnerable populations.

OCC supports low-income working families through child care financial assistance and promotes children’s learning by improving the quality of early care and education and afterschool programs.

We encourage eligible applicants to apply. Please share this e-mail with potential qualified candidates. You may view the announcement now via this Web link and apply beginning on Wednesday, October 10.

Child Care Program Specialist, GS-0101-13—Washington, D.C.

  • Open Date:Wednesday, October 10, 2018
  • Closing Date:Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Announcement Link

The job announcement link is as follows: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/511495300 (DE); the job announcement number is HHS-ACF-DE-18-10291427.

Note: This vacancy announcement will close upon receipt of the first 150 applications or by the closing date, whichever occurs first.

Are You an Early Childhood Special Educator? Invitation to join dissertation study on staff health and wellness

Study Purpose: The purpose of this study is to enhance our understanding of wellbeing of early childhood special education teachers and their experiences in the field as well as your profile on certain positive psychology variables (e.g., wellbeing, mental health, and workplace satisfaction). 

Who can participate?
If you: 

  • Are an early childhood special education teacher serving children 3 years to 8 years old 
  • Hold a special education and early childhood licensure from one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia
  • Teach in early childhood special education in preschool settings (push in our pull out/ public and non-public setting

You can participate! 

Why should I participate?
By participating, you have the opportunity to share your experience. You will help people better understand early childhood special education teacher’s wellbeing. 

What can I expect if I participate?
There are two parts to this study: 

  1. Survey: A 20-minute survey will ask about (1) demographic information (2) individual profile on teacher and general well-being scales and then a career wellbeing scale and (3) profile of mental health symptoms (depression and anxiety inventories) 
  2. Interview: If chosen a one-hour interview will be conducted at a place of your choice.

 The consent form will provide you with more information about what to expect. 

Consent & Confidentiality:
Participation is voluntary, and you will complete a consent form. Consent can be withdrawn at any time without penalty. All information obtained is strictly confidential. Please see the consent form for additional information about risks to confidentiality. 

About the researcher:
Heather Walter is a doctoral student in special education at George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is interested in learning about early childhood special education teacher’s wellbeing. The dissertation is titled: Exploring early childhood education teacher’s wellbeing through a multidimensional framework: A Mixed Methods Study.

For additional information contact: Heather Walter: hwalter@gwu.edu or (585) 451-6043 

Engaging Families of Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities: Strategies to Enhance Your Practice

Wednesday, July 6th 2 – 3:30

Presenters: Amanda Schwartz, Ph.D. and Lorelei Pisha, Ed.D.

This session is sponsored by the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education.

 

Engaging families can be a challenge, particularly if their infant or toddler has a disability or may show signs of developmental delay. Families of children with disabilities are often deluged by service providers and advice from early intervention teams, therapists, doctors, and other professionals. However, strong relationships between program staff and families are an essential component of effectively including infants and toddlers with disabilities in programs. Join this session to learn strategies for enhancing family engagement practices for your program as well as your staff’s confidence in building culturally responsive partnerships with families of the infants and toddlers with disabilities included in your program.

Participants will learn:

1) The every day context for families of infants and toddlers with disabilities

2) Strategies for enhancing program systems to support and engage families of infants and toddlers with disabilities

3) Professional development strategies to enhance staff’s competence and confidence in talking with infants and toddlers with disabilities

All sessions are 1.5 hours long, and include a brief announcement from our sponsor.

Register at: https://www.earlychildhoodwebinars.com/presentations/engaging-families-infants-toddlers-disabilities-strategies-enhance-practice-amanda-schwartz-lorelei-pisha/

 

Policy and Advocacy Team: Call for Team Leader

One of the most powerful tools DEC has is the ability to use our collective voice to advocate for young children with disabilities and their families. To that end, the DEC Policy and Advocacy Team helps to develop DEC’s policy recommendations to ensure that proposed legislation, regulations, and documents from the US Departments of Education and Human Services increase opportunities for all young children including children with disabilities and their families.
The Policy and Advocacy Team functions as a necessary and significant arm of the DEC Executive Office, focusing DEC’s policy and advocacy efforts by working collaboratively with the DEC Executive Office Leadership, the DEC Governmental Relations Consultant, and the Children’s Action Network (CAN) Coordinator. Division for Early Childhoods Teams are officially recognized bodies of DEC members who are supported by the DEC Executive Office. Teams reflect the formal positions of the Division for Early Childhood and participate in developing, maintaining, and evolving strategies and initiatives that are critical and center to supporting DEC’s mission and beliefs.
CAN supports DEC’s mission by encouraging members to take action on legislation and issues that already have been endorsed by DEC/CEC or issues that DEC/CEC have already provided recommendations about. The Governmental Relations Consultant and the Executive Director develop and sustain relationships with national organizations, agencies, and governmental entities.
The Policy and Advocacy Team ensures DEC has a seat at the table with important stakeholders and will provide CAN with the tools needed to engage in effective advocacy. The Team also ensures a proactive stance in the drafting of policy and legislative recommendations and issue briefs; suggests updates to the DEC policy webpages as appropriate; supports the dissemination of policy and advocacy specific information; and assists in planning DEC policy and advocacy events and resources (including policy/advocacy specific actions at the annual national conference).
                                                                                          
At this time, DEC is seeking a new Policy and Advocacy Team Leader to continue the important work of planning and supporting DEC policy and advocacy activities.
Source: Division of Early Childhood, Council for Exceptional Children

NOW HIRING: INTERNS (Obama Foundation)

The Obama Foundation is looking to hire a diverse cohort of passionate, mission-oriented, and qualified interns to serve in our Chicago and D.C. offices. This internship is open to current undergraduate and graduate students who are eligible to work in the United States.

We believe our interns will become some of the world’s most valuable leaders in varying capacities. Our hope is that this internship can provide interns with exposure to diverse models of leadership and practical work experience, especially for those who might not otherwise get them.

The Fall 2018 internship will run for 14 weeks beginning on September 4, 2018 and ending on December 7, 2018. For students on the quarter system, the internship will run from September 17, 2018 to December 21, 2018. Interns will be required to work 40 hours a week in either our Chicago or Washington, D.C. office.

The application opened on April 23, 2018 at 9AM CT and will close on May 14, 2018 at 5PM CT. We will not accept late applications.

If you are a law student interested in an internship in the Office of the General Counsel at the Obama Foundation for the Spring 2019 term, click here.

To ensure you get all the information you need in a timely manner, we encourage you to read our FAQ page before reaching out with questions.

What do interns do?

We are looking for interns who have excellent time management and organizational skills, are strong writers and researchers, and are eager to work in a fast-paced office environment. Interns will play a key role in providing departments at the Obama Foundation with the administrative, logistical, and operational assistance needed to execute their work. To learn more, check out our department descriptions here.

Who can apply?

Current full-time or part-time undergraduate and graduate students eligible to work in the United States are welcome to apply. The Foundation is committed to recruiting a diverse cohort of interns and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Foundation does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, creed, national origin, citizenship status, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, ancestry, genetic information, military service, veteran status, or any other protected category under local, state, or federal law. We encourage qualified persons of all backgrounds to apply. If you are a qualified candidate with a disability, please contact us at interns@obama.org if you require a reasonable accommodation to complete this application.

The Foundation will provide interns with a stipend and reimbursements for a portion of the expenses directly related to their internship. Please note the Foundation will not provide relocation or housing assistance.

Completing the application

Please note that as you fill out your application, you will not be able to save your responses or return to them before submitting. If you’d like to take more than one session to work on your answers, please download the Application Worksheet to draft your application responses offline. Please note you will still have to enter your answers into the application before the deadline.

Source: The Obama Foundation

Available at: https://www.obama.org/internship/

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD: Power to the Profession Task Force’s Decision Cycles 3-5

Unifying and strengthening the early childhood workforce may be the single most important step towards closing the opportunity/achievement gap. The Foundation for Child Development has committed its energies and resources towards professionalization of the early childhood field, improving the quality of professional practice, and enhancing early childhood teacher preparation.

In 2000, the National Research Council’s Eager to Learn: Educating Our Preschoolers report and the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) From Neurons to Neighborhood: The Science of Early Childhood Development report gave the early childhood field its scientific foundation and the standards for high-quality teacher preparation. We also support the long-term vision and teacher competencies proposed by the 2015 IOM report, Transforming the Workforce for Children from Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation. Moving forward, the Foundation has positioned the research base and recommendations from these landmark reports at the center of our 100-plus years of funding research into the care and education that all children need for a strong start in life.

The Foundation’s support of Power to Profession was spurred by the 2015 IOM report and the vision it articulated. We acknowledge both the importance and difficulty of asking the initiative’s Task Force to do what has never been accomplished in the early childhood field: Envision a unified, diverse, well-prepared, appropriately compensated workforce and determine the competencies and qualifications early childhood professionals must have at every level of practice in order to guarantee that all children have equal access to high-quality early care and education. Recognizing that increasing competencies and qualifications among a diverse workforce would require an equitable pathway for professional development, and the compensation that must come with it, the Foundation also funded the 2018 National Academies’ Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education report that outlines a financing framework and funding strategy based on increased competencies while also retaining diversity in our workforce.

Therefore, we view Power to the Profession’s work as framed by these seminal reports, which emphasized what works for all children and developed a vision that demands equal access to high-quality care and education, access that begins each day in the arms of qualified professionals across every community, not just for those who can afford the best for their children.

THE TASK FORCE’S PURPOSE.

The work of the initiative’s Task Force is an opportunity for social and systemic transformation that cannot be squandered. It is within this context that we strongly believe that the draft recommendations in Decision Cycles 3-5 fail to seize the moment to look beyond the systemic and fiscal constraints of the present. Instead, we urge the Task Force to envision what could be and embrace what educators do best by setting higher professional standards that lead all children to better school and life outcomes.

The question today is not whether quality early childhood education works, but rather how we can make it work for all children and for all early childhood educators.

Much has been done over the past decade to convince policymakers and the public of a fundamental truth: High-quality early care and education is the vehicle of social mobility, the accelerator of better education, health, social, and economic outcomes for children and our nation.

Our charge is to close the opportunity gap that too many children and families in our society experience due to lack of access to quality early care and education. The reality is that children in the greatest need deserve early care and education provided by professionals with the highest qualifications — yet they are least likely to get them. A diverse group of competent, qualified, and fairly compensated early childhood professionals, working in every community, is a force that can eliminate the gap and lift an entire generation out of poverty to make sure that each child — regardless of the zip code in which they live — has a clear path to their full potential.

We must see the early childhood workforce as the engine of positive social and economic change that it can be. We cannot be satisfied with the status quo. We cannot be so constrained by the present realities that we cannot envision a new and better reality for children, families, and the profession of early childhood educators.

The time is now. Parents, stretched to the breaking point between their aspirations for their children and what they can afford to provide, demand something better. That demand can be harnessed to drive greater public investment, but only if early childhood educators leverage the trust that parents have in their work and their professional knowledge and skill. We have a golden opportunity to deliver a vision of and transition towards a professional structure that elevates a diverse workforce while providing uniform access to high-quality care and education for all children.

The Task Force’s vision, as currently drafted in Decision Cycles 3-5, will fail to accomplish these big but necessary goals.

We cannot have progress without change. The draft document settles for the low bar of the status quo — which further perpetuates the reality that both the quality of children’s early childhood experiences and the compensation for early childhood professionals are highly dependent on the settings in which they are enrolled or work.

In its current form, the document does not describe a clear strategy to incentivize and facilitate upward mobility across professional roles in the profession. It does not provide specific individual competencies that would describe what early childhood professionals should know and be able to do across professional roles. Nor does the current iteration of the document ensure that all children and families have access to competent professionals across all settings at every stage of early childhood education and care.

DECISION CYCLES 3-5 SET THE BAR TOO LOW…

For more: https://www.fcd-us.org/power-to-the-profession/

Source: 

New Study Brings Insight into Parental Choices in Early Education

Over the past several decades, the number of young children enrolled in formal, center-based early childhood education, which can include Head Start, state-funded pre-K, and private child care programs, has grown dramatically. For example, while only 23 percent of four-year-olds were enrolled in formal early learning programs in 1968, that number increased to 65 percent in 2000 and 70 percent in 2012. State-funded pre-K programs now exist in 43 states and serve 1.5 million children, an all-time high, including 32 percent of the nation’s four-year-olds.

Growth in this sector has led to a heightened urgency in understanding why parents choose certain education settings over others for their children. Already, there have been a large number of studies examining which families choose to enroll their children in center-based early learning programs as opposed to home-based settings. However, there is a surprising lack of research available about how parents make decisions about choosing among options within the formal sector of Head Start, state-funded pre-K, and private child care programs.

It’s important to understand how and why parents choose one type of center-based care over others because the type of program chosen can have an impact on overall child and family well-being. For example, Head Start and state-funded pre-K programs have generally been shown to be of higher quality than private child care centers, likely because these programs face more stringent regulations than private centers. However, there are benefits to private centers that often lead families to choose them, such as the fact that they generally offer longer, more flexible hours that are attractive to working parents. As states increasingly look to help parents navigate the wide variety of early education choices available to them, it’s important to gain a better understanding of what parents look for in a provider and how they go about searching for an ideal fit for their needs.

In a new study, researchers from the University of Virginia attempt to fill the research gap about how low-income parents make choices within the formal early education sector. The researchers selected 80 early education programs that primarily served four-year-olds across five Louisiana parishes (counties) during the 2014-2015 school year. Researchers included programs to participate if they received some public funding, meaning Head Start, state pre-K, and private child care centers that received subsidies were included. Within each program, one classroom was randomly selected and parents of enrolled students were asked to respond to surveys about various aspects of their search for an early learning program. In all, about 1,300 low-income parents completed the survey.

Overall, the survey responses suggest that parents had similar views about what aspects of a program are most important, regardless of which setting their child was in, but they reported vastly different experiences about the search for a program itself.

Parents across all three types of settings agreed that the following features are the most important when selecting an early education program: that the program builds academic skills, offers a clean and safe environment, and provides teachers who respond warmly to children. Parents weighed these features as more important than more practical considerations, such as the convenience of the program’s hours and even its affordability.

But it’s in the search process itself where the researchers observed meaningful differences by setting. For example, parents seeking private child care were over three times as likely to use ads or the internet to aid them in their search compared to Head Start and state pre-K parents. Perhaps most importantly, child care parents searched more, considered more alternatives, and found the search process more difficult than other parents. Child care parents were also less likely to report that they enrolled in their top choice compared to other parents surveyed.

Why is the search process more difficult for parents who choose private child care? The survey didn’t allow the researchers to answer this question, but they do offer a few possible explanations. It could be that child care parents had more limited options as a result of having income that was slightly too high to qualify for Head Start or state pre-K. It’s also possible that child care parents were eligible and did apply for Head Start or state pre-K, but were turned away due to limited supply and had to continue in their search.

The report acknowledges that more research is needed to better understand why families in child care settings found their search more challenging, but the researchers say that one place policymakers could look to for lessening the burden for parents is a state’s Quality Rating and Improvement System. The researchers suggest that refined QRIS’s that offer parents streamlined, easy-to-understand information about early education programs in their area are likely to facilitate better and easier decision-making on the part of parents. For example, Louisiana recently unveiled an online tool that provides parents with performance profiles for early education programs.

The fact that child care parents found the search process difficult and were less likely to enroll in their top choice is significant. Due to the substantial increase in funding for CCDBG included in the recent budget agreement, the Center for Law and Social Policy estimates over 150,000 additional children will receive child care subsidies to be used at child care centers. While this expansion of access to care and education is welcome news, it also means a large increase in the number of parents engaged in the search for a quality program. Understanding parents’ motivations and frustrations can help programs and policymakers provide information necessary to ease the burdens on parents searching for a quality early education program.

Source: New America

Available at: https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/edcentral/new-study-brings-insight-parental-choices-early-education/