Research on the Positive Effects of Early Childhood Education

A study by Georgetown University and a study by the National Institutes of Health highlight the positive effects of high quality early childhood education. According to the research from Georgetown University, eighth graders who attended Oklahoma’s universal pre-K program as 4 year olds had higher math scores, were more likely to enroll in honor classes, and were less likely to repeat a grade than those who did not attend. In kindergarten, students who attended the program were nine months ahead in reading, seven months ahead in writing, and five months ahead in math, these effects were especially strong among English-language learners. The results of this study shows that the positive effects of a high quality pre-K program are evident as late as middle school.

In addition, high quality early childhood education has also been linked to college success. According to the research from the National Institutes of Health, children who participated in an intensive childhood education program in Chicago from preschool to third grade were more likely to get a college degree than their peers who did not. Children who attended the Child-Parent Centers program, which provides intensive instruction in reading and math, combined with frequent field trips from pre-kindergarten through third grade, were more likely as adults to achieve an associate’s degree of higher.

Children are born learning and have the innate capacity to succeed. Both studies show that how well children learn in the early years sets the stage for the rest of their lives and that the quality of children’s early childhood experiences affects how well they learn. We, as a society, must envision and implement an early learning agenda that begins at birth. The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute works to ensure access to excellence for ALL young children by working with early childhood organizations locally, across the state, and around the country to create and enhance comprehensive early childhood systems serving children from birth through age 8.

To learn more about the Institute’s work, click here.

Educational Spotlight on Pre-K Teacher

An article from the Observer features a spotlight on Ellen Foley, a Pre-K teacher at Fredonia Central School District. Ellen introduces her students to their first public school experience through play, exploration, and discovery. The classroom is interactive and full of independent play activities, class pets, puzzles, books, and objects to explore. Ellen greets her students with a smile and encourages them to be independent and responsible for their own belongings. She nurtures them to develop self-care skills. The Observer recognizes Ellen Foley as an Outstanding Educator for the Fredonia School District.

The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute believes in access to excellence for all of New York’s young children. A talented and highly qualified early childhood workforce made up of adults who are engaged, informed, and healthy, like Ellen Foley, better prepares children for school and life. New York Works for Children, staffed by the Institute, and the Early Childhood Advisory Council designed publications to support those who are engaged in the work of early childhood. The Core Body of Knowledge: New York State’s Core Competencies for Early Childhood Educators (CBK)  illustrates what early childhood educators need to know and be able to do. These competencies offer a road map for building meaningful relationships with children and families and creating a nurturing, stimulating environment. Ellen demonstrates these competencies through her interactive classroom and encouragement of children’s independence.

The New York State Early Learning Guidelines (ELG) is a comprehensive guide to the developmental milestones children attain between birth and age 5. The ELG supports early childhood professionals in making informed decisions about how best to support and promote children’s development and learning. Some sample strategies include providing opportunities for children to be responsible for their personal belongings such as hanging up their own jacket or providing opportunities for children to take care of living things including non-toxic plants and pets.  The Guidelines help teachers decide what cognitive skills children are ready to tackle.  Ellen promotes the development and learning of the children in her classroom by designing responsive classroom environments, by encouraging them, to be responsible for their own belongings and introducing them to class pets. Both of these publications help to ensure that the adults in children’s lives provide the nurturing support that is critical to a lifetime of health, happiness, participation and productivity.

If you are interested in in reading or purchasing these publications, click here

We congratulate Ellen for being recognized as an Outstanding Educator.

The Aspire Registry Winter Newsletter

The Aspire Registry team has released their winter newsletter. Since 2015, the Aspire Registry Newsletter has discussed the latest Registry news and events, and highlighted the work of New York professionals in the field of early childhood. The newsletter also provides information about useful resources and tips for early childhood professionals. The newsletter is distributed to over 25,000 Aspire Registry members, a number that continues to grow.

In the winter newsletter, the Aspire Registry shares possible New Year’s resolutions for its members. This includes trying something new in the classroom such as a different system for taking observations, learning something new through professional development trainings, and giving the classroom a new look. The Aspire Registry Team also shares information on coaching in early childhood and identifies the difference between coaching and training. In addition, the newsletter introduces Baby Malcom! He is the son of Louisa Higgins, Director at New York Works for Children. Malcom shares his ideas about what kids like and what makes them feel good.

To read the newsletter, click here.

Sesame Street in Communities: Caring and Responsive Engagement Program (C.A.R.E.)

The Institute is pleased to share the result of a recent project with the Sesame Workshop. Our Informal Family Child Care Project worked with Sesame Workshop to help them create a piece about informal (friend, family, and neighbor) caregivers for their Sesame Street in Communities (SSIC) initiative. SSIC provides short informative videos designed to support service providers who currently or endeavor to engage families and caregivers around a range of early learning topics and issues.

For this piece, SSIC focused on the Institute’s new Caring and Responsive Engagement Program (C.A.R.E.), which recruits and supports informal child care providers caring for children under 5 years old through group learning and individualized home-based coaching. The Program Coordinator of C.A.R.E., Zoraima Rosario-Rolón, shares strategies that informal providers can use to care for children more completely. To watch the video, click here.

The C.A.R.E. Program is generously supported by a grant from the New York Community Trust. We would also like to thank all of the staff, providers, and families who participated in the project and the video for sharing their time.

The Aspire Registry Fall Newsletter

The Aspire Registry team has released their fall newsletter. Since 2015, the Aspire Registry Newsletter has discussed the latest Registry news and events, and highlighted the work of New York professionals in the field of early childhood. The newsletter also provides information about useful resources and tips for early childhood professionals. The newsletter is distributed to over 25,000 Aspire Registry members, a number that continues to grow.

In the latest newsletter, Aspire Registry members are encouraged to update their Aspire profile as they plan and prepare for the year ahead. Members can now upload their documents directly into their Aspire profile and those who regularly update their profile are no longer required to renew their membership annually! The Aspire Registry Team also shares that the New York Works for Children website is getting a new look that will make its debut before the end of this year. The main goal for the site update is for the website to be easy to use, the same resources and information will still be available. In addition, the newsletter features a spotlight on Robyn France, an Assistant teacher working in Queens, New York. She shares why she decided to pursue a degree in early childhood and her favorite part of teaching young children.

To read the newsletter, click here.

New York’s Tale of Two Child Care Cities

A new brief from the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School discusses how growing interest in early education has led to more infant classrooms in child care centers; however, the majority of these centers serve wealthy families. Child care centers for low income families have been losing capacity to take in infants and young toddlers largely due to cost; they are the most expensive age groups to serve in centers. This has resulted in limited child care options for low income families causing the majority of them to choose home-based family child care. According to the brief, nationwide studies have found that, on average, family child care is lower quality than center-based care.

The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute believes in access to excellence for all of New York’s young children, starting at birth, and this report points out some of the challenges that low income families with infants face in trying to get access to high quality care for their children. The Institute developed the Informal Family Child Care Project (IFCC) to assess and address the needs of informal child care providers who receive subsidies from the New York Administration for Children’s Services to provide care. The mission of IFCC is to elevate the quality of care for children in home-based family child care settings in New York City. IFCC offers a wide range of programs and services, including training, technical assistance, home visits, and access to materials and resources that support best practices for family and children. Each of these efforts help to ensure that the children in these child care settings have access to the foundational learning experiences they need to thrive and be successful.

The Aspire Registry: Member of the National Workforce Registry Alliance

The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute staffs New York Works for Children and its flagship service: The Aspire Registry. The Aspire Registry, led by Louisa Higgins and Diana Diaz, is New York State’s workforce database and statewide training calendar for early childhood and school-age professionals. Teachers, providers, directors, trainers, and anyone who works with children can use the Aspire Registry to keep track of important information about their careers, including education and employment history, as well as professional development opportunities.

This year the Aspire Registry achieved Partnership Eligibility Review (PER) status from the National Workforce Registry Alliance. PER is a peer-review process that assesses a registry’s level of readiness for participation in data-related projects at the national level. The National Workforce Registry Alliance is an association comprised of members from throughout the country who oversee and/or manage data systems that track various elements related to those who care for, educate, and support children. The data collected from the Aspire Registry and other members of the National Workforce Registry Alliance will serve as benchmarks to measure progress in both the education and compensation of the workforce or innovative initiatives such as QRIS, scholarship, and wage incentive programs. Comparing these data with other national datasets will be useful in formulating sound policy recommendations.

In August, Diana Diaz, The Aspire Registry Administrator, was elected to the Board of the National Workforce Registry Alliance as the Region II Representative. In this role, she will coordinate work with other registries established in New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and serve as their liaison to report to the National Board members in activities, successes and issues occurring within the region. Diana will also develop annual work plans, with the input of the other Alliance members from this region, to address the present needs and propose work and strategies to support the early childhood workforce at the national level. In addition, she will continue to serve as a member of the Data and Standards Committee to oversee the collection of data and development of reports to inform policy and support quality initiatives.

The Aspire Registry and the Institute’s other initiatives continue to translate proven approaches and research into policy and practice to create a comprehensive system for teachers, directors, administrators, policy leaders, funders, and other individuals who want to create an exemplary and well-compensated early childhood workforce. Additional information is available at www.earlychildhoodny.org/#initiatives

Gender, Sexuality, and the Family: Fall Trainings

A recent article in the New York Times discussed a gender expansive 5-year-old boy that illustrated some of the challenges that both families and educators can encounter when it comes to issues of gender and sexuality with young children. During the preschool years, children are beginning to develop their understandings of gender, sexuality, and family. The Institute is committed to providing educators and professionals with high-quality professional development on how to explore these concepts with young children in curriculum and pedagogy. We are also committed to supporting parents and family members to confidently address these topics with their children in empowering, accurate, and developmentally appropriate ways.

This fall, the Institute is offering another series of workshops on “Gender, Sexuality, and the Family” for early childhood educators. The workshops are designed to spark discussion, facilitate the creation of shared language, and provide educators with the resources needed to make their classrooms supportive spaces for the development and exploration of identity.

The set of workshops for early childhood educators and professionals will begin on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, October 17th from 5:30pm-8:30pm

Session 1: Gender Development, Expression and Play 

  • Tuesday, November 28th from 5:30pm-8:30pm

Session 2: Bodies, Curiosity and Touching

  • Tuesday, December 12th from 5:30pm-8:30pm

Session 3: Including All Families and Supporting All Children

Sessions can be attended as a series or individually. You can find more information about the workshops on our website and register for the sessions by clicking on the links above.

The Institute’s First Annual Report

The Institute has released our first-ever annual report! This report provides a snapshot of much of our work in 2016. The Institute works at several levels to improve the early childhood workforce and expand quality improvement across the state. We work with the entire range of providers and service delivery systems – from higher education to informal family child care, and everyone in between. We support child care, Head Start, Pre-K and primary education programs. We partner with public agencies and non-profit organizations. We build systems, conduct and support research, and work with policymakers to implement evidence-based change. We work with other states across the country to learn from others and share the progress we’ve generated. Our work positively impacts the care and education that thousands of young New Yorkers and their families receive every day.

We do this all with generous and wise funders, an incredible cadre of partners and stakeholders, and an extraordinary team of people across New York who serve as our staff. The City University of New York provides a home and a compliment of services that enables our response to be efficient, affordable, and of the highest quality.

We thank you for your continued support!

To read our annual report, click here.

Helga Yuan Larsen appointed new Director of QUALITYstarsNY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Sherry Cleary, Executive Director

Sherry.Cleary@cuny.edu  

O: 718-254-7320

New York, NY August 7, 2017 – The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute of the Research Foundation of the CUNY is pleased to announce the appointment of Helga Yuan Larsen as the new Director of QUALITYstarsNY.

“After an expansive search, Helga stood out as the candidate who could best lead QUALITYstarsNY going forward during an exciting time of continued growth,” said Sherry M. Cleary, Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, which oversees and coordinates all aspects of QUALITYstarsNY. “We are impressed with Helga’s deep experience in and understanding of early childhood education and its stakeholders. I am confident in her ability to lead QUALITYstarsNY into the future.”

Ms. Larsen joined QUALITYstarsNY earlier this year as Assistant Director. With over 10 years of experience in the field — serving previously as Regional Early Childhood Manager at STG International — she has provided training and technical assistance to Early Head Start and Head Start programs with consultation, training, policy and procedure development to promote high quality services to children and families. She holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Barnard College, Columbia University.

About QUALITYstarsNY

QUALITYstarsNY is New York State’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) which supports all regulated early childhood programs serving children from birth to age five in child care centers, family homes and in primary schools with Pre-K. QUALITYstarsNY is committed to supporting child care programs with a variety of outstanding resources and supports, including individualized coaching and technical assistance; scholarships to help staff further their professional goals; and improvement funds to purchase materials, furnishings and supplies. QUALITYstarsNY participating programs now serve more than 44,000 children across the state. For more about QUALITYstarsNY, visit www.qualitystarsny.org.

About the Institute

The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute is a public-private partnership that brings together a range of city and state agencies, a consortium of private funders, and the nation's largest urban university to build a comprehensive system of professional development for individuals who work with young children in New York. Additional information is available at www.earlychildhoodny.org.

 

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